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I L Palio Ristorante - 39 Reviews - 1505 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (919) 918-2545

I L Palio Ristorante

1505 E Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 918-2545
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I L Palio Ristorante - Chapel Hill, NC
I L Palio Ristorante - Chapel Hill, NC


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Il Palio has changed since the last time we were here back in the fall. I love the new floors and walls. The menu is more approachable and less expensive. My friends and I had ...


What's the fuss? The setting was formal to the point of pretentious, the service was slow, and the food was mediocre. Tomato and homemade ricotta sald was bland and undistinguis...

Overpriced and Awful 12/12/2011

This was our second dinning in 2 months at Il Palio. The first was an OK experience but not great. This last week was a total disaster! It took them over an hour to serve the second course, we were a party of 8. My pasta main course was overcooked with the consistency of rubber. My wife's fra diabalo was more like god awful. Never will I grace these doors again, it was a horrible $100 plus meal that Carraba's would never serve. more

Great atmosphere Great Food 4/3/2009

Il Palio has changed since the last time we were here back in the fall. I love the new floors and walls. The menu is more approachable and less expensive. My friends and I had a great time meeting the Chef and hearing that his menu is over 75% local. Pros: Wonderful Menu, great new look more

one of the worst places ever 3/18/2009

mama mia, what a bad place. This has nothing to do with an italian restaurant. Antipasti misti were sweet - which you might enjoy in this country, but believe me, that's not italian. Chicken was super salty. Gaspacho was solid. I had to apologize to my GF; lesson learned, never bring your GF to a place you've never been before. I'm half French, half Italian and I can say I know a little about food. This is just a wrong place, don't go Pros: nothing Cons: everything more

Chintzy atmosphere, hyped reputation, average food 1/8/2009

Went for pharmaceutical seminar with 40-50 other individuals present. Buffet style assembly line set-up. Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts. Delicious breads and rolls served to each table. Too much Gold finish and enamel fresh and unique design or furnishings to this ""highly reputable"" restaurant. Trying to ignore the ""bling"" and brass, we delved into our plates, which we had taken to the line and served our own food (other serviced business seminars had staff serving the set selections, cleaning and replenishing as needed). My table and I enjoyed the beef with marinara, flavorful basil, garlic, and thyme just right. But we ALL found the sweet potato gnocchi flavorless, chewy, and a waste of caloric intake ;b Dark chocolate dipped berries and perfectly ""hard candy"" topped creme brulee was fresh, silky, and delectable. Went back for many more desserts! Staff seemed ill-prepared for such a large group event, with presentations and speaking involved, and multiple displays and printed material handouts. People getting up and down to serve themselves was ridiculous protocol and opened the floor for many collisions and catastrophes with the electronic equipment, our tables and chairs, and screens everywhere.\r more

Amazing 5/25/2008

This is one of the best dining experiences I've ever had. Everything from the wine to the dessert was excellent. I was there to celebrate a special occasion and I picked a perfect place. The food was great. The service was good. There's nothing I can say bad about it, except possibly the cost. It's not a cheap restaurant. But for something special, this is definitely a place to splurge. Pros: Amazing food Cons: A little pricey more

a unique chapel hill experience 9/25/2007

I recently dined at Il Palio, and as always, I left with nothing but compliments for Chef Adam Rose, Sommelier Hailey Rose's pairings and the rest of the staff. I would love to have the recipe for the pesto chick pea spread that was served with the house made foccacia...the flavor combinations were perfect and the spread complimented the foccacia just wonderfully. That alone with a simple, yet delicious green salad would be a wonderful lunch or light dinner.\r \r I have traveled to the Tuscany Region and Siena, and hold the lovely meals I have had over the years at Il Palio with just as high regard as those I had in Italy. Pros: attentive service, seasonal menu, expert wine pairings more

best special occasion dining in chapel hill 9/24/2007

the food, ambience and service can't be beat for a special occasion dinner in chapel hill. service is outstanding - they always go the extra mile to do something special for a birthday or anniversary, just let them know you're celebrating!\r \r and the food is scumptious... try the chef's tasting menu. you won't be disappointed. totally worth the money! Pros: food, service, ambience, parking more

