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Jun 23, 2009 03:30 PM

Restaurant etiquette - is it necessary to order an antipasti, primi and secondi at an italian restaurant? [Moved from Manhattan board]

What is the standard for ordering at restaurants that offer multiple courses? What about at non-italian restaurants that offer first and second courses?

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  1. If the menu is a la carte, you can order as few or as many courses as you prefer. If the menu is a prix fixe, it depends on how many courses it contains. For example, with a 3-course prix fixe, there is often a choice between a list of antipasti and list of pastas. Convivio offers a 4-course prix fixe: antipasti, pasta, main course (sedondi), and dessert. However, they are flexible, i.e., you can choose to do two antipasti and select a pasta for the main course.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RGR

      And, if not prix fixe, mix it up any way you want. We went to Babbo a couple of years ago and I can't remember exactly how it stacked up but we certainly didn't order by any formula --- and shared everyting. Mmm. Still a wonderful memory.

    2. It definitely is not necessary, since I usually order only two courses, and no one's thrown me out yet. Sometimes I just get two appetizers! I live dangerously.

        1. No way. Though it is nice to have something in front of you while the other eats you should not feel pressured into ordering food that you don't want.

          1. Even in Italy people don't order three courses in a restaurant all or even most of the time. I would normally order a starter and either a pasta or a main course. I think for most people ordering three courses (and maybe a dessert) is an exception.