Il Fornaio - San Jose
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- 98%Business Travelers
- 86%Luxury Travelers
Member Reviews (6)
- Il Fornaio - San JoseMember ofFoodiesApr 03, 2013
What an amazing dinner to end the year in style! We were smart and got reservations because on NYE, they were packed and there was a crazy line. Our overall dining experience was heightened by the great service we got from Martin. He was friendly, funny, and made awesome recommendations. From the wine pick to the entrees, all his picks didn't disappoint. With everything we ordered, the bill at the end didn't scare us either. Well worth every penny!
Justin Cab - A sweet and smooth red.
Calamaretti Fritti - Lightly battered, a little plain though, good thing there was a lot of spicy (it wasn't spicy) marinara to go with it.
Lobster Bisque - Yum! Creamy goodness with fresh bits of lobster in the soup and sprinkled on top with croutons!
Entree - I couldn't remember what mine was called because it was in Italian and it was on the special NYE menu, but it had grilled jumbo prawns in this savory orange cream sauce with capers along side with lightly tossed angel hair pasta in garlic and herbs. Delish!
Prime Rib - The hubby's choice, odd that he ordered this at an Italian restaurant but he said he would give it 5 stars just for it. It was pretty tender and the shitake mushrooms complimented the sauce well.
Dolce Trio - If you can't make up your mind about dessert, this is what to get, a combo of three items on the menu.
We ended the night with an after dessert coffee cocktail, don't get what we got! It had Kahlua, Baileys, and Cognac. It was warmed up and just had a yucky after taste!
- Il Fornaio - San JoseMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6Aug 20, 2012
Petto di Pollo al Peperoncino (pictured):
Grilled free-range chicken breast marinated with sage, rosemary, thyme, crushed red pepper, white wine, dijon mustard and lemon; served with spicy peperoncino sauce, sautéed organic spinach and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes.
- Il Fornaio - San JoseMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11Jul 05, 2012
Il Fornaio ("The Baker") is a food corporation with 21 restaurants mostly in California, with two wholesale bakeries, with a new line of places called Canaletto Ristorante Veneto (Venetian hotel in Vegas and Newport Beach) and also purchased and owns the more casual Corner Bakery Cafe.
The bakery started in Italy, then came over here and was briefly owned by WIlliams-Sonoma, the high end kitchenware retailer in the 1980s. It started to expand and opened its first restaurant in 1987, under the leadership of Larry Mindel, who was a successful restauranteur in the Bay Area.
Mindel and his Spectrum Restaurants transformed Italian cuisine in San Francisco from the red checkered table cloths and predominately southern food and dishes of the past 100 years to a more northern and modern approach that was contemporary Italy. His very popular restaurants Ciao and Prego in SF and Chianti in LA were clean, white table clothed, Italian modern decorated chi-chi places. Prego used to be my favorite restaurant, and their Carpaccio was my favorite dish. Prego also helped to start the Wood Fired pizzas that have become so popular around the same time Wolfgang Puck was making a name for himself in LA.
After selling Spectrum and buying Il Forniao, he couldn't open a restaurant in SF or Palo Alto, so he opened the first Il Fornaio in Corte Madera (Marin County) in the new (at the time) Towne Center, which is the HQ for Il Fornaio. In 2001 there was a management buyout of the corporation. So there are Il Fornaios now in San Francisco and Palo Alto.
Through the years, I have dined at Il Fornaios in Corte Madera, Walnut Creek, and now San Jose.
This location in DTSJ reminds me of places in Italy, with high ceilings, dark wood accents throughout, but with a lighter contrast color palette. of pale yellow and greens. It is large and nestled inside an older building that is the Saint Claire Hotel not far from the Convention Center on the corner of Market and Saint Claire.
We had lunch here, dining on pasta dishes of Conchiglie Pollo ($16.99) a shell pasta, with chicken breast, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, pecorino cheese, roasted garlic and trebbiano wine and Tagliatelle Bolognese ($15.99) which is pasta ribbons with traditional meat ragu and parmesan cheese. The pasta is made on site and gluten free options are available.
Since the managers are the owners, the service is very good.
For the past 15 years or so in the summer, Il Fornaio features their Festa Regionale, in which they have rotating menus chain wide of food, wine and bread of specific regional areas of Italy.
- Il Fornaio - San JoseFirst to ReviewJul 05, 2012
Il fornaio is one of the best restaurant chains that I have ever encountered. In fact it would be very easy to think you were walking in to some local family owned restaurant. The ambiance exudes a kind of effortless authenticity which fortunately extends to the cuisine. The food is always fresh and never heavy like so many other Italian-American restaurants. Be sure to come for happy hour which is one of the best. $5.00 well drinks as well as $5.00 wood oven pizzas! Che superba!!!
This location in San Jose is doubly charming because it is located in the historic saint Claire hotel.