2121 Golden Centre Ln Ste #10, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670, (916) 858-0651

Ever have one of those days, where you're so deluged with assignments and surrounded by raving idiots that you don't know whether to start screaming, "Serenity Now!" (tm: Seinfeld) or crawl under your desk and curl up in a ball? That was my day today. After noting that I had so many cases on my desk that I appeared to be entombed in my cubicle, my wonderful co-worker took pity on me and suggested that we go out to dinner.

Once the prison yard bell rang... ummm, I mean, after finishing up in the office, we jetted over to a nearby strip mall where overshadowed by a mammoth Bel Air is a cute little trattoria in Gold River called Il Forno Classico. My coworker had visited this establishment before for their wine bar, but never for dining. It was still pretty early when we got there but we were greeted immediately at the front by a young man with a friendly smile and a strategically mussed hairdo, who ended up being our waiter (I think his name was Garrett?). He did a superb job of facilitating our meal. When asked which were better the crab cakes or the ahi for a starter, he recommended the crab cakes without missing a beat. The crab cakes were indeed quite tasty and I liked the pesto aioli topping. Also, he was quite conscientious about keeping our glasses full (we had vacillated between the Cakebread and Rombauer Chardonnays and finally opted to go with the Cakebread). During our meal, our server was the perfect balance of personable without being obtrusive. I appreciated that there was enough down time between courses that I didn't feel rushed, but not too much time where I was inclined to look around with a ravenous "Where the heck is our food?" expression.

Il Forno's menu showcases your standard California-Italian fare such as salads, pizzas, steak, pastas, chicken and wood fired pizzas. Entrees were reasonably priced from $11- $20 and appetizers from $8 -$14. I had a hard time deciding between the cioppino or the chicken scaloppini for my dinner. I finally went with the latter which came with a delectable marsala wine sauce intermingled with pieces of mushroom, garlic and bacon. This was served with creamy mashed potatoes and a side of green beans. The chicken would have been better had it been cut in medallions and the green beans were a tad salty, but overall it was a good meal. The coworker took a different approach and succumbed to the calling of some rich looking pasta---more specifically the artichoke and spinach ravioli accompanied by chicken, proscuitto and a lemon cream sauce. From the content sighs I heard radiating from the other end of the table; I will assume that the pasta was equally gratifying.

The restaurant boasts that it carries several hundred different kinds of wine and from the extensive wine list that I perused, I don't doubt it. They do also offer a wine tasting night on Thursdays from 6pm-9pm. This would be a great place to bring your favorite wine connoisseur. If I'm ever cursed with another rough day working for the Man, hopefully it'll be on a Thursday so I can have an excuse to hang out in the 'burbs and sample some wines at the IFC.
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