I first learned about Il Forno Italian Restaurant in Lakeland via Facebook. They have one of the most active pages among the many Polk County restaurants I follow. After seeing all their photographs of mouth-watering food, my wife and I visited for lunch recently.
The decor is very tasteful with tile floors and Old-World-style details. Our hostess gave us a friendly welcome and seated us promptly (we arrived early and were among the first customers). We enjoyed the opera music playing on the sound system – it was a little loud when we arrived but our hostess voluntarily turned down the volume – it was a nice touch and we appreciated Il Forno providing a different style of music than most restaurants.
The menu offers a variety of pizza options as well as lunch/dinner entrees. We both started with a bowl of pasta fagioli soup and received delicious complimentary breadsticks with the soup. I had never really had pasta fagioli soup before. This had a lot of flavor, a very good way to start our meal. Two iced teas to drink.
For our main course, I ordered one of my favorite Italian dishes, Chicken parmigiana with spaghetti. My wife ordered penne with garlic chicken and broccoli. This was some really wonderful food. Our portions were hearty but not too much for lunch. The chicken with both of our meals was tenderly cooked and not overdone. The tomato sauce with my spaghetti was a bit more watery than I like, but the flavor was still excellent and it didn’t overwhelm the spaghetti.
All in all a very good show! Friendly service, delicious food, and with tip our total was about $33, quite reasonable for the entrees, soup and beverages. The next time you’re in the mood for Italian food, give Il Forno Italian Restaurant a try. They are located in the Merchants Walk shopping center on South Florida Avenue, just north of the Polk Parkway.
If we have inspired you to visit the Il Forno Italian Restaurant, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!