Il Fornaio Cucina Italiana Carmel-by-the-Sea
Corner of Ocean and Monte Verde
Carmel, CA 93921
Contact: Private Events
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Why We Like This Place
Perched on a gentle rise in the heart of enchanting Carmel-by-the-Sea, the century-old Pine Inn has attracted generations of travelers and honeymooners with its nostalgic charm. In 1995, the Inn gave its guests a more gustatory reason to stop by and stay awhile: Il Fornaio. Many of you know them as the folks who bake some of the finest bread around. They also happen to be the restaurant behind many of Carmel’s most delectable weddings and special events.
You can’t see Il Fornaio from the street, but it’s easy to find: Just follow the pretty brick path to the Pine Inn’s multitiered courtyard, stroll past the colorful flowers and quaint shops and voilà—you’re there. The aroma of fresh-baked bread mingled with roasted coffee beans beckons you into the café, known as “the Rotunda” for its high, round skylit ceiling. Comfortable banquettes surround this bright and cheery room, decorated with rustic cooking paraphernalia and black & white prints of Carmel’s early days. You’re tempted to settle in next to the grand brick fireplace with some biscotti and a copy of Il Fornaio’s own cookbook. This is not your typical setting for a corporate dinner or reception, but the Rotunda has a built-in coffee bar and a friendly Old World ambiance that encourages mingling and lighthearted conversation.
Continue on into the main restaurant and feast your eyes on the long exhibition kitchen replete with mesquite grill, wood-burning oven, rotisserie, and accomplished Italian chefs creating scrumptious dishes. Dark hardwood floors and a commanding brick hearth topped with copper pots reflect the room’s classic simplicity. You and your guests relax at the tables and chairs arranged between the kitchen and the long marble bar against the opposite wall, and as you peer out of the tall windows overlooking the town, you can’t help feeling the real action is right here.
Il Fornaio also offers two private rooms that capture the traditional charm of Carmel. Tucked away from the main restaurant, the Sun Room has two walls of multipaned windows that afford an up-close garden view. The sun’s rays play across whitewashed walls and a sloped ceiling, lending a cozy elegance to this intimate space. Next door, the larger Ocean Avenue Room has both open beams and a wooden inset ceiling, and generous windows keep the room awash in a natural glow. Your event can flow easily out the French doors to the lovely Piazza, cradled by pine trees and planters filled with seasonal blooms and ficus. A slice of ocean view completes the romantic atmosphere, and many couples tie the knot against this lush backdrop.
Then there’s the food. Il Fornaio, which translates as “the Baker,” began in 1971 as a Milano cooking school bent on preserving the centuries-old tradition of Italian baking. Il Fornaio prides itself on authentic Italian fare, and every aspect of your meal is bound to satisfy, from the first dip of the heavenly bread into virgin olive oil to the last sip of cappuccino. Add roasted meats and grilled fish to the traditional Italian offerings, and you have a menu to please any discriminating guest.
As if superb cuisine and attractive spaces aren’t enticing enough, Il Fornaio also offers the services of an event coordinator. This position is dedicated solely to ensuring that every detail is taken care of and that you and your guests feel like part of the Il Fornaio family…ahhh, now that’s Italian!
Max. Seated Indoors: 100
Max. Seated Outdoors: 70
Max. Seated Indoors: 250
Max. Seated Outdoors: 50
Max. Standing Indoors: 350
Max. Standing Outdoors: 70
|Max. Seated: 70|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Piazza and Ocean Avenue Room each hold 70 seated guests, and combined, can accommodate up to 100 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Various rooms can accommodate 30–130 seated or 50–200 standing indoors, and 50 seated or 70 standing outdoors on the Piazza. The entire restaurant holds 250 seated or 350 standing.
MEETING CAPACITY: There are 2 spaces that hold 15–70 seated guests.
Fees & Deposits
To reserve your date, a credit card guarantee is required. Luncheons run $20–28/person and dinners $35–60/person. Tax, beverages and a 20% service charge are extra. The balance is payable at the event’s conclusion unless the event runs over $5,000. In that case, you’re required to prepay the estimated total 7 days prior to the event.
Year-round, daily, 7am–midnight.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided, no BYO
Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: provided, no BYO
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