I had been told many fantastic things about this restaurant but had never been able to visit in person, below is a review from my father who had expected the same standard of service and quality that he had been accustomed to receiving pre-Covid.
I...used to be a frequent visitor to "Il Fornaio", pre-Covid, and thought highly of the place.
I took my family there last night with great expectations. Roberto, the chef, was on a night off, unfortunately, as I had boasted his ability and talent.
We started with a shared platter of salamis and cold meats, which was, though poorly presented and thrown together, of great quality and very tasty.
A bottle of Nero d'Avola, reasonably priced at €32, was also very satisfying.
A pasta and mushroom dish followed, looking like a dark brown mess on the plate, and tasting very coarse and heavy. No effort at presentation, more like slops at a school canteen.
Pizzas followed in a heavy, doughy, shapeless mess. Hints of cheese and tomato failing to get though the dryness of overcooked chorizo.
The lucky person with the Calzone was the only one to manage more than half. Some sense of clumsy effort here, and a lot less dry and heavy, though still an overly doughy base.
Deserts, which used to be lovely, came ready made and tasted as though they had sat in the display cabinet longer than one would have wished. A chocolate cake was terribly dry and stale, and Tiramisu, mostly cream, no texture, and clearly not fresh, served effortlessly in the plastic box from the factory.
A taste of each was enough and they also got removed from the table uneaten.
Service was of a matching standard to this unfortunate experience. A young surly waiter clearly didn't want to be there. We had to ask four times for a jug of water, and similarly for anything else. Poor English is no excuse for not trying. Previous waitresses in the place had varying levels of English, but never let that hinder perfect service. This young man appears to have had little to no training in his job, and clearly had no interest in our experience, which is why, exceptionally, I share it here instead.
I am sorely disappointed with this place, of which I used to speak so highly.