For over 40 years Il Fornaio has been serving Italian food inspired by tried-and-true, traditional recipes invigorated with contemporary culinary spins that never stray too far from the Mother Land. Il Fornaio began as a baking school in Barlassina (Lombardia), Italy. A few years later they opened their first retail bakery shop in Milan. William Sonoma imported the Il Fornaio bakery concept to the US in 1981, and by 1983 there were four Il Fornaio bakeries in California. The first Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana (restaurant and bakery) opened its doors in Corte Madera in Marin County, California in 1987. Today Il Fornaio has over 22 locations in four states, becoming one of America’s favorite Italian cucinas.
Il Fornaio has been a centerpiece of One Colorado since its opening in 1993. Housed in a beautiful brick building adorned with roof-top flower boxes and a charming outdoor patio in the tree-lined Smith Alley, the restaurant offers a European charm that has made it a favorite among Pasadena-ites. Its elegant dining room has a more formal feel, replete with white linens, cloth napkins and a traditionally-dressed wait staff, while their adjoining retail bakery offers a casual dining experience. You can always find folks sitting on their patio, sipping a cappuccino and reading the paper often with a pup snoozing underfoot, or locals on their lunch hour nibbling pizza and sharing office gossip. And apparently Il Fornaio is quite the popular date spot; we’ve heard from many now-married couples about their first date at One Colorado’s Il Fornaio. Even in Pasadena the romance of Italy flourishes.