Help with ordering food in Italy.

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Sep 30th, 2003, 06:42 PM
  #1
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Help with ordering food in Italy.

Is it improper to order 1 appetizer for 2, 1 pasta for 2, and 2 entrees in restaurants in Italy? We figure that is the only way to get to taste all the courses.

Is it ok to do that in any restaurant?

Diane
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Sep 30th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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rex
 
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I hear stories of places that react disapprovingly of doing this - - but my wife and I do a lot of sharing like this wherever we go to dinner (hometown, here in the US or in Europe).

If they have a problem bringing you an extra plate for dividing, there is always eat half - - then give her/him your plate, etc.

And by the way - - "entree" is an odd American-ism meaning "main course", but every where else in the world, it means an "ENTRY" course ("appetizer").

Best wishes,

Rex
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Sep 30th, 2003, 11:43 PM
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Last Feb, my wife and I regularly did 1 antipasta, 2 primi piatti, and 1 seconda piatta. No place ever seemed the least bit bothered by this. Sometimes we'd omit the antipasta and/or seconda piatta. We felt it was the pasta and rice dishes which looked more interesting, so we'd order 2 of those to be able to taste 2 different ones. We generally did the "eat half and then switch" method instead of asking for two plates.

Enjoy your trip,
Paul
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Oct 1st, 2003, 01:05 AM
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I don't see why not. If you don't have a problem with it then they have no choice really, you are paying the bill after all. Having just been to Italy, I regulalry ordered just a prima piatti with salad for example (and saw Italians doing the same) and nobody had an issue with it.

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Oct 7th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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I just returned from Italy last night and can tell you from our experiences( my parents and my self) you can order anything you want any which way. Never did we experience a problem with trying different things and sharing or ordering a small dinner with just a bowel of pasta. I think some waiters can be pushy but certainly not offended by your lack of food you are ordering.Eat what you want it is not improper.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 08:22 AM
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Had the same sorts of experiences with food ordering and sharing when in Italy this past May as have been noted above.
I'm honestly not sure where these recommendations about what you "can" and "cannot" do in restaurants are coming from but I suspect one source may be folks who are too intimidated to do with as they please the food that they order.
I agree you eat what you order, be it a little or a lot, and share if you wish. Those who tell you this is "improper" need to become a bit less anal!
 
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Oct 7th, 2003, 08:35 AM
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We also recently returned from Italy where we were with a group of 10 who ordered whatever they wanted - sometimes skipping courses, sometimes splitting courses. If it matters to you, you might have to be specific about when you want the food served, for instance, some would order salad and pasta and some pasta and meat dish. The person wanting the salad would be served first, then her pasta would show up with other pastas as prima piatti, then she would have nothing when others had their seconda piatti when what she wanted was her salad when they had pasta and her pasta when they had meat.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 11:53 AM
  #8
ira
 
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Hi teach,

As dellyb noted, the hard part is getting the waiter to understand when to serve what.

My wife and I generally had an antipasto and a primo, which we would share.

Keep in mind that Italians often have a large lunch and a small dinner - pizza and a salad.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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My husband and I like to sample as many foods as possible and try all the different courses. Sometimes we each asked for a half portion. Sometimes we shared. Having just returned, I must say we had no problems ordering this way. As others have said, the only problem was explaining to the waiter when to serve what. All of the waiters responded to our requests in a very friendly way.
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Oct 7th, 2003, 03:36 PM
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LvItaly, "bowel of pasta"? Please say it's not what I think it is
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Oct 7th, 2003, 04:53 PM
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FainaAgain...


You beat me to it!!

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Oct 7th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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Absolutely with one exception...some of the very high brow restaurants that sometimes employ staff who are arrogant (with no reason I might add). Our experience, from 02 is that the tratorias will gladly do this. After all, they want to to walk away happy and come back.
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Oct 8th, 2003, 04:15 AM
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FainaAgain- I will blame that "typo" on jetlag
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