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Upscale chain restaurant inspired by classic Italian baking and specializing in trattoria-style cuisine.


Lunch Mon.-Sat., Dinner nightly

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Il Fornaio, Irvine, CA

Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

Il Fornaio Restaurant Review

: Irvine's branch of this Italian chain is quite chic, with its blond woods and bistro-esque outdoor patio. Its core lunch and dinner menus include a selection of antipasti, soups, salads, wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, grilled and rotisserie-roasted meats, and a wide variety of desserts. The open kitchen is a delight to watch, and so is the action in the bakery just beyond it, which sells Italian-style breads as well as pastries and coffee. Entrées include the veal scaloppine with baby artichokes and lemon and the grilled beef tenderloin with balsamic vinegar and green peppercorn sauce. Pizzas are particularly solid bets (try the vegetarian option), as are fresh pasta dishes such as seafood linguine or shells with chicken broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. The restaurant also shows off a progressive side by offering a long list of gluten-free items, including several gluten-free pastas. Traditional sweets like tiramisu and spumoni gelato are on hand to help round out the meal. There's a good selection of Italian wines, and the patio accommodates schmoozing and people-watching.

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