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“Great food! Great service!”
Review of Il Palio

Il Palio
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Ranked #21 of 293 Restaurants in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Franklin St. and Estes Dr.
Description: Il Palio is an intimate restaurant located in the Siena Hotel. We strive to emulate the best of the great Italian tradition of hospitality and quality at the table and in the glass. Our vision is simple - use the best local and Italian ingredients as purely as possible and serve them with comfort and pride. We cook as an Italian might in North Carolina.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great food! Great service!”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

The food was delicious! This is not your standard fare, so don't go expecting the typical (although they were very good about happily preparing the typical for one of our party who made special dietary requests). Everything seemed to have a little something extra to flavor it, but they did not overdo it. I loved their warm breads, their hashbrowns with pancetta, their biscuits and gravy which i believe had prosciutto in it. We were all very happy we ate there twice during our stay!

Visited June 2013
Thank WNC_Zag_Fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
outside Atlanta, GA
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Classy, elegant, old-school, and delicious”
Reviewed May 26, 2013

So some reviewers have hammered Il Palio for their decor. This intimate, small-footprint restaurant is a little jewel in the Sienna Hotel.

We made reservations for a Saturday night, about three hours before we wanted to go. The dress code is relaxed in summer, and we were seated within fifteen minutes of our reservation. There were a couple of large parties but our service didn't suffer at all. Almost immediately after we sat down, we received a shot glass of a sauce for tasting from the chef which was delicious. My husband had a micro-brew from a local brewery and I had an apple martini. Both were excellent.

As an appetizer, my husband had beef tartare and I had the buffaletta mozzarella caprese. My husband reports that the tartare was well seasoned and buttery, and the mozzarella in the caprese was probably the creamiest I have ever had. The balsamic glaze was tangy and sweet, and I ate it all! We then received a basil chickpea pesto to go with the bread basket. Really delicious, although when we requested the second helping, we asked for cracked pepper, which it definitely needed.

For supper, when we ordered, my husband's menu said the pappardelle bolognese and mine said the lasagnaetti bolognese. Turns out they'd had a menu change the day before so no pappardelle for me! :( That is my favorite pasta. The dish came with a thick hearty bolognese with veal, pork, and beef. It was meaty and rich, with I think cinnamon on it. My husband ate his whole portion; I ate all my pasta and wished for a little more pasta and a little less meat sauce, but that is definitely not the fault of the kitchen, it is a personal taste of mine.

Dessert was awesome. Hubby had the caramel butterscotch pudding with Hawaiian lava sea salt, and I had, omg, limoncello tiramisu. The pudding was good, and if I hadn't had the tiramisu I would have thought it was really excellent. Compared to the limoncello tiramisu, there was no competition. I savored every bite.

Service here was excellent, glasses were constantly filled, and this would be a lovely place for a romantic dinner or even a business meeting. I would most definitely go back and highly recommend it!

Visited May 2013
1 Thank wrensaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Il Palio”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Wonderful food, pleasant ambience, but a major faux pas: in a sea of empty tables, the host placed us at a table next to one set up for 14 people. We didn’t notice that set-up until our wine was served, and the group started coming in. We ate in a hurry and left as the noise grew.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GundlachB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Hidden jewel in The Siena Hotel”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Don't miss this jewel of a restaurant. Small, intimate, excellent service and local, organic foods - we highly recommend!

Visited May 2013
Thank CharlotteSadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great dinner for my group!”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Wonderful food, service was excellent. The entire experience was well recevied. Staff was attentive to every need, even down to keeping the room warm (was a rainy night) and the food and drink flowing!

Visited April 2013
Thank TravelArunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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