How to Find the Best Italian Restaurant
Meals from authentic Italian cuisine are served family-style and are broken up into multiple courses. Traditional restaurants only serve dishes from one of the four central regions in Italy: Sicily, Venetia, Roma, and Tuscany.
One generality between these sub-cuisines is that all family-style dinners start with bread and olive or balsamico. Bread is left on the table for all courses and is meant to be eaten throughout the dining experience.
Dinners are first served an aperitivo or antipasti.
An aperitivo, Italian for ‘aperitif,’ is a small eat made up of one singular local ingredient, such as olives, cheese, or wine. On the other hand, an antipasto is typically a smorgasbord of those ingredients either in a light dish or on a platter.
After finishing the antipasti, it is time for the primo course. This comprises a homemade pasta dish, often accompanied by seafood, broth, soup, or sauce. Meat is never part of a primo dish.
Finally, it is time for the secondi – the meat dish. Simple preparations of beef, lamb, and game meat are served all year round as secondi’s in an authentic Italian restaurant.
Dinners are often full at this time, but no one is full for dessert or dolce. Regional favorites are fluffy tiramisu, creamy panna cotta, chilled gelato, jelly-filled zeppole, and chocolate cannolis.
Eat enough yet? Drink espresso or macchiato with dolce to aid digestion.