When you are ready to take a break from the Olive Gardens and Macaroni Grills of the world, Il Forno is a Lakeland restaurant that has the authenticity you’ve been craving. The Italian eatery’s location was once perfect. Directly across from the best movie theater in town, it got plenty of traffic just from those who wanted to make it a dinner/movie night. The movie theater is long closed, however, leaving Il Forno to share its parking lot with discount stores like Marshall’s and Ross. Still, this doesn’t seem to have stopped business from booming. When you build a reputation the way Il Forno has, you don’t need walk-by traffic.
Of course, Il Forno excels in providing the best in Italian offerings from all possible categories. While the food is richer and more carefully thought out than anything you’re going to get at a national chain, you needn’t feel as though you need to prepare your palate for a shock. The restaurant isn’t aiming to bring in exclusive snobs, but instead to offer a viable step up from the Italian restaurants most American consumers are used to frequenting. And to that end, it is wildly successful. The winner of the Ledger’s Golden Plate award for Best Pepperoni Pizza, Il Forno has something to suit the food lover in your family.
Il Forno offers a number of appetizer choices, but you’re making a mistake if you don’t try the garlic knots. Warning: these are very greasy and extremely garlic-y. If you are on a first date, you might want to forgo these in favor of bruschetta or fried calamari. The restaurant’s cornerstone is probably their pizza, which is always a good choice for families dining out together. Dinners include a wonderful eggplant parmagiani, veal piccatta, and chicken francese, among others. You may also want to check out their “pastabilities”, which include their peerless fettuccine alfredo. For dessert—if you have room—you may as well just skip the formalities and go straight for the NY style cheesecake. It makes the perfect finisher to an excellent Italian meal.
3615 Florida 570
Lakeland, FL 33803
After eating at Il Forno, you may decide you’re ready to try cooking your own Italian dish. Use one of these Italian cookbooks to get started.