By Michael Reubens
On the Road…
On a recent visit to the US west coast I decided to abandon the usual hot-spot dining establishments of Beverly Hills Hollywood or Malibu for the more tranquil and elegant neighbourhoods of the San Fernando Valley.
I stumbled across this elegant Italian restaurant Il Fornaio nestled in a delightful shopping and restaurant complex in Woodland Hills and I’m glad I did! The interior design and real estate was very comfortable and alluring and the menu for lunch and dinner was appealing and tasteful in every sense!
The locals refer to the this area as the Valley as opposed to other sprawling city neighborhoods in the Greater Los Angeles region as over the Hill and people rarely drive long distances prefering to dine, shop or search for entertainment in the confines of their comfort zones close to home.
Il Fornaio was packed on both occasions (lunch and dinner) and although I didn’t reserve a table for my guest and myself in advance, Daniella, our charming hostess, accommodated us immediately like long lost friends! The General Manager, Martin, an Argentine émigrée, was on hand and introduced himself as he feverishly said Hello from table to table, just like any professional engaged in a public relations sweep, would!
The menu consisted of assorted antipasti, pasta, meat and sea food dishes, sumptuous deserts and aperitifs and cocktails, including Aperol Spritz and Prosecco.
Another Il Fornaio is expected to open at the Santa Monica Beach area sometime next year and plans are to expand to other US cities and Europe in the not too distant future.
In the meantime the Il Fornaio staff say “Benvenuto” whenever possible and mean it. The Executive Chef, Maurizio Mazzon, also declares…” when the stomach is full, the heart is happy…”
To which I wholeheartedly concur and say “Grazie Mille”.
Tel +1 888 Italian