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Dec 29, 2008 06:37 AM

Is it declasse' not to get a primo and a secondi in an Italian restaurant?

Italian restaurants are the only places I have ever seen where I am supposed to get practically two entrees. I cannot afford to get a primo and a secondi dish, especially in Boston, but is this really wrong? How improper is it? Do most people get both?

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  1. Truthfully, I've been going to Italian restaurants in NY all my life and never really thought about it. We usually just get what we want. Usually an appetizer and whatever we want after that. I never had any eyebrows raised because I didn't get a huge meal.

    1. >>How improper is it?

      Not improper at all. Your money, your choices.

      >>Do most people get both?

      I usually get two appetizers and a dessert and coffee.

      1. When I was in Italy, I ordered all over the place, sharing one secondi with each person getting a primo; sharing an antipasti with each getting a secondi; ordering a conti as an antipasti. Never a raised eyebrow. I saw Italians doing it too. So why adhere to different rules here if they are trying to be authentic? (I'm making the broad assumption that if they are using the terms primo and secondi, they're implying a level of authenticity.)

        1. It never occured to me to order more than I would eat.

          1. In most (not highest-end) restaurants that'd be pretty hard to do unless people are splitting. Portions are way too big. In my experience people treat them as equivalent courses--ordering one or the other.