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“A special occasion made even more special”
Review of Il Palio

Il Palio
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Ranked #15 of 315 Restaurants in Chapel Hill
Price range: US$31 - US$40
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Franklin St. and Estes Dr.
Description: Il Palio is an intimate restaurant located in the Siena Hotel. We strive to emulate the best of the great Italian tradition of hospitality and quality at the table and in the glass. Our vision is simple - use the best local and Italian ingredients as purely as possible and serve them with comfort and pride. We cook as an Italian might in North Carolina.
Reviewed 1 August 2016

My fiancee's children and I decided that we were going to make their mother's 50th birthday a night to remember, complete with limo, boutique hotel, a private shopping spree etc. We knew the meal would be the centerpiece of the evening, and looked at a number of restaurants before deciding on Il Palio..
The restaurant manager was the real “selling feature;” he made us feel welcomed, special, pampered and confident that all would go as planned The service was unparalleled, the food terrific, and the small touches added up to a big win for all.

As a seasoned businessman and attorney I appreciate exceptionality, If you are looking for a truly memorable evening, Il Palio is the best choice in the Triangle

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Thank GoldenJewell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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55 - 59 of 264 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2016

We had three breakfasts in a row here. Great ambiance. Comfy seating in high backed banquettes.Small earthen pots with fresh rosemary.The breakfast menu was awesome! They had avocado bruschetta, ricotta cheese pancakes, brioche french toast, and decadent salmon benedict.Service with a smile. Background music featured Frank Sinatra singing classics like Volare. Did not try the bar but it looked great too.

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Thank SheilaKentucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2016

I remember my last visit a few years ago as this elegant white table clothed restaurant that served up first class food in a first class environment. Situated in the Siena Hotel, the restaurant has undergone a trendy renovation and while the food is still spot on, the restaurant has become more casual ( no table cloths) and the service personnel have fallen victim to that same casualness. Mind you before one would have dressed a bit for this restaurant. Last evening there were guests in shorts. Upon my arrival with a reservation, the hostess proclaimed " come on I have a great table your you guys" . ( really .."you guys") The bussing staff seem to be trained at a diner clearing the tables in a way that makes you want to hurry up and get out. The menu is presented on a large sheet of paper ( much like Maggianos ) . To their credit they have a great wine selection. I guess they are trying to attract a more casual crowd . So be it but a shame that the Siena Hotel ( an Autograph Marriott) didn't want to offer a dining experience a little more unique. A simple dinner for two with a glass of wine and dessert with tip $135. I would rather spend that in a nicer environment. The bar attached is lovely but here again, young inexperienced staff that have little knowledge . I think if they are not serving formula recipe drinks , they are lost. I asked for a port and the waiter brought me an Italian port to try. I had to tell him that at 12% alc content did not qualify it as a fortified wine or port. So maybe it was just an off night all around or young summer staff but if I were an investor in this place , I would look at the total experience and ask some serious questions.

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1  Thank shane n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2016

Dined with a friend on 7/2. Lovely, quiet restaurant. Service was outstanding. Our waitress (wish I could recall her name) was very knowledgeable about the menu and and wine and made recommendations. At her suggestion I ordered the grilled swordfish (fresh off the boat from Beaufort NC and very delicious) but I mentioned that the sea bass preparation with capers & olives sounded appetizing. So she brought a cup of capers and olives side with my swordfish so I could have that too. The kitchen sent my chicken liver crostini appetizer to the wrong table, so they not only delivered my chicken liver they also added a white bean crostini (at no charge) so my dining companion had an appetizer too, since the appetizer was delayed. I really wanted to have the gelato dessert but we were too full after the appetizer, pasta primi, and the main course, but our waitress brought 6 spoons with a taste of each of the 3 gelato flavors for the 2 of us to try. She was awesome -- paid attention to what we said and, very unexpectedly, treated us to some nice extras. It's a lovely fine dining restaurant. Prices are what you'd expect for fine dining, but very worth the cost as the food and service are both outstanding.

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Thank NC2Chicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2016

Went here for a b-day celebration. Saw the menu online and was inspired by the seemingly authentic preparations. We are Italian property owners and spend a bit of time in Italy and we have to say, in our opinion, this was the most authentic Italian mean we have had in NC in our 8 years here. The restaurant is located inside the Siena Hotel, but don't let this scare you. Warm ambiance, though could use some more art and perhaps Italian music in the background (I think they had musak jazz, very soft). The menu was filled was too many items to order, which almost never happens. This is not your chain Italian restaurant, where everything is covered in cheese and garlic. They open with about 15 different bruschettas that are $3- per piece. We got 7 of them and they brought us a complementary chicken liver pate'. All were perfect for sharing and a great beginning. The pesto and the chickpea were especially good. My wife enjoyed the baccala. I had the Pici pasta, which is not easily found in NC, while my wife had the mussels with a soffrito broth. we split the calamari primi, which amazingly was not fried, but rather perfectly prepared with capers and raisins and olives. she then had the sea bass and pietro, an older napoleon gentleman, deboned the fish. amazingly, they had a cacao e pepe and spaghetti we didn't order, along with bistecca and other meats and fishes. the pastas have a large and small size. We found the prices extremely reasonable. If I have a complaint, I would say the desserts were a bit lacking for us. I ordered the warm chocolate cake in advance, topped with pistachio gelato, while my wife had the honey gelato. Her gelato had some ice chips in it, an absolute no no, meaning the temperature is too low and they freezing in advance. My cake was molten, but came up a bit on the salty side for me. Authentic coffees, a nice grappa and homemade limoncello were also enjoyed. Wine list is authentic Italian and in the $30-50 range (can go higher). We brought a bottle from home and knew about the $25- corkage fee in advance (which is waived many times). In fact, we were not charged a corkage.
Overall, almost a 5, but the desserts dip this down to a 4. Very attentive staff, well organized, not rushed. We spent 3 hours enjoying our time. For a real taste of Italy locally, this is by far the place to go.

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Thank GrappaKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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