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“Fantastic place for 'Happy-Hour'”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
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Ranked #7 of 291 Restaurants in Walnut Creek
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Business meetings, Large groups, Romantic, Bar scene, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: North Broadway
Transit: BART
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.
Orinda, California
Level Contributor
262 reviews
201 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Fantastic place for 'Happy-Hour'”
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Not realizing it - - we wend on the night they were celebrating 'Carnival'. They had a table set-up for making your own mask (or they give you one) and a table for face painting. Everyone was having a 'fun' night during 'Carnival-Happy-Hour'. Their calamari is the greatest during 'Happy-Hour'. For dinner we had the Bean Soup which was great, the Regional Salad which was great and the 'Veal-Shank' which was more than great. The shank was so large that there was enough to take home for a full meal the next night. The service is always excellent. We always enjoy their Regional 'Wine-Flight'. Never had a 'bad' tasting yet.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank billanddoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lake Tahoe (California), California
Level Contributor
348 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Could not ask for more ! Actually we want more!”
Reviewed February 17, 2014

We came pre valentine night, hoping to skip the mad craziness of v-day and we did it right! We sat in our own dining area and felt that we had the space, ambience,and really enjoyed our meal together ! I ordered from the pre-fixed menu- tasting menu! Perfect size, the soup was delicious, the pasta stuffed with fowl was tasty. The best was the lamb! It was cooked to perfection- the outside was rubbed and crusted, and the meat was tender! The dish came so enough potatoes and vegetables. Not bad for 30 dollars! Husband ordered the pork and it also was amazing- melt in your mouth meat.
Our server had time to serve, chat, keep her distance and then came back whenever we needed her. We skipped dessert because we were too full! But the tray was looking good.
That's why we want more!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MLAbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
527 reviews
351 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 236 helpful votes
“Inviting Ambiance, Excellent Service”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

For a chain establishment, Il Fornaio displays consistent charm and deserves a 3.5 rating. The staff are friendly, well trained, and attentive. Part of the fun is visiting with the same servers that we’ve enjoyed over the years. The atmosphere is warm and inviting despite the large size of the restaurant. Food is good, not fabulous. Many of the hot dishes arrive at a tepid temperature. Two items that have disappointed are the arugula and beet salad and the traditional Italian dessert, zabaglione. In winter there is a blazing fireplace and in spring and summer the large doors open to watch the passersby on their way to Broadway Plaza. From 4-6pm, they feature a happy hour with half price appetizers and glasses of wine. Valet parking is $7, or 3 hour free parking is in the lot above, and across the street is the city parking garage for $1 an hour.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank StarLady99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
96 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Disappointing food and service.”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Have always considered Il Fornaio to be a good choice for well-prepared Italian fare, but we were disappointed in our Sunday evening visit. Group of 2 couples ordered the 3-course tasting menu. Food was overly-salty, but bland. Soup broth was tasteless. Food seemed "heavy" and pastas were average at best. Mashed potatoes for entree were cool and dry as was the chicken. Service was not polished in both the bar and the dining room. Server was friendly, but seemed somewhat inexperienced and we had long waits between courses. Due to the length of our meal we appreciated that the restaurant noise level was not loud and we were able to chat between courses. Best parts were the delicious Rosso di Montalcino wine and the cappuccino!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank turtlez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Always dependable”
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We are never disappointed in Il Fornaio! It always seems to be very good or excellent. We look forward to going there because it just doesn't disappoint. The pizza is wonderful with thin crispy crust. We always try something new there and are surprised at the quality. Parking is east with Valet parking for $7.00 or free parking in the garage above.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ajk717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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