Decaf, Doggie Bags, Wine, and Restrooms

Sep 30th, 2010, 06:27 AM
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Thanks all!
wrenwood is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 06:38 AM
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Just how large do you think desserts are? As has been pointed out numerous times, they don't do supersizes in Italy.

And they don't do doggie bags.

Instead of ordering dessert at a restaurant, go to a gelateria. Gelato comes in any size you like, from small to large. Gelato has fewer calories than ice cream, and there is also sorbetto, made without cream, that has even fewer calories.
Zerlina is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 07:13 AM
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Wine, if you wander into a bar or backroom parlor for lunch at 12 noon in any small town you will find the locals eating lunch. This the cheapest food around and because it will be "local" often very interesting if not just lovely. It will come with wine (probably as much wine as you can drink) but it's not your bottle, it is just the local booe poured into local bottles for lunch. DO NOT take this bottle way. Someone else has to drink it.

bilboburgler is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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MissPrism~ Difference is one situation is a sandwich I have ordered and paid for in a deli (not a nice restaurant as I already stated) and only ate half.

A breakfast buffet is meant for you to only take what you are eating at that time, I would never 'pack a picnic' for later from a hotel's breakfast offerings. Two different things.
suze is online now  
Sep 30th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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I agree - definitely see a difference between taking away the uneaten portion of a sandwich that has been paid for versus taking food from a breafast buffet to eat at lunch. And I don't see wrapping up half a sandwich to eat later as evidence of being straped for cash, but rather not wanting to be wasteful.
november_moon is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:17 AM
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Two more restaurant questions, courtesy of brain at 3AM this morning

Tipping ~ not necessary unless exemplary service at a really nice place?

Do we wait for the waiter to bring our check, or ask us if we would like our check, or do we ask for it? Is it called a check, or a bill, or a ?
wrenwood is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:48 AM
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It's called il conto - il conto, per favore.
tarquin is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 03:01 AM
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You have to ask for il conto.

A nice thing about Italian restaurants is that they don't try to rush you. It makes for a nice relaxed atmosphere.

I have only once seen a bill brought really quickly.
A young woman walked over to the waiters' station, helped herself to a soup place and then proceeded to mix oil and vinegar and dipped her bread in it. The waiter looked daggers.
She then insisted on having cheese on seafood pasta although the waiter tried to explain to her that it was not "done".
"I want cheese, right!"
She got her bill plonked on the table with her pasta.
MissPrism is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 03:55 AM
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.....................I think I agree with that waiter!
wrenwood is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 05:57 AM
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Yes, you must ask for "il conto" (eel CONE-toe). Travelers unfamiiiar with this system complain that service in Italy is slow. Rather, once seated, whether at a sidewalk cafe or sit-down restaurant, it is assumed that the table is yours until you get up and leave. The check will not arrive unless you ask for it. You can also use the universal hand signal for the check: catch the waiter's eye and scribble in the air with one hand.

In most cases service is included and this may be marked on the menu. It would be typical to leave the change, but little more than a euro or two.
ellenem is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 08:28 AM
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I was going to suggest what ellenem already did. You can always politely catch the waiters eye across the room and make the scribbling in the air motion. You do need to ASK for the check they likely will not bring it otherwise.
suze is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:39 PM
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We have been in Italy for the past two weeks. Yes, it is easy to get decaf almost everywhere. I never once had a problem. And it is easy to share a dish. My sister and I often shared a pasta dish thus enabling us to each have a second course. While the portions are not as large as some in the US, a three course meal is a lot. We ate in cafes, trattorias, enotecas and very nice restaurants and not once did we have a problem with sharing a course. The waiters seemed to be very used to the concept.
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Thanks mamcalice, I LOVE the idea of being able to try many different dishes by sharing, and then being able to order more!
wrenwood is offline  

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