I celebrated my birthday a couple of months ago. I had a decision to make about where I wanted to eat. I knew I wanted Italian food, but I wasn’t sure which Italian restaurant I wanted to visit. I hadn’t been to either Il Forno or Zucca 83 in McAllen, Texas so I focused on those two. I checked out their websites and read a few reviews to help me decide.
Both appeared to be good options, as from their websites they appeared to have high quality standards and attention to detail.
The menu at Il Forno appeared to have more authentic food descriptions, and so that is the criteria that I used to decide where we went. However, the differences were minute.
It was a Wednesday night, and we arrived around 7:00 PM. The waitstaff was very pleasant and attentive. We received prompt service and the waiter checked in on us several times during our meal. We were very pleased with the service we received. I think I recall being asked if we had a reservation, but we hadn’t made one. Because it was early evening, I did not expect to have a problem, and if we had, we already had a second restaurant selected.
The restaurant was almost full and there were both small and large dining groups. It is a long rectangular space. At the entrance you have booths on the left, and standard tables on the front. In the middle of the restaurant you have a bar on the left and tall tables across from it, and at the end of the restaurant you have the clay pizza oven on the left, and an entrance for food to go on the right. Past the oven is the kitchen.
We had an early dinner. There was only one person at the bar, and the pizza station did not have a lot of traffic while we were there. I can imagine that if both of those stations had a few more customers, the noise level may have been a bit high, however during our dinner, the atmosphere was quite nice.
I guess this is where a reservation would perhaps be helpful. If you had a preference as to where you would want to sit, you could probably specify it at the time you placed your reservation.
The restaurant looked great. Everything was nice and clean and it obvious that they want to provide great service in a very pleasant environment.
We started our meal with an appetizer. We chose a caparese salad. My husband really liked it, but for me the mozzarella had a bit too much moisture and consequently softer than what I expect of a mozzarella cheese.
For entrees, we chose pizza and lasagna. The lasagna was super delicious, but the pizza was even better. The sauce was actually more flavorful on the pizza then on the lasagna.
The ingredients on both were fresh, but this was more obvious on the pizza because of the topping’s vibrant colors. I would have liked the pizza to have been slightly thicker, but other than that, I was extremely pleased.
Overall, I was convinced that the food was prepared with authenticity, and we loved it!
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This restaurant review is an opinion, and no remuneration was offered or solicited, unless otherwise noted here.