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Jun 9, 2008 03:53 PM

Il Fornello Richmond Hill - Brief Review

Visited last night (Sunday) with my two daughters (14 and 11). Seated promptly, and ordered soft drinks while we went over the extensive menu.

Appetizer decisions were: deep fried calamari, garlic bread, and the antipasto plate (which is priced at $8/person - I asked if we could get a one-person plate, and "No problem" was the reply).

They came out fairly quickly. The garlic bread was quite good - not at all burnt and a deep garlicky flavour. The antipasto plate had olives, mushrooms, prosciutto, salami, roasted eggplant, boccoccini, and artichoke hearts under shaved parmesan - nice variety, decent serving, and tasty. The calamari was good and crispy when it came out, but very quickly became soggy and chewy; if you order it, eat this before turning your attention to other apps.

Mains were: chicken parmigiana on linguine for the younger, steak and mashed potatoes for the elder, and lasagna for me. My little one, who is normally picky, enjoyed her chicken, and nearly finished the large portion. My lasagna was also very tasty - good balance between meat, pasta, and cheese, and the tomato sauce was free of any acrid taste. My older daughter wasn't quite so enthused about her steak - although it was prepared properly, she said it came with a sauce which she couldn't identify, but didn't enjoy. Nothing in the description on the menu mentioned any type of sauce; I wish it had, because she would have asked for it on the side.

I couldn't finish my huge portion of lasagna, and it was cheerfully packed up for me. However, since it was my birthday, we weren't going to pass up dessert. Pecan pie for my older one, vanilla gelato for the younger, and apple crumble for me. We enjoyed every bite.

The damage was $130 (no alcohol, tax included). Our waitress was cheerful and attentive, and the room, while busy, was not so noisy that we couldn't converse with each other. I've had better Italian, but I'd certainly revisit Il Fornello.

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  1. Nice review.Sounds like you had a great birthday dinner.
    We have been turned off by Il Fornello after several bad experiences a the beaches location.
    We will give this location a try.

    The menu indicates a weekend brunch buffet, any comments?

    2 Replies
    1. re: happycamper

      Sorry, I don't do many buffets anymore. First, I can't enough to feel I've justified the price! Second, I feel the food can be OK, but it can never be great, since it's sitting out on steam tables. I'd rather give the kitchen a chance to show what it can do with a specific dish.

      1. re: happycamper

        Hi Happycamper, I'm not Kevin B, but we've had the weekend brunch buffet many times. The items I can recall are:

        Assorted cold salads including couscous, hummous, pasts salad, fresh breads, soup, spring mix salad, olives, thin crust pizza, mussels, bbq chicken, pasta, veggies, eggs benedict (with smoked salmon or peameal bacon), french toast with I think it was plums, potatoes, fresh fruit. I may be missing some items. They used to have omelets to order which was excellent, but now they just make one large omelet and lay it out (not so good).

        Comments: Don't like the bbq chicken, rubbery and watery. Eggs benedict is all about the oozing egg yolk right? Quite hit and miss, the times we've been there, the egg yolk were well done, english muffin is not toasted enough. We'd wait for a fresh batch and get the same results. Potatoes at times were still a bit raw.

        We used to go frequently, but found a much better place for weekend brunch buffet (Hot House Cafe).

        I would say to give Il Fornello's brunch buffet a try, as everyone's tastes and preferences are different. Just our opinion. Hope this helps.

      2. We recently had a great experience at Il Fornello's Richmond Hill location. It was mid-July and they had just introduced a 3 course menu for the summer that was delicious. Then we went to the Oakville location about 2 weeks ago and were so disappointed. The food was bland and boring and the menu was quite limited. It seems like the Il Fornello restaurants no longer have a standard so your experience will likely depend on which location you're at.