Saturday, June 13, 2009

Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
Sainte Clair Hotel
San Jose, CA

I suppose I've been too hard on this chain. Il Fornaio really is a nice, clean presentation with friendly service; they may have fake Italian accents, but their are friendly and fun. This is definitely a place to go with the family.

The entree items are fair, and some more exciting than others. It's a hit or miss here. Some stuff is okay, others are creative, such as that vodka sauce on the pasta shells. Also, the wine list is a good selection.

Seghiose, Zinfandel 2007 , $45 Bottle
I don't drink Zin, thus saying that this was the best one I've had, but to say this was one of the best against even the oaked cabs I've had does mean a lot. I need to find this. It's like a Cabernet with lots of oak age. The best young wine Red I've had... incredible. Rich! Tastes aged. I did end up finding this later actually at Irvine Ranch Market in Newport Beach.

The Sainte Clair offers this high-class, traditionally presentation of fixtures and fabrics when you first enter, and then you turn around a corner beyond the French interior windows to find this contemporary Italian escape, ready to serve and welcome individuals and families on any occasion.

I just like the photo.
Clean, Italian, a Milano...

Italian Rustic Bread, Olive, and Rosemary Bread

The Rosemary Bread was infused with rosemary herbs and a bit of olive oil. I enjoyed this one more than the other because of the smooth texture and olive oil hints. Rosemary made it exciting as well.

Smooth and doughy texture of the Rosemary made it my favorite, with intense rosemary center of leaves. Better than Fillione/Rustic and Olive bread. Oh yes, now I remember. There was Olive bread as well. Don't remember much about it though.

Salad of Cucumber, Tomato and Basil

The basil made this more exciting than a plain salad. The presentation was wonderful, all diced and plated as a large serving. Dijon dressing on the side. The salad was well distributed with the veggie toppings. I did this custom, and the waiter was attentive to the order. I just felt like veggies. I don't eat too much pasta at night. It's an energy food.

Mussels in White Wine

Straight up. I ordered these on the side of my salad for protein. They were meaty and tasty. Basic with white wine and garlic. I enjoyed most of these as left overs because the dish came late to the table. Still, good seafood. Appetizer portion size.
Conchiglie al Pollo
Shell pasta, chicken breast, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, pecorino cheese, roasted garlic, trebbiano wine

It was the sauce that made this. Tasted like vodka sauce with a bit of a kick. I have to say I was fond of this. The whole assembly of flavors worked, and it is far more exciting than the traditional bolognese.

Semifreddo all´ Amaretto
Semi-frozen amaretto custard with amaretto cookie crumbs, crème anglaise and chocolate sauce (on the side)

This was memorable. It was incredibly light in consistency. The amaretti made this, the cookies I mean. So light! Small dessert though. Only one person will this satisfy. Everyone will be scraping for a taste. The amaretto cookie is the kick. I'd have this again

Il Fornaio on Urbanspoon

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