You have crossed the big blue ocean to entice your taste buds of the Tuscan cuisine. You are walking along the cobblestones in Florence and decide to stop in a Trattoria, Osteria or Ristorante. What is the difference between the 3 types of eating establishments?
A Trattoria is considered less formal than a Ristorante but more formal than an Osteria. Trattorie also are usually more casual, often more energetic, possibly with a more specialized type of menu. A Ristorante is the top dog in types of eating establishments usually at the more elegant and expensive end of the scale. An Osteria is very similar to a Trattoria but usually connected to a hotel. A Pizzeria normally just serves pizza but you can find a Pizzera Ristorante
So what do you say when ordering in a restaurant in Florence? How do you ask for a table? The wine list? The bill?
Lesson 3: Ordering in a Restaurant
Phrases in the Menu
il piatto del giorno–(eel-pee-aht-toh-dayl-jee-ohr-noh)–Today’s special.
il menu turistico o il menu a prezzo fisso–(eel-meh-noo-too-rees-tee-koh O eel-meh-noo-ah-preh-tsoh-fees-soh)–Tourist menu or Set menu.
pane e coperto–(pah-neh-ay-coh-pear-toe)–Bread and cover charge.
Phrases in a Restaurant
Mi scusi–Excuse me–Formal
Un tavolo per due, per favore.– A table for two, please.
Qual e` il piatto del giorno?–What’s today’s special?
Che cosa mi consiglia?–What do you recommend?
Ho fame.–I’m hungry.
Per cominciare, avremo…–To begin with, we’ll have…
Avete il vino della casa?–Do you have a house wine?
Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso.–I would like a glass of red wine.–”Vorrei” means “I would like”. This is a formal way to tell the waiter what you will have.
Prendo una pizza margherita.–I’ll have a cheese pizza.–”Prendo” means “I’ll take or I’ll have”. Using “Vorrei” or “Prendo” are both equally correct.
il conto, per favore.–The bill, please.
Antipasti di Firenze–Appetizers of Florence
Crostini di Fegato–Chicken liver pate`on toasted bread. It is sooo yummy despite the name.
Affettati Misti--Plate of meats and cheeses.
Primi Piatti–First Course
Lasagne al Forno–Lasagna
Pappa al Pomodoro–Bread and Tomatoe soup
Pasta e Fagioli–Pasta and Beans
Ribolita–Vegetable and Bean soup
Secondi Piatti–Second Course
Bistecca Fiorentina–T-Bone Steak
Pollo alla Fiorentina–Florentine Chicken
Fagioli o ceci all’olio–Beans or chickpeas in oil
Misto Fritto–Mixed fried vegetables such as zucchini, onions, asparagus, mushrooms fried in batter and served hot.
Insalate Mista–Mixed salad
Spinaci Saltati–Sauteed spinach
Vin Santo con cantucci–Dessert wine with cookies–A strong, sweet wine with almond cookies which are dipped in the wine.
Tiramisu–Do I have explain this delectable dessert?
Panna Cotta–A custard compared to flan or creme caramel, made from thick cream as the name literally means “cooked heavy cream”.
What other dishes are from Florence? Do you have a favorite dish? Comment and let me know!