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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Light, Late Lunch at Burlingame's Il Fornaio Restaurant

Something to keep in mind... When not shopping at a mall not all restaurants stay open from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Such was the case when I recently found myself in Burlingame at 2:00 in the afternoon looking for somewhere to enjoy a late lunch while acting as tour guide for my friend Michelle, an out-of-town guest visiting from Australia.

We tried to go to two of my favorite restaurants.

First we went to Straits Cafe, a place that serves great Asian fusion. Their door was open, but once inside they kindly and regretfully told us they were closed until dinnertime.

Next, we tried Stacks, a very popular coffee shop. Turns out they had just closed too.

They say third time's the charm and it worked for us. We ended up at Il Fornaio, a spacious Italian restaurant and bakery with a stellar reputation for good food.


I chose the following two items and both were delicious!

Insalata del Fornaio
Mixed greens, garlic croutons and shaved parmesan; house vinaigrette. ($6.99)

The Rustichella
Housemade flat bread topped with goat cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, basil, oregano; baked in the oven. ($7.99)

The Rustichella alone would have been enough for a meal but I wanted the salad just to have something fresh and green. All of the parmesan probably negated the healthy aspect but I was glad I ordered both.


Michelle ordered the Cappellacci di Zucca which is fresh ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts, tomato sauce, brown butter, parmesan and crispy sage (10.79). The raviolis come in two portion sizes: three pieces or five. They are BIG and Michelle said three turned out to be more than enough.

Funny thing is I always thought Il Fornai was a local, small chain. Nope, they're located in 6 states with a total of 22 restaurants!

So if you're dining during off hours in Burlingame you might want to just head on over to Il Fornaio and save yourself the walking around. Unless you enjoy walking around, then Burlingame Ave is a really fun place to walk, eat and shop.

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