239 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT | Directions 8410240.763855 -111.876508
Neighborhoods: Central City
Your new favorite – Al Forno?s is real Italian. We started out with a bruschetta combination. Instead of tomato and cheeses on a traditional thin, dry slice of bread, this bruschetta comes on a thick chewy half roll, warm and fresh. It?s absolutely delicious and the stuff that you find yourself craving days after you?ve last tasted it.
Our dinners were the linguini fradiavolo and the lasagna verde. The linguini fradiavolo is made with ?Prawns, garlic & herbs in a spicy tomato sauce? and has just the right balance of garlic and tomato on top of linguini cooked to the perfect consistency: not hard and crunchy, not soft and mushy. In most Italian restaurants, the tomato based sauces rest on the tomato to carry the flavor. But the sauce on the linguini fradiavolo is thin (in a good way) and full of flavor, the tomato simply adding to the nutty garlic and spices, rather than overpowering it.
The lasagna verde is a traditional vegeterian lasagna with layers of firm pasta and cheeses with thin bits of spinach, smothered in a homemade tomato sauce. Again, the pasta was well cooked and the balance of cheeses was just right, the flavor overall mild and perfectly complimentary. I prefer my lasagna a little more unusual (lasanga bolognese anyone?) because most traditional lasagna?s have no imagination at all and the flavor suffers, but Al Forno?s follows the old adage of using the best ingredients in order to carry a traditional recipe, and the lasagna shines because of it.
Al Forno?s has a small, simple wine menu with a few selections to perfectly compliment the food. The chianti that we selected added just the right flavor to the overall experience. The staff is very attentive and knowledgeable and is a lot of fun to talk to, the food brought out in a clean, simple presentation. The atmosphere is very low key and relaxed, but surprisingly classy given the strip-mall exterior.
lifetimepilingup. wordpress. com
RUDE, RUDE, RUDE! – Worst service ever!!! The woman working there had a serious attitude problem! And that is hard to imagine since she works in a restaurant with horrible italian food; soggy noodles and all.
Go here if you want to meet some really awful people and to be overcharged.
Busy, and deservedly so – Always, busy, you park on the side. This can be bad in stormy weather for mud and potholes.
Narrow and long with small tables, the food is always good. Never had anything improperly cooked or with off flavors. Great for dates and small intimate meals. Seating is poor for bigger groups.
Try to avoid the bathroom. It's an afterthought, small cramped, and a nto up to the level of the restaurant.
Great Italian for anyone who realizes that Olive Garden is as authentic as Taco Bell – Wonderful pasta al-dente. Tasted two different types of their stuffed pastas, and the meat dishes were succulent, savory, and had wonderful gravy like sauce that I am still telling my friends about. Authentic mozzarella. Everything tasted great!
If you want salty and heavy go to Olive Garden. These dishes are not meant to fill you up, instead they are meant to satisfy your pallet. Very tasty and light. Italians eat in courses, so one dish might not be enough for the hardy American eater. The food is top quality, so you won't leave feeling bloated. Be prepared to sample the menu if you want to leave feeling stuffed.
Not what I expected – I had the Al Forno's pasta. It was described as a meat and 4 cheese pasta stack with a "light" tomato sauce. Lets start with the sauce, my very first impression was watered down tomato soup. The meat in this dish was a grey paste with no real taste or texture. We now come to the 4 cheeses. Yes there was cheese in the dish but I have no idea what as there was no real flavor to enjoy. The Parmesan cheese that was served on the side must have came out of a can. I tasted the parmesan they serve at the collage cafeteria where I work and it had far more flavor. (it comes in 5lb. sacks preground) This is a restaurant where you don't have to worry about not liking the food there is nothing there to care about one way or another.
This warm and stylish Italian bistro is a fine place to spark a little love. – The Scene
Never mind the strip-mall exterior--Al Forno's is stylish inside and buzzing with activity. The ambience is modern and casual. While it can feel a bit crowded, the small booths for two are perfect for quiet conversation.
Start with the delicious vongole al pomodoro (Manila clams sauteed with a light garlic and tomato sauce). Pasta dishes are satisfying, but purists might say they're over-sauced. However, the freshly baked, crusty rolls set out at the beginning of the meal are perfect for sopping up the simple-but-flavorful sauces of the hearty dishes. The spinach cannelloni is rich and decadent with creamy Asiago sauce, and fettuccini Bolognese is full of robust tomato flavor. The popular pollo aurora (a rolled chicken breast filled with cheese, pancetta and spinach) is smothered in a creamy tomato sauce.
Great Place for Italian – Don't be put off by reviewers that don't know a good thing - No this isn't Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill - It's nice not to be rushed in and out, and have time to enjoy the food and atmosphere. I've never been disappointed at Al Forno's and Utah needs more places like this.
Aweful!!!!!!! – I went there cravig Italian, and have never been before. The ambience is very nice, but our server was very slow. The busboy was more helpful than him. My friend ordered lasagna that was very small, lukewarm and cost 12.00??!! He makes an awesome veg lasagna that blows their's to bits.
I had some pasta (cost $13.00)that was vinegary and disgusting. I only took two bites and and asked for a to go bag. I could of made it at home for less than 3x the price. You don't even get a salad or soup along with it. I have heard of it going downhill for the last few years. But I wanted to walk out, it soured my experience there so bad.
Not true Italian food, that's for sure. But if you like good ambience, bad service and very avg food, by all means.
Good Italian – While not as cheap as it used to be, Al Forno's is a great restaurant. The service is a little lacking, but the food is great. They have wonderful spinach salad and roquefort dressing; for appetizers, the clams and the mozarella are also quite good. I would suggest avoiding the lasagna and pizza, but most other pasta dishes are spectacular. My favorites are the tortellini pesto and the linguini fradiavlo. Bolognese and pepperoni are good, as well. Good for groups or dates.
Valentines Disappointment – My fiance and I waited a whole hour for our main course. Our drinks needed refilling and our plates piled up as they were not taken off our table. Our server was not to be seen for the whole hour on the floor, as I only saw her three times, trying to get her attention about our drinks and appetizer. She was unfriendly and unpersonable. The hostess was unprofessional while the busboys flirted with her next to us as we sat right next to the hostess. The room was cold even after they tried to turn the heat on. The food was not worth the hour long wait and the slow service made us late for events after dinner. I can understand being busy on Valentines Day and for a Saturday, but preparing for a slam is common sense, it is as though one cook was in the kitchen.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Al Forno's Ristorante on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.