This place is not right... 6/21/2007

Before I type my review, let me say that I actually have been to Italia. \r I've dined all over - from Michelin star'd ristorante's in Milan to a centuries old small house just outside\r of Siena where the locals come to eat and drink caffe.\r \r This place is WRONG. Pasta was cold and hard - and yes, I do know what al dente means.. It means\r ""to the tooth"" and this was simply cooked incorrectly. \r \r Service was terrible. Not attentive at all. \r \r Wine list: all super-Tuscan wines are over-priced. Why should I pay $200 when I can get it at Southern Season for $45?? Typical margins in the industry is 1.7x to 2.5x, at the most!\r This is gentleman's club pricing.\r Also, a glass of a decent San Giovese should be offered at around $6-8 a glass...\r \r After 2 hours and $150 later, I'm COMPLETELY dissatisfied. The next day, I video-chatted with my\r friend in Siena about this experience. The friend said: ""remember the bad pizza americano you got\r in roma for 10 euros? you said that there are no pizzas like this in America.. well, my friend, you don't \r have Siena in America, either""\r \r \r \r \r \r Pros: High prices Cons: This list would be too long more

Best Special Occasion Restaurant in the triangle 1/12/2007

What a great find, with all the trendy, chic, new restaurants opening around the triangle it was a wonderful surprise to rediscover the Il Palio. The Italian food was authentic and the service was perfectly executed. The special occasion feel is alive and well, the servers are professional and knowledgeable, and the Sommelier is well versed and fun to talk to. more

Thursday Night Martinis 9/28/2006

Bar none, Il Palio has the best martinis in the Triangle. Every Thursday night is Martini night, all martinis are $6, an outstanding bargain when you consider the portion size and the craftsmanship with which it is prepared. So much better than spending twice as much for a thimbleful of liquor at other places. The selection of over 30 variations is impressive, running the gamut from a dirty vodka with gorgonzola stuffed olives to the sweeter Tuscan Sunrise. Delicious complimentary hors d'oeuvres seal the deal. The staff are knowledgeable, professional, and friendly, and the setting is top notch. Classy and opulent with leather chairs, marble tiles, and subdued lighting, the open seating in the lounge has an Old World feel and provides the perfect forum for friends to meet for a drink after work. Word has gotten out about Thursday Night Martinis at Il Palio, and it has become popular with the young professional crowd in the past few months. Bottom line: If you want to meet interesting people in a beautiful setting and enjoy a first class martini, look no further than the Il Palio in Chapel Hill. Pros: Great drinks, reasonable prices, beautiful atmosphere Cons: Get there around six pm if you want a place to sit! more

Great brunch 12/18/2005

We enjoyed our first visit to Il Palio for Sunday brunch. The hotel is small and European in feel, with fountains and statuary. Inside, it's elegant and the brunch is set in a corner of the lobby. The website's menu is almost exactly what was offered: numerous creative salads, carved meats, vegetables, antipasto cheeses and meats, and delightful little desserts such as tiramisu, raspberry pastries, and little individual chocolate cheesecakes. High points: carved tenderloin, roasted red potatoes, tomato salad, and hot pastas (penne with tomato and basil and tortellini.) This isn't the usual steam-table fare with cheap items just to fill you up faster and to inflate the item count. Add in free champagne starting at noon, a pianist on the baby grand, attentive service, and quaint dining rooms and the $24.95 is a great value. Pros: High quality items, Great value, Beautiful location Cons: None at all. more

Very enjoyable night 12/18/2005

I have to agree with several people that the negative reviews are most likely the result of an off night. The waiter was very friendly and attentive (but not too attentive). The ambience was classy and, for the most part, quiet. The bar piano was sometimes a bit louder than necessary, but not overbearing. The food was excellent. As far as the serving size, I had the scallops and was served 5 large scallops (a good serving). My date had the seabass and received 2 nice-sized strips. Along with an appetizer, a salad and dessert, we were both satisfied. All that, and a nice bottle of wine for only $130, I think it was very reasonable. Please don't decide not to go to this restaurant b/c of a couple of bad reviews. You will be missing out on a pleasurable dining experience. more

