Il Fornaio (Cafe)

Overall Rating: 7.100

Address: Ocean Ave.
Cross Street(s): Monte Verde St., at the Pine Inn
City, State ZIP: Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Neighborhood: N/A
Phone: 831.622.5100
Hours: M-Th 11:30am-10pm; F 11:30am-11pm; Sa-Su 9-11pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating:
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Faema
Coffee Rating:
Aroma: 8
Body: 6
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Homer Laughlin
Price: $1.50
Last Update: 3/18/2005
First Reviewed: 3/18/2005
Notes: Coffee Bean Sales


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.