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About Us

At Il Fornaio, our mission is to provide our guests with the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy.

Each Il Fornaio restaurant has been designed specifically for the communities we serve, so restaurant hours, menus and reservation sizes available may vary by location. We are open for lunch and dinner every day at almost all locations and large parties, private dining groups and special events are welcome at every Il Fornaio.

Using the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, each Il Fornaio offers a wide variety of premium-quality Italian food paired with great wines and cocktails in beautiful settings located in California, Las Vegas, Seattle and Denver. All 22 kitchens are supervised and guided by Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon using recipes and preparations that Italians have mastered over centuries of making great food.

These ideals are best demonstrated by Festa Regionale, our monthly exploration of the food and wine of the different regions of Italy. This passion for authenticity has been fostered for almost 20 years. Discover it for yourself by signing up for our Passaporto program.

Il Fornaio also operates two restaurants as Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, located in Newport Beach, CA and in the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The corporate office is located in Corte Madera, CA. Please feel free to send us your feedback.

Our History

1970s

1970s

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  • 1972Il Fornaio baking school established in Barlassina (Lombardia), Italy.
  • 1975Opens first retail bakery in Milan, Italy.

1980s

1980s

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  • 1981First retail bakeries open in the US in San Francisco and Beverly Hills, CA by Williams-Sonoma.
  • 1984In preparation for its IPO, Williams-Sonoma divests Il Fornaio.
  • 1986Noted restaurateur Larry Mindel acquires Il Fornaio with partners Howard Lester, Warren Hellman and Scott Hedrick.
  • 1987First full-service Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana restaurant opens in Corte Madera, CA.
  • 1989Il Fornaio opens restaurants in San Francisco, Del Mar and Palo Alto, CA.

1990s

1990s

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  • 1991Il Fornaio Baking Book published by Chronicle Books.
  • 1995Festa Regionale, a company-wide monthly celebration of the food and wine of a different region of Italy, begins.
  • 1996Il Fornaio opens first restaurant in Las Vegas, NV and expands eastward to Denver, CO.
  • 1998Il Fornaio opens in Seattle, WA and Walnut Creek, CA.
  • 1999Il Fornaio opens Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, a restaurant focusing on the food and wine of the Veneto region of Italy, also home to Il Fornaio Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon.

2000s

2000s

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  • 2001Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. L.L.C. leads management buy-out of Il Fornaio.
  • 2002Il Fornaio Pasta Book published by Chronicle Books.
  • 2006Il Fornaio acquires Corner Bakery Cafe from Brinker International.
  • 20082nd Canaletto Ristorante Veneto opens in Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, CA.

2010s

2010s

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  • 2011Roark Capital Group acquires Il Fornaio from BRS.
  • 2012Il Fornaio celebrates 40 years.
  • 2013Il Fornaio awarded the ”Marchio Q”, or Marchio Ospitalita' – Ristoranti Italiani nel Mondo, the "Mark of Italian Hospitality around the World”– by the collective Chambers of Commerce of Italy, honoring a worldwide network of Italian restaurants that respects the standards of Italian hospitality, developing and promoting the traditions of the Italian agricultural and food products and enhancing the Italian food culture.

Our Team

  • Frank Paci
    • Chief Executive Officer
  • Michael Hislop
    • Chairman
  • Michael Beatrice
    • President & Chief Operating Officer
  • Maurizio Mazzon
    • Senior Vice President & Executive Chef
  • Ted Laymon
    • Vice President, Sales and Marketing
  • Jeanne Cambra
    • Vice President, Training
  • Mim McNulty
    • Senior Vice President, Human Resources
  • Laurence Mindel
    • Founder
  • Frank Licata
    • Vice President, Operations
  • Mario Lombardo
    • Vice President, Operations
  • Paul Kellerhals
    • Creative Director
  • Ryan Orendorff
    • Director – Financial Planning & Analysis

Press

12/16/2016

foodgal.com

THE NEWEST IL FORNAIO OPENS IN SANTA CLARA SQUARE

The Italian restaurant chain started in the Bay Area, but now has 23 establishments not only throughout California, but also in Colorado, Virginia, Washington and Nevada.

