A few weeks back my mom asked me to find a delicious brunch spot for the family to gather for Mother’s Day. After much deliberation and visits to Open Table, I finally decided on Il Fornaio in Irvine as the perfect brunch spot that was centrally located and would appease everyone’s palate.
When we sat down to brunch we immediately ordered a bottle of prosecco for the table (because why not?) and began perusing the menu.
We quickly realized that there were no brunch items at all listed on the menu, but just the traditional restaurant menu items such as pizza, salad and pasta. My mom and I were quite confused since we had both been informed when making the reservation there would be a more traditional “brunch” style menu with eggs, etc. After consulting with the manager it turns out there was no brunch menu this year due to a last-minute decision on the restaurant’s part, and instead they were serving their lunch menu. While I appreciated him explaining this, it would’ve been nice if the restaurant had informed me of this fact prior to me making a reservation, especially since I had my heart set on a delicious brunch feast!
With eggs and muffins out of the picture, I decided on a margarita pizza to split with the Englishman and the house salad with Gorgonzola dressing (they were out of antipasto which broke my heart a bit). The salad came with avocado, cucumber, tomato, cannellini beans and lettuce.
The salad was good and the dressing complemented it nicely. It was light and refreshing and definitely went well with the second glass of prosecco that was being poured.
The margarita pizza had a nice thin crust (which I love) and was dripping in delicious cheese, this was great because then I found out that the restaurant also offers a pizza delivery service.
I only had a few slices of the pizza and the Englishman and my dad helped to finish it off. While it was good, I think next time I’ll order the vegetarian version which came with eggplant, zucchini, mushroom and artichoke.
My favorite dish of the day was the Englishman’s breaded chicken sandwich. I was happy he was so nice about sharing his sandwich with me because I definitely found myself wishing I had ordered that instead of the pizza.
The sandwich was pretty simple – breaded chicken on a ciabatta roll with a nice spread of aioli. But since the chicken was prepared so well, it came out nice and juicy and the aioli really helped to enhance the flavor. My aunt got the sandwich as well, and it was clearly a winner among the group.
Overall, brunch/lunch at Il Fornaio was a success. Even though I didn’t get my traditional brunch with an omelette station, I still enjoyed a nice lunch that left my tastebuds happy. And I got to spend the day surrounded by loved ones, which is really all a girl could ask for.
Il Fornaio – Irvine
18051 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92612