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Restaurants & Bars

Il Fornaio in Corte Madera

rcc | Mar 6, 200406:01 PM

An early dinner at Il Fornaio didn't give us much to look forward to in terms of returning to the place.

The restaurant had the regional Italian theme going on for each month and it was featuring dishes from Calabria when we dined.

We started by sharing plate of fried calamari for appetizer. It wasn't bad, but it was nothing to get excited about.

I ordered the featured swordfish dish for my entree. The fish was wrapped around a mixture of ground shrimp, crabs and some vegetables that I couldn't remember. It was very bland. On the other hand, the vegetable compote that was served with it was overly salted. Moreover, the vegetables were over-cooked and did not taste fresh at all.

My wife had the grilled Portobello mushrooms on a bed of endives and cherry tomatoes as her entree. The dish was so lightly dressed that there was hardly any trace of the red wine and olive oil dressing. The tomatoes were definitely not fresh, tasted cold and watery, and the skin was plasticky and easily peeled off when one bit into it. It's like they were kept in the freezer and were thawed just before being served. She only had about a quarter of the dish before giving up on it.

We mentioned these to our server who simply said "I'll tell it to the cook.".

Without any hesitation we decided to skip coffee and dessert and asked for our bill.

I realize that Il Fornaio is a restaurant chain and that service and quality may suffer more relative to non-chain restaurants. However, the price of the food items that we ordered ($19.95 for the swordfish and $9 for the portobello salad) did not justify their poor quality.

Lastly, and just to end this on a positive note, they do have very good breads.

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