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“Great view, good food but poor atmosphere and service”
Review of Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
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Ranked #10 of 105 Restaurants in Coronado
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Orange Ave.
Transit: Metrolink
Description: Il Fornaio means "the Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique Italian dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We have dined at Il Fornaio several times before and made a reservation for dinner expecting to experience a good meal with a great view of San Diego in a pleasant informal atmosphere. Whilst the view and the food were good, our experience on this occasion was very poor.

We had to wait 30 minutes to be seated. According to one of the hosts this was because earlier diners had taken longer than usual to finish their meals. It was impossible to judge whether this was indeed the case or if the restaurant was overstretched resulting in delays to service. Clearly the restaurant was very busy - in addition to the restaurant diners, 4 private functions were taking place on the premises.

While we were waiting to be seated one of the hosts apologised and pointed out that we had waited longer than any other guests - this did not cheer us up! When we were eventually seated it was at a table only 3 feet away from a boisterous birthday party. There was nothing separating the party guests from the restaurant diners. We did not expect a quiet intimate experience but we did expect to be able to talk to each other without straining to be heard over raucous party guests.

Our host said that one of the managers would personally bring over our water. A manager duly arrived with the water and promptly said that we were receiving special treatment to have him serve us! We pointed out that having to wait so long did not in our opinion constitute special treatment. He apologised and promptly disappeared.

The wait rather than increasing our hunger had the opposite effect and we skipped appetizers going straight to entrees. Our entrees were delivered by the chef - not sure if this was another example of special treatment or due to staff shortages! The entrees were good but we had decided to leave as quickly as possible as the noise was so intrusive.

Just as we were about to sign the bill a host appeared with a complimentary dessert and coffee. Whilst this was a nice gesture it was too late to make up for our experience.

We are planning to return to Coronado but we will not return to Il Fornaio.

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Thank junerose_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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488 - 492 of 803 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2013

We made reservations for a Sat. @ 6 pm we arrived five minutes early & were seated ten minutes later at one of the last three non-appleaing tables next to a wall. (You'll have a beautiful view if you are able to be seated on the patio or table by the window.)
Shortly after being handed the menu, our waiter asked for our order -- we needed a bit more time. Within minutes he returned at which time we had to ask for water & bread. He called to a passing bus server & stood waiting to take our order.
Our salads were nothing to rave about $7.99 - $11.29.
Capellini al Pomodor $14.99 was a disappointment. Pasty/stick together angel hair pasta, room temperature chopped fresh tomatoes on top, garlic that couldn't be detected, a bit of marina sauce, 2 pieces of not so fresh discolored basil on top.
Scalopini al Carciofi e Limore $24.99 was average. Slices of veal with a sauce that was okay but not memorable with standard vegetables.
Surprisingly, the meals were served within 10 min. or less -- we weren't finished with our salads. A bus server brings the water, bread, salad, meals. Our waiter brought our wine minutes after ordering but we didn't see him till half way through our meal when he asked if we were ready for dessert. When we said no to dessert, he brought us our check even though we were still eating our main course.
We're locals but this restaurant has a high volume of tourists. Main focus obviously is getting diners in and out as fast as possible. We were seated at 6:05 and out at 6:50. No reason for us to return to Il Fornaio.

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Thank mac33028
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

Wonderful atmosphere!!! I sat at the bar and had an amazing experience! The bartender was so kind and attentive and very knowledgeable about the menu. His wine pairing was also fantastic. You have a fabulous view of the water and downtown SD. My one and only complaint...the meatballs were a little tough. Other than that, I highly suggest for dinner!

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Thank SDSpence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

I have an allergy to garlic which poses a lot of difficulty in ordering at restaurants. I have never had a restaurant accommodate allergies like this restaurant. The made my salad dressing without garlic. They adjusted my meal as well. They did all this without my urging. They take allergies seriously which is a nice surprise for a change. Great view of downtown San Diego. Consistent good food.

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Thank Jagsas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

Rude hostess. Waitress with attitude. Could not order portion sizes we wanted to avoid wasting food. Room temperature tea served with one glass of ice--no refills. Water drinks ran dry. Had to ask 2 wait staff for bread 3 times before receiving bread. Pasta was dry--very little sauce. Five of us seated at table for 4. Bugs flying around our table/window area--inside. No toilet paper in women's bathroom. We dined Sunday, July 28th, 2013, dinner.

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1  Thank ROCKWREN_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luca A, General Manager at Il Fornaio, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2013

Dear Rockwren_10,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write and give us your feedback from your experience at Il Fornaio. I apologize for the problems you encountered with our host service and indeed with a not very professional food server I would like to assure you that these were isolated incidents and we will take all of the necessary steps to ensure that no one will encounter the same disappointing experience.

Our goal at Il Fornaio is to provide the best possible experience for all of our guests from authentic Italian cuisine to five star services and we are continually looking for ways to perfect our performance. We are deeply sorry for falling short on your expectations

I would appreciate the opportunity to show you our authentic Il Fornaio five star services. Can you please call me on your next visit as I will love to introduce myself to you and personally delivery my apologies for the experience above mentioned.
I will also love to treat you and your four guests to a lunch as our personal guest.
I am looking forward to speaking with you soon.

Luca Allieri
Il Fornaio Coronado GM

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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