Italian Language Tips: Lesson 3

Food, Nightlife, Travel Tips — By katiegreenaway on August 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

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 OsteriaTrattorie 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

Ristorante Buca Mario in Florence (by

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.

Menu Turistico (

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…

Vino (by

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 (By

Lasagne al Forno–Lasagna

Pappa al Pomodoro (by

Pappa al Pomodoro–Bread and Tomatoe soup

Pasta e Fagioli–Pasta and Beans

Ribolita–Vegetable and Bean soup

Panzanella by Katie Greenaway

Panzanella–Bread Salad

Secondi Piatti–Second Course

Bistecca Fiorentina (by

Bistecca Fiorentina–T-Bone Steak

Pollo alla Fiorentina–Florentine Chicken

Baccala` (by

Baccala`–Dried Cod

Contorni–Side Dishes

Fagioli o ceci all’olio–Beans or chickpeas in oil

Misto Fritto (by truetasteofitaly)

Misto FrittoMixed 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 (by

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!

Tags: bistecca, italian, italian language tips, restaurants, tiramisu, vino