As promised in my 12/5/07 entry here is a more in depth review of Il Forno. Frederick’s best pizza.
Service: 86. Server was polite, prompt and kept my water glass full. This was fine for me as I don’t expect the white glove treatment in a restaurant of this level.
Ambience/Décor: 80 The restaurant is nice and clean, nothing fancy. The wood burning oven is right there behind the counter and you can see them make your pizza. My only beef is they have a TV playing in the corner with no sound. This is sort of a pet peeve of mine. Why bother? This isn’t a sports bar. Maybe its just because I can’t seem to help but stare at a TV. Now I just sit with my back to it.
Food: 90 The food is why we come here. They have a bunch of appetizers. We tried the garlic bread and frankly it was kind of weird- more like a white pizza then what I envision as garlic bread. As mentioned in a previous post the pizza is excellent. They have about 20 different varieties and you can get any combination of toppings on the menu. Last night we got the margherita and it was perfect. Nice crisp crust with a few scorch marks on the bottom to let you know that it was cooked in a wood oven. Good sauce, whole milk mozzarella, and fresh basil. Occasionally we get them to top it with garlic as well from the a la carte toppings. They have a 5-8 salads on the menu. Mrs. Fred and I deiced to split a Caesar’s salad. We’ve had this before and its a decent rendition of the Caesar’s salad. However this night it came topped with shredded mozzarella, just like they put on the pizza. It ended up being too much cheese. I don’t know if this is a new thing or they ran out of Parmesan, but it was not as good as we’ve had in the past. Anyway bottom line is go for the pizza and you won’t be disappointed.
Drink: 78 This is my real beef with the place. The wine selection is pedestrian and mediocre. They only have a few choices and those are along the lines of Corbett Canyon. Its a shame because you can certainly get interesting wines at all price points if you put a little effort into it. Clearly they don’t care about wine. The only thing that saves them from getting a lower grade is that fact that at least they have Sam Adams and Yeungling lager on draft.
Value: 88. Not expensive, not super cheap. Prices are in line with what you would expect to pay in the area. The appetizer, two pizzas, the salad, a Yeungling draft and drinks for the kids came to just under $40 with a 20% tip.