Two course meals a faux pas???

Old Apr 10th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Two course meals a faux pas???

We are just not big eaters, but do love pasta in Italy....will we wrong to order salad and a pasta and perhaps split a dessert for dinner in a moderate or inexpensive restaurant???
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 06:59 PM
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Sounds like my normal meal when I'm in Italy. Feel free to order what you want.
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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One of my fondest memories of Siena: wonderful meal, chatting w/young (gorgeous) Italian guy behind us, who owned a neighborhood restaurant but was dining out on his night off. When he noticed that I chose not to order dessert -- after 3 course -- he insisted that I share his dessert. A spoonful was all I could manage, but he was happy that I experienced the entire meal!
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 08:28 PM
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We ordered one or two courses and either wine or beer and weren't punished for it.
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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No that sounds normal.. not everyone eats three courses at every meal. Seems to me that splitting a dessert or an appy would be fine anywhere one goes.
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 11:21 PM
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Skipping or splitting a dessert is never a problem.

But if you skip the main course (secondi piatte) you are considered as an ignorant scrooge.

An Italian who does not want to eat big would skip the pasta and eat just antipasti and secondo piatto.
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Old Apr 10th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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That's the nice thing about Italy..there aren't any people hovering around your table advising you about what you can and cannot eat or how you are supposed to enjoy the food you DO order and PAY for.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 01:07 AM
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We never had a problem ordering an appetiser and pasta as our main course. It may not be the way an Italian would do things but us "foreigners" are excused our eccentric ways
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 01:24 AM
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Hello Linda, it seems like people are so worried about what they order in restaurants. Believe me, the residents of Italy order what they want and nothing more.

The salad, assuming you are in the US, will not be like the salads we have here but yes ordering a salad or vegetables and than a pasta dish is just fine. And sharing a dessert is fine also. Enjoy your time and your meals in Italy. And don't forget to have a gelato each day!
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 07:37 AM
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I don't know about Italy, but we usually serve salad AFTER the main course in our house. Is this an American custom?
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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London, I thought it was a French thing, as that is how it is always done in my family. "Salad" is usaully just lettuce and a vinigrette and it is meant to cut the heaviness of the meal before you proceed to cheese and/or dessert.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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We always order what we want to eat and nothing more and have never been mistreated because of it. If we are very hungry we order all courses and if not we both order the courses that we want and often share a dessert. Think about it, if you are traveling to the US they tell you we have pre dinner drinks, appetisers, salad, main course, dessert, after dinner drinks and coffe as well as at least one wine with each course. However, that is not how the average American usually eats and is reserved only for those very special meals. At least the people I know don't eat like that on a daily basis. Order what you want and enjoy your trip.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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In the USA the salad usually comes after any appetizer one might order and before the main course (the entree in most of North America). Though at home or more casual places the salad and entree are often served at the same time.

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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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You're perfectly free to order how ever many courses you want - although I wouldn't go into a very upscale place and just order a salad. No rule as to which courses either.

Just realize that portions in Italy are way smaller than in the US - and many main courses are just the item itself - and veggies need to be ordered separately (and usually are enough for 2 or 3 people).
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