This review is specifically for the espresso at the Il Fornaio café, which serves breakfast and lunch. In the entryway from the Pine Inn, this circular, wooden space sells Il Fornaio bakery items, espresso, and some lunch fare (salads, sandwiches). A round space with a fireplace, old photos, and a domed glass ceiling that magnifies conversations across the room like an echo chamber.
Using a three-group Faema E91 Ambassdor, they pull shots with a very dark brown, somewhat thin crema. The crema is surprisingly dark -- a la Chicago's Intelligentsia. It has a pungent, herbal flavor and is served in Il Fornaio-logo HLC cups. Surprisingly, one of the best espresso options in Carmel-by-the-Sea.