It’s like a best friend. You visit nearly every day – sometimes just for a cup of coffee and sometimes for a sit-down dinner. You’ve shared birthdays and office parties; you can’t stop talking about it to all your other friends. You’ve even coined an affectionate nickname that somehow managed to stick. In our case, that friend is Il Fo.
Not familiar with Il Fo? I bet you are. Others may know it as Il Fornaio, but as our office neighbor and a restaurant that we frequent, “Il Fo” has become a household name with us. Recently, we gathered for drinks and a bite to eat at their famous happy hour.
When it comes to mixology and wine selection, Il Fornaio’s happy hour is up there with the best Sacramento has to offer. But the thing we love most about Il Fo happy hour is the food (go figure)! Whether you’re craving fresh veggies and dip or a warm and cheesy panini, the Il Forniao happy hour smorgasbord is a sight for hungry tummies. And the best part? The buffet is free with any drink purchase!
Keep reading for a sample of a few Sac Foodie favorites on the Il Fo menu.
Maria Chacon Kniestedt:
I have so many favorites at Il Fo – their Bruschetta al Pomodoro, the Conchiglie al Pollo, the Crema al Doppio Gusto. Plus my husband proposed to me there. What could be more special than that?
Well, no one has proposed to me at Il Fo (yet anyway), but it still holds a place in my heart. Their happy hour cheese panini bites can’t be beat, especially when paired with a glass of house Pinot Grigio for a budget-friendly $5.95. The enclosed patio is a lovely place to sit and catch up with friends over a glass of wine or if you prefer the bar, the bartenders are knowledgeable and attentive.
I thank my lucky stars for Il Fo every time we go on a business lunch. Now that 55 Degrees has closed, it is definitely my favorite restaurant within a short walk from our office (they used to be tied for first-favorite). I usually go for one of their specials for lunch, but their pizzas are also great. Plus, you simply can’t beat this place for happy hour. I heart Il Fo!
Kris Caputo Hurley:
I am picky about my Italian and I usually don’t rave about chain restaurants, but you can’t go wrong with Il Fo! I’m a big fan of the Panini di Melanzano (eggplant, roasted red pepper, provolone, tomato, lettuce and pesto sandwich) or the Insalata di Salmone from the lunch “window.” I also love sitting at the counter and indulging in the Fettuccine alla Bolognese or Pizza Margherita. Plus, there’s no friendlier face in town than Frank the bartender to serve you!
We are pretty spoiled to have such a great restaurant just a block away. While I’ve hit up the lunch counter a time or two (the Chef’s Salad with Gorganzola dress is delish), I much prefer to dine in. My two favorites are the Lasagna Ferrarese and Pennette all’ Amatriciana. Both are the perfect Italian comfort food, and if you get the Lasagna, it’s so rich, you can save half for dinner too!