I'll join the fray...... 7/8/2004

There seems to be a big difference of opinion here. I have been to Il Palio several times over the past 4 years. This restaurant is absolutely top-notch in every area. Order the tasting menu and let it come! You will be treated to exquisite dishes paired with lovely wines. The sommelier will answer any question, and will even tell you where to obtain the wines you have locally. It lives in my ""big 3"" restaurants. Others: Xaviars in Piermont, NY and Toque in Montreal. Pros: the food, the wine Cons: , yeah, it costs.... more

Eat somewhere else 2/22/2004

Went for valentines day 2004. Had an 8:30 reservation and wasn't seated until after nine. They had a special limited menu yet it still took too long to get our food. When it did come, we were brought the wrong food three times. Getting our water refilled was a chore also. I'll never go back. more

Better wine expert 6/11/2003

We haven't been out to eat here since an awful experience with their old sommelier years ago. The ignorant ape clearly knew nothing of fine wine and ruined our evening with pushy, bad selections. I'm happy to report that the current sommelier has all the taste and expertise the last goon was missing. We loved our food, and the meal was complimented at every course by beautifully chosen wines. We're looking forward to dining here again regularly. more

food guy 2/25/2003

What's the fuss? The setting was formal to the point of pretentious, the service was slow, and the food was mediocre. Tomato and homemade ricotta sald was bland and undistinguished; the tomatos were unripe and the truffle vinaigrette was a non-presence. The hand made gnocchi tasted fresh but the Carolina Crab and Creamless Lobster Sauce was as boring as dry toast. The tiramisu was a pale imitation of a classic desert. I recognize that I only sampled a small number of dishes, but if the other dishes are similar, perhaps their motto should be ""Afraid of flavor"". Cons: Pretentious, boring, bland food, Expensive more

$$$$$ 2/7/2003

Alway an excellent dining experience, but the new chef takes it to a higher level. Then let them pair it with the right wine. Perfecto!! more

""Ill"" Palio 1/8/2003

In a less pretentious, mre reasonably priced environment, the meal I had would have been well below average -- at those prices the meal should have been excellent -- it wasn't. Overcooked scallops, gummy pasta, tasteless risotto, and a very subpar desert. Add to that a wine list that is inflated by about 15% and a truly annoying ""wandering"" guitarist I'll never be back -- Anyone that thinks this is the best resturant in the Triangle obviously have never been to Magnolia Grill, or Four Square or Second Empire or Mo's Diner or Bloomsbury Bistro ... or an Applebees for that matter. Cons: Bad Food, Overpriced more

Lives up to ratings 1/5/2003

I can't believe the negative ratings on this place. These people must have really hit it on a bad night, or totally mis-ordered. We had excellent, friendly service. The place is a little heavy on the decor, but not so much that it's stuffy. The scallops appetizer was killer, and the rack of lamb was also outstanding. The only mistake was the uncooked apple tart dessert, which was removed from the bill. Pros: service, Near a Nordstrom more

Double Score 12/26/2002

Il Palio deserves a 20, 10 for service, 10 for food! On both trips there, my wife, my friends, and I were treated to the ultimate in dining pleasure. The finest ingredients, perfectly blended to thrill the palate, and served so competently that you never were really aware of the service, but you never lacked for attention. The portions are more than generous, and my wife left a sizeable amount of her entree. The chef came to our table to make sure the food was up to her expectations! That is professional courtesy and service. We'll go often. Pros: Food Quality, Superb Service, Ambiance more
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Menu for I L Palio Ristorante

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  • In Short
    It's a hushed atmosphere: carpeted, columned and heavily curtained in rich colors reminiscent of an Italian villa. Servers glide around as they bring food promptly out of the...

  • 10/3/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-10pm, 11:30am-2pm, 6:30am-10am, Sun: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9pm, 6:30am-10am, Mon-Thu: 5:30pm-9pm, 11:30am-2pm, 6:30am-10am
  • Payments:

    American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa