Il Fornaio (Café)

Overall Rating: 7.100

Address: Ocean Ave.
Cross Street(s): Monte Verde St., at the Pine Inn
City, State ZIP: Carmel, CA 93921
Neighborhood: Carmel-by-the-Sea
Phone: 831.622.5100
Hours: M-Th 11:30am-10pm; F 11:30am-11pm; Sa-Su 9am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Faema
Coffee Rating: 7.00
Aroma: 8
Body: 6
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Homer Laughlin
Price: $1.69
Last Update: 01/26/2013
First Reviewed: 03/18/2006
Notes: Coffee Sales

This review is specifically for the espresso at the Il Fornaio café, which serves breakfast and lunch. In the entryway from the Pine Inn, this circular, wooden space sells Il Fornaio bakery items, espresso, and some lunch fare (salads, sandwiches). A round space with a fireplace, old photos, and a domed glass ceiling that magnifies conversations across the room like an echo chamber. Using a three-group Faema E91 Ambassdor, they pull shots with a very dark brown, somewhat thin crema. The crema is surprisingly dark - a la Chicago's Intelligentsia. It has a pungent, herbal flavor and is served in Il Fornaio-logo HLC cups. Their milk frothing runs very dry, but it's of appropriately small bubbles. Surprisingly, one of the best espresso options in Carmel-by-the-Sea.