Il Fornaio Italian Restaurant in Reston, VA, is a comfortable yet upscale option for brunch on a lazy Sunday. Opening in 1972 as a baking school in Italy, the concept was introduced to the U.S. in 1982 through Williams-Sonoma. The Reston location opened in 2007 as the first on the East coast. The exterior leaves much to be desired but the interior is bright and classy; the waiters are attentive and friendly.
My cappucino was not warm but the foam worked.
Our waiter recommended the bellini. It was light and tasty but skimpy on the prosecco:
Bellini 7.95 (prosecco wine and peach juice)
The oil and vinegar dipping plate with bread was a nice start to the meal:
I should have gotten this:
Uova Alla Benedettina E Polpa Di Granchio 13.95: (Sauteéd spinach, poached eggs and fresh crab cakes on filone bread with lobster cream sauce and parmesan; served with potatoes and caramelized onions)
I love dishes that have a lot of flavors and ingredients and that mesh well. The crab cakes didn’t hurt, either. Well-made crab cakes make anything taste good.
My omelette was certainly palatable:
It was better when I worked my way into the middle to find the salmon and goat cheese:
Omelette Con Salmone E Caprino 11.95: (Omelet filled with smoked salmon, spring onions, asparagus and goat cheese; served with potatoes and caramelized onions)
The problem with this dish was that there was too much plain egg and not enough filling (you can see the lump of filling in the photo). I didn’t find any asparagus until I had finished half of the omelette.
The potatoes could have had a bit more flavor–I do like my salty potatoes, but these did not taste seasoned at all. Done to perfection, though. And the fresh fruit was a perfect complement to the heavy main ingredients.
Of course we had to get dessert:
Tiramisù (Lady fingers, rum, Galbani® mascarpone cheese, espresso, cocoa powder), Budino Di Pane (Il Fornaio bread pudding made with granny smith apples, golden raisins, figs, crème anglaise and brandy, baked in the oven and served with vanilla ice cream), and Rosina Al Cioccolato (Chocolate mousse, fresh raspberries and sponge cake soaked with Triple Sec; served with orange crème anglaise)
We were all in agreement that the tiramisu got third place in this competition. The big winner was the Budino Di Pane with the Rosina Al Cioccolato a close second.
When I return to Reston, I’d like to try Il Fornaio for dinner. A plus for locals: cooking classes and wine maker dinners.