Sunday, June 21, 2009

Il Fornaio

In an effort to expand my knowledge of restaurants beyond San Francisco, I decided to try Il Fornaio in San Jose for my dad's birthday last month. If you're looking for reasonably-priced, authentic Italian fare in a pretty setting reminiscent of trattorias, this might be your spot.

Carne Mista 'Ncoppa A Griglia ($21.99)

This was my dad's dish -- guess he still likes his meat! A trio of meat offerings -- grilled rack of lamb, game hen, and spicy sausage -- served with sauteed broccoli rabe and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes. We loved the grilled rack of lamb for its juicy tenderness, but the game hen and sausage were nothing special. The meat paired very nicely with his glass of 2007 Aglianico Terradora, a full-bodied red with deep flavors of black cherry, plum, and spices.

But ... I totally won the dish-off for the night ...

Spigula Dinto O Cuoppo ($22.99)

A cut of fresh bluenoss seabass baked in parchment paper with shrimp, mussels, clams, cherry tomatoes and white wine. This was a simple yet sensational dish. Baking the fish wrapped in parchment paper really brought out its rich, moist flavor, accentuated with the juices from all the seafood and veggies. I couldn't get enough! Accompanying the dish was a side of green peas sauteed with pancetta and roasted Yukon gold potatoes.

Can't ever really go wrong with pancetta!

Free dessert was in order for the birthday boy. Their Rosina al Cioccolato was a chocolate lover's heaven -- chocolate mousse and sponge cake soaked in Triple Sec, balanced with fresh raspberries and an orange crème anglaise. And they even took the time to decorate the plate with a birthday wish!

A sweet ending to a great meal!

Il Fornaio
302 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

P.S. Please welcome my newest friend joining the food blogging community -- WongCo Food. He can take some killer photos.


Alex said...

man, food is SOOO cheap outside of NY....sigh. good pics from your friend's new blog. he can improve the cropping though!

Cookie said...

Il Fornaio is so reasonably priced for good Italian food and doesn't feel like a chain at all! We can walk to the one in SF and love sitting outside. I heard the one in Palo Alto has a really nice atmosphere as well. Glad you enjoyed a nice meal!

gin said...

i want some! yum!