11/23/2016

SanJose.com

Santa Clara Adds a Classic in Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio at the Westin Hotel, formerly the historic Hotel Sainte Claire, has been a fixture in downtown San Jose for decades. Its luxurious interior and authentic Italian menu can easily be seen as a one-of-a-kind premium establishment.

11/17/2016

FULL SERVICE RESTAURANT MAGAZINE

Il Fornaio Opens First Restaurant Led by a Female Chef

Il Fornaio, the classic Italian favorite, with locations throughout the U.S., debuted its 23rd restaurant in the Santa Clara Square on November 1.

11/09/2016

The Santa Clara Weekly

Santa Clara Welcomes Il Fornaio Restaurant

Before Il Fornaio held its grand opening for its new Santa Clara location on Nov. 1, the popular Italian restaurant hosted a number of complimentary preview dinners for community members.

10/31/2016

bayarea.com

Blessing the Oven at Il Fornaio Santa Clara

Tradition is a core philosophy at Il Fornaio. Executive chef Maurizio Mazzon oversees Il Fornaio’s 22 kitchens, working with chefs to create a menu built upon centuries of Italian tradition and culinary mastery.

10/31/2016

The Mercury News

Il Fornaio's first female top chef makes debut at new Santa Clara location

The newest Il Fornaio restaurant, at Santa Clara Square, will be the first in the company’s 30-year history to have a female chef at the helm.

10/2016

Open Table

100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America for 2016 As Voted by OpenTable Diners

Il Fornaio Coronado is included in 100 Most Scenic Restaurant list for 2016, which highlights restaurants that offer spectacular views of natural wonder and city landmarks and, above all, delicious dining experiences.

07/12/2016

Woodland Hills Magazine

Il Fornaio Woodland Hills: Taste of Puglia

Il Fornaio...has tapped into the magic and delightful mystery of Puglia-inspired cuisine

07/2016

Full Service Restaurant Magazine

Constantly Evolving Il Fornaio Always Stays True to its Italian Roots

Il Fornaio... makes monthly changes to its menu but always remains true to its Italian heritage.

09/20/2013

Palo Alto Weekly

Restaurant Review

Il Fornaio has preserved its classic dishes while infusing new and intriguing options each month. It's a great formula.

12/05/2012

sandiegan.com

Il Fornaio -Upscale Italian Cuisine. Live the San Diego Adventure

... Il Fornaio's authentic Northern Italian Restaurants provide attentive service and inspiring ocean and bay views...

12/04/2012

Hometown Pasadena

Il Fornaio, A Speakeasy

For one night, Pasadena's Il Fornaio is turning into a speakeasy, with help from neighborhood friends ...

11/28/12

Tales from Carmel by the Sea

Il Fornaio Restaurant - Carmel by the Sea

It is "the place" to take a first date, meet a first date, go after a round of golf, or meet after work.

11/21/2012

Maximize Social Business

Community Management is as Important to Restaurants as Other Consumer Brands

Il Fornaio is committed to providing the most authentic Italian experience, outside of Italy, in a friendly and professional atmosphere. They create a new regional menu every month, also import new ingredients and wines regularly.

10/04/2012

eCoronado.com

Around Town: Il Fornaio's Festa Regionale - Toscana

I always look forward to the beginning of each month, when the new Festa Regionale menu is unveiled. This week, we dined on the patio during sunset and enjoyed a leisurely wine pairing dinner prepared by Chef Giorgio and his culinary team.

09/17/2012

Long Beach Louie

Around Town: Il Fornaio's Festa Regionale - Toscana

I went there with some friends and family for lunch and was pleasantly surprised with everything. The inside décor looks as if the restaurant was plucked for Rome and dropped into Irvine.

07/17/2012

a slo life

Sacramento Dining | Il Fornaio

It's definitely a fun, tasty, and most importantly, inexpensive place to grab an early bite to eat!

07/05/2012

EatDrinkPlaySanJose.com

Take a Culinary Trip to Sicily with Il Fornaio's Regional Menu

Il Fornaio takes great pride in creating authentic regional menus.

08/28/2011

Social Hospitality

Travel to Italy Without Leaving the US

Early mornings bring rustic, crisp crusted bread hot from the oven accompanied by the scent of fresh brewed espresso.

During lunch and dinner hours, pastas and flavorful sauces simmer while meats and vegetables roast over hot coals.