Taverna Banfi

4.7
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1042 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
A Tuscan Inspired Italian Restaurant In Ithaca, NY
Tuscan culture embraces a cuisine that is inspired by availability and accessibility. At Taverna Banfi, our seasonal menus reflect this attitude. Located at the heart of Cornell University campus, our casual fine dining atmosphere is perfect for entertaining family, friends, and clients visiting Cornell University and the Finger Lakes region.

What 1042 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EL
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Have eaten here every time I visit Cornell. Student run - good service & quality food. The ala carte selections are excellent but the breakfast & brunch buffets are a great choices. This service and staff are mostly students learning the business so the service can be spotty but overall it is fine. One of the better food choices in the area and well worth the cost.

AK
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on 17 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, a most pleasant experience with delicious food and excellent service.

OT
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience3

I have been to Banfi’s before for breakfast and brunch, and both the food and service had been exceptional in those experiences. Tonight, however, it was like visiting a different restaurant. The food overall was exceptional, I just wasn’t thrilled with my entree (the short rib pasta dish). My date’s shrimp scampi, the calamari, and the brushetta were all fantastic. As for the service, our server was pleasant but took very long to come to our table periodically. I couldn’t tell if it was due to shortstaffing/choices made that were out of our server’s control, or if she was not able to handle the workload of the evening. Regardless, we will be back.

AA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent brunch!

MR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Brunch was excellent. Both breakfast foods and lunch were all very well prepared. Crepes was very notable as was the salmon. Highly recommended

PV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food is of good quality; the service is very good; the place is quiet with nice ambiance

OT
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Valentines Day. The student/employees were polite, cheerful and enthusiastic, but some requests had to be made several times before they were met—for example coffee arrived without spoon, cream, or sweetener, and got cold before these necessities were provided

KM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Went for Valentine’s Day, service was quick, they gave us chocolate covered strawberries as a gift when the bill came out (everyone got them) which was really nice, food was great as always. Would go again

d
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was first class!

D
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

First time guests - beautiful setting, great staff - so polite. Food wonderful. Good prices. We will return.

KB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 2 February 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The brunch was great

C
1 review
Dined on 28 January 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Making the reservation by phone was the most difficult part, as the first woman we spoke with refused to give any time estimate whatsoever for how long dinner might take. This was very un-helpful since we were trying to determine whether we could eat at 5:30 and make a 6:45 movie on campus. Despite this lack of help, we decided to proceed, had an absolutely wonderful meal and made it to our movie. But it would have been nice to be provided with an informed average time estimate when we asked for one.

J
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We very much enjoyed our dinners at Taverna Banfi. Service was excellent and the food was great. We liked it so much we went back the next night for an encore! We enjoyed sharing the fresh mozzarella with parma ham and bruschetta appetizers. The main courses included NY strip, rib eye, salmon, and three of the pasta dishes. All were prepared properly and good portions.

BS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to go before the hockey game. Excellent service and food. True taste of Cornell .

OT
1 review
Dined on 15 January 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience4

No main dishes in the buffet that were non-dairy. Staff realized I was not finding anything to eat- didn't care. Went back to the menu while my partner was already sitting with her food- waitress didn't seem to care or be in any rush to serve me while my partner was waiting. I asked her if there's any bread or anything that I can have in the meantime- she said "go to the buffet"- very rude, she knew I just back from there empty-handed.
We paid with a gift voucher, yet the waitress was clueless about how to process the payment- she wanted us to fill a form with the breakdown of the payment between voucher, remaining balance and tip. We asked if we can just leave cash to cover the remaining balance and tip- she was confused. We asked if she wants us to leave a credit card instead of cash- she said "I'll be right back" and disappeared.
I've dined at the Banfi numerous times. This time I was disappointed

SC
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our family of four had a most excellent and delicious time at the Banfi Brunch. Absolutely everything and everyone was simply outstanding. Not only our own wait person, the most excellent Rose, but other folks who knew who we were from past visits like Mouro Sow, were most welcoming and supportive. The atmosphere is so very relaxed, soothing and elegant. We'll be back in three weeks for another family birthday:)

JP
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 10 January 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Our server Annie was attentive and prompt. Very nice experience.

LH
1 review
Dined on 22 December 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Went for the Sunday Brunch - Food is excellent, service was good - but getting a cocktail menu was surprisingly weird - had to ask if they had one, waiter seemed taken aback by question. It's Brunch! Brunch=Cocktails! Got menu finally, but then waited 'til second plate of food before got the actual drink. They're very quick to remove used plates which is nice. Staff (other than hostess) was very, very nice. It's pricey, but a nice treat.

AD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 19 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The gnocchi was outstanding!

OT
1 review
Dined on 19 December 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

My friends and I opted for the lunch buffet, which is always excellent. My favorite is the dessert buffet. We were seated immediately after presenting our reservation, and our waitress was kind and patient.

OT
1 review
Dined on 7 December 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I ordered the halibut. I thought it was a bit dry. Also we were handed the tablet to look at the wine menu and we were not told whether we were supposed to put our order in through the tablet or with the waiter. So it confused us got a moment. The calamari was excellent. All in all I’d rate our experience as good, not great.

TC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 5 December 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The way dining is meant to be...an enjoyable experience all around.

SC
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on 24 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had such a lovely time celebrating our future son-in-law's birthday. We had not mentioned this special event, and Julia, the ever cordial and welcoming hostess, made sure we left with a piece of birthday cake
beautifully packaged for him:) We had a totally delightful experience in every way:) Thank you!

UF
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 21 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal, service and overall experience!

PD
1 review
Dined on 19 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I always know I will be well cared for when seated at one of Kandy's tables.

l
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on 18 November 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Attentive, professional service, buffet offers wide variety of well prepared foods, providing very good value. Definitely worth considering.

MD
1 review
Dined on 16 November 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Our meal was very good. Our server did not seem very knowledgable about the wine menu, disappointing and surprising since we were at Banfi. There were a couple tables with loud or crying babies/toddler that was inappropriate for the level of restaurant; this is not a fast food place.

AK
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 14 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, delicious food, excellent service, professional staff. I always enjoy!

NM
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 10 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful brunch menu! Beautiful, friendly, comfortable. Highly recommend!

DS
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on 9 November 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Service was great, halibut one of the best I have tasted. Slightly disappointed in salmon, but everything else was great. Sat immediately, nice wine selections.

HJ
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it. Highly recommend

CO
1 review
Dined on 4 November 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had a lovely meal in a great setting. Our server was wonderful

T
New York Area
101 reviews
Dined on 3 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic buffet brunch. Great value. Our go-to when visiting Cornell.

P
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice assortment and good quality food. Very comfortable restaurant

YW
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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CB
New York Area
91 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience3

Unbelievable Sunday brunch! Come hungry & enjoy.

MT
New York Area
35 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding. The service was impeccable. We loved our experience with Sunday brunch.

DD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Host took our name then forgot it. Forgot to bring kids menu as we asked. 15 minutes before waiter came/no water during. Found a hair in pasta. Expected a lot more from famed hotel school.

F
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service...5 stars. A must if visiting Ithaca or Cornell.

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 11 October 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food as ever, with pleasant service to match. Casual atmosphere, comfortable and convenient, it's always a pleasure to eat here. The wine list includes nice local selections, which we always enjoy trying.