The first Il Fornaio opened at Levi Plaza in 1981 in its original incarnation as simply a wonderful Italian bakery. While the store was being built out, they had a cart on the street (Sansome) selling pastries, including one I became addicted to – Focaccia al uva. Seven years later the first Il Fornaio restaurant opened in Corte Madera Town Center, and almost 25 years later it’s still busy morning through night.
Weekday mornings they open their “Panetteria” at 6:30 to serve coffee and pastries to the morning work-out crowd at the Bay Club, and others who are off early to work. They also have ready-made sandwiches and drinks to-go. Weekends the Panetteria opens at 8:30, and then the restaurant with its wonderful brunch menu at 9:00.
Once they open for lunch, they serve continuously until closing, which makes it a great place to eat if you like to eat a really late lunch, or meet someone for drinks or dessert and coffee mid-afternoon. You can eat in the bar or sit down in the dining area – they serve both places. In the bar you just have to place your order with the bartender.
One of the menu items I like the best is their pizza – nice thin crust with a great texture. On the drink menu, their Tuscan Lemonade is terrific. I also like that they’re open later than most restaurants in Marin, both during the week and on the weekends, and in nice weather they’ve got outdoor dining.
Where: 223 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, CA 94925 (map)
Panneteria (Morning Coffee/Pastry Service):
Weekdays from 6:30 / Weekends from 8:30
Mon. – Thu. 11:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Fri. 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m
Sun. 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.