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“Old reliable”
Review of Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
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Ranked #9 of 2,223 Restaurants in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: San Carlos St.
Transit: City bus stops are located nearby
Description: Il Fornaio means "The Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique 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 2013.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Come here every time I feel like skipping a search for another fancy, trendy, latest culinary sensation, and just have a good well prepared meal being served by well trained waiters while enjoying our drinks by the windows watching the street action go by. Done it forever, can always get in, and the visiting family or business partners usually love it. Keep it up!

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Thank misha r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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353 - 357 of 448 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2013

Had holiday party for 50 people in December. Food was incredible for such a large party. Pasta, meat and salads were all excellent and the desserts were phenomenal. Would highly recommend.

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Thank Tiso99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I wanted good Italian food for my family birthday dinner. We last dined at Il Fornaio about 2years ago and had a wonderful dinner for 6. Last we went again for my birthday at my suggestion. First, the service pretty much stank. The waitstaff seemed more into socializing amongst themselves than serving clients. Just a few examples, ground pepper on carpaccio or salads till we asked, I ordered pasta with seafood, clams, mussels, scallops, no dish for my empty shells. Seafood was over sauced and well overlooked. The scallops could have been used to fix a flat tire. We also waited 10min after finishing our meals for the table to be cleared while the manager (guy in black) stood round talking to the cook staff and never making an effort to ask guests about their dinners. Won't go back, guess they figure they have a captured audience because they're in the hotel.

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1  Thank StevePie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

The first impression of the restaurant is almost of European splendour, with high ceilings and walls covered in mirrors. The similarity ended there however.

The headlines are that the service was really disgraceful, and the food was really poor. As an example, the waitress was asked what the soup of the day was, she didn't know. On checking, she advised it was lobster bisque, but she then delivered asparagus soup as that is what the soup of the day really was. Basically she was also delivering a fait accompli.

Some of us had ordered minestrone soup, which came in a very small bowl, and was already lukewarm.

Halfway through the starter course, the main courses appeared. These were on very large plates, but the waiters still tried to see if they can put them on the table somewhere, ny almost pushing the starter plates aside. We told them to take them away of course.

When all the main courses did finally arrived we found that the lasagna was cold. Also the penne pasta dishes were lukewarm. The lasagna was sent back to the kitchen, and the waiter advised that it would be replaced by a new dish. After 15 minutes the replacement appeared, it was burnt on one edge, but was even colder than the first dish. It looked like they were simply taking out pre cooked portions from the freezer, and throwing them under the grill.

The second lasagna was given back to the waiter uneaten, but the original waitress never came back to enquire why a dish had been rejected on two occasions!

The waitresses were smartly dressed, but the male waiters looked as they were allowed to show up in any clothes they put their hands are in the wardrobe that morning.

Another waitress turned up to our table with coffee when it wasn't ours, again showing the chaos in the restaurant. When our coffee order did finally arrived, one of the cups was actually dirty.

By this time we were laughing so much at their ineptitude, we asked ourselves whether the mirrors on the wall next to us actually hid a candid camera. It was so laughable. My American host who picked up the tab felt the need to add a tip, but as a Brit, if I was paying they would have got what they deserved. Nothing.

I have to be honest, as a rather older guy who has eaten in thousands of restaurants around the world, I have never come across a restaurant which fancies itself so much as this one, yet was so inept in both its service and it's food. I would avoid it like the plague.

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2  Thank Alan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We have been coming to Il Fornaio in San Jose for the past couple of years for their monthly Italian Festa dinners, weekly Happy Hour, and winemaker dinners.

The management and staff are excellent and always make customers feel important and the food is very good!

If you have not yet found Il Fornaio, please do so!

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Thank mjannunziata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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