Il Fornaio – San Jose, CA

On a random evening, we met up with DK for dinner at Il Fornaio. Initially he wanted to check out a pizza place but I am not a huge pizza fan so I suggested an Italian. We decided to try out Il Fornaio since it was downtown San Jose and easily accessible.

Located in The Sainte Claire, it was definitely a nice looking spot. We had to walk through the main lobby of the hotel and down this gorgeous walkway to the restaurant.

Menu is fairly extensive, with different options for appetizers, salads, pastas,  specials and an extensive drink menu.

We had:

Complimentary Bread

The bread was really food especially the olive bread, with salty bits of olive baked in.

2 bowls of Lobster Bisque @$5.99 each

The soup was served cold but not one was around for us to mention this. We had a few sips and realised it was really salty and one dimensional.

Risotto con Pollo e Funghi$18.99

Imported Carnarolli rice with chicken breast, mushrooms, white wine and Parmesan cheese

Another dish that was salty and one dimentional. The risotto was way over cooked and mushy in a salty Parmesan base and the white wine was not completely cooked off. The only plus with this dish was the generous amount of fresh mushrooms and chicken breast.

Linguine Mare Chiaro $19.99

Thin Flat pasta with clams, mussels, prawns and scallops; seasoned with tomatoes, crushed red pepper, garlic and trebbiano wine

Great light tomato sauce but the seafood and pasta was overdone. The shrimp and scallop was overdone but at least it tasted fresh. I can’t say the same about the fishy mussels.

Pennoni  Alla Vodka (1/2 order )$11.99

Large pasta tubes with bacon, vodka cream tomato sauce and Parmigiano

The only dish that tasted good! It was also salty like all the other three dishes but at least this was a good kind of salty – rich with bacon fat, creamy and tomatoey. The sauce was smoky and delicious and the pasta was cooked to a nice al dente. Nice chunks of bacon.

Dolci Trio $13.99

Dessert sampler of half Rosina al Cioccolato, half Tiramisu and one Crespelle with a scoop of vanilla gelato

The Rosina is a chocolate moouse with raspberry sauce. The mousse was pretty good; creamy smooth and rich with tangy sweet raspberry sauce. The Crespelle was a crepe filled with apples and grappa infused pastry cream served with vanilla gelato. The crepe was not what we expected because it was more like a thin soft swedish pancake instead of crisps and light. It was still really good – filled with sweet tangy apples. I didn’t care much for the tiramisu


Coke $2.95
Chi Ilfo $7.99
Coffee $3.39


Total Damage: $116 (including tax and tip)

Personal Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (Average)

Service started off a little slow, took a good 15 minutes before we actually got our order in and some bread on the table. After we got our food, I never saw our server again. Everyone helped us out except her. I was not impressed…

As for the food, only one out of four dishes that we tried tasted good. The other dishes were salty and not very appetizing at all… We didn’t care much for it and probably won’t go back for it. For the quality of the dishes we received, the prices didn’t seem worth it.



Il Fornaio

302 S Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

(408) 271 3366

Il Fornaio on Urbanspoon

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