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“One of the best places for pasta”
Review of Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
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Ranked #9 of 2,173 Restaurants in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups
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.
San Jose, California
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“One of the best places for pasta”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We hit up Il Fornio before venturing out for Christmas in the Park and the service was great, food was great and prices are reasonable. Their alla vodka sauce is divine, can never get enough of anything with that. Skip the calamari it's so so and you can find better other places. Love the warm fresh bread they bring to the table, that's always a treat.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 1whoscraps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Santa Forgot This Eatery @ XMAS”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

A friend and I looked forward to dinner at Il Fornaio, downtown San Jose, however, the experience was very disappointing. It was Christmas night and our reservation was for 6 PM. We were promptly seated but that was the only prompt experience we had the entire time we were there. Our server was very nice but not knowledgeable about the entrees or the wines/champagnes. We both ordered seafood platters and 2 glasses of prosecco which we had to convince the server that tasting it first was a better idea than asking the woman at a nearby table whether she enjoyed it. Our water glasses were not refilled and we had to find someone to do it since they were almost empty. The server did not return to see if we needed anything or even to ask how we were doing. We even had to ask for the bill. The entrees were fair, enough of a variety of seafood but not enough quality, taste or presentation. That was our almost $100 meal. We will not return.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roxymusic4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
208 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Not as good a reputation”
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Maybe we were just disappointed that there was a 90 minute wait at Original Joe's, next door, and we decided not to wait. The service was slow...servers and others kept walking behind our table to get to the other side of the restaurant. I doubt if it was intended as a pass through because there really wasn't enough room. They ran out of Grey Goose vodka, on a Saturday night at 5 p.m.????? The wine was poured long after our meal had been served. While the waitress apologized for the delay that's inexcusable in a restaurant that promotes fine dining.Having said all that, the food was above average. We had the scallopine which was quite nice served with potatoes and broccoli. Others had a basic pasta which they said was good. The caeser salad should have included anchovy. The hotel is beautiful - don't miss the ceiling in the lobby.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nuwildcat65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“If You Can't Poach an Egg...Don't Serve Breakfast”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

The Sunday before Christmas, my husband and I met 3 friends for a Christmas brunch. First, I agree with the others...the servce was pitiiful. We got coffee, but no cream...had to ask 2 people for cream and neither was our server. She had disappeared. When she finally came back to take our order, we asked for hot coffee...we had to wait so long for cream the coffee got cold. She seemed very put out. We ordered: 3 had the veggie omelette, one french toast and I had the corned beef hash and poached eggs. We waited 30-40 minutes before the food arrived. They had served delicious bread right after we ordered...it was stone cold by the time the entrees arrived. The omelettes were deemed OK, the french toast very good and my corned beef hash was excellent. But perched on top were 2 rubbery and clearly "way" over cooked hard boiled eggs. Again, no server...I sent a busboy to find her. I showed her my rubber eggs and insisted she take my breakfast off the bill. She offered to have 2 more eggs poached and brought out. I carefully explained how impossible that would be. My friends would either sit there waiting and let their food get cold, or they would eat and when my eggs came they would be poured over my stone cold hash. The only option was for all of us to eat our tepid and marginal entrees and have mine removed from the bill. When she brought the bill...all of a sudden she became "miss pleasant and chatty". Asking about our Christmas plans, etc. Clearly fishing for a big tip at the end of a dismal meal.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LLJ56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Clara, California
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Very good (but just shy of great) Italian Dining in Great Location”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Dined recently at Il Fornio located adjacent to the lobby of San Jose's venerable St. Claire Hotel. Beautiful place, nice ambiance, in a great location in the heart of the downtown San Jose area. The dining room is large and nicely appointed, but can be a bit noisy and crowded at the height of the dinner hour. Good wine list, but rather pricey. Very good Italian pastas, fowl, and seafood selection. I had the Tagiatalle Bolognese which was fresh and very flavorful. Pre-entree was a house salad with an uninspiring house dressing and a selection of fresh baked breads, with butter and oil/balsamic dipping sauce. Food was very good, but that was expected in relation to the high pricing. Basically, Il Fornio serves up a nice meal in a great location for a higher-than-average price. As such, it does little to distinguish itself from other similar Italian dining establishments. Our table did, however, receive 5-star service from a staff which was polite, enthusiastic, and knew the menu well. However, as the restaurant filled up with patrons for the dinner hour, the restaurant seemed slightly understaffed as the servers became busier.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank fredsv007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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