I've been working on a blog post about the Il Fornaio restaurant chain, but it looks like quarrygirl.com, a Los Angeles-based blog for vegans, had the same idea. I'm attaching a link to the quarrygirl.com blog (http://www.quarrygirl.com/2011/08/21/vegan-chain-dining-il-fornaio/), but in addition, here is what I have learned about vegan menu options at Il Fornaio, which is one of my favorite chain restaurants.
Il Fornaio offers a special menu each month featuring the cuisine of a particular region of Italy. I have always been impressed that their regional menus state specifically which dishes are vegan, if any, and in some cases, what can be done to make the dish vegan. For example, the menu will indicate that a certain salad or soup is vegetarian, but can be made vegan by leaving off the croutons. The only thing listed on their regular menu as specifically vegan, however, is their minestrone soup. In response to an e-mail I sent Il Fornaio, I was told that their marinara sauce is vegan as well, and that the chef would be willing to work with a vegan customer to come up with a suitable menu option.
I almost always order the same thing when I'm there, the Insalata Della Casa, which is a chopped salad consisting of romaine, radicchio, cannellini beans, avocado, cucumber, and tomato. It's supposed to come with a gorgonzola dressing, but I always have them substitute a balsamic vinaigrette.
Of course, the best thing about Il Fornaio (other than the wine!) is the fresh bread, and that may be a little trickier course for a vegan to navigate. I've been told by one of the servers that their excellent olive bread and the ciabatta are vegan, but the rosemary bread is not. Faced with a basket of bread selections, you may want to inquire further of your server.
There are two Il Fornaio restaurants in the Sacramento area. The one in downtown Sacramento is located in the Wells Fargo Center at 400 Capitol Mall and the phone number is 916-446-4100. The one in Roseville is located in the Galleria at 1179 Galleria Boulevard and the phone number is 916-788-1200. The website address for Il Fornaio is http://www.ilfornaio.com/.