Has anyone ever used either:
1. "A Menu Guide for Travelers: Italy" Gremese http://www.amazon.co.uk/Italy-Menu-Gu... (can get this form the library)
2. "Eating and Drinking in Italy" Herbach good reviews on amazon, but would need to buy
I haven't used either (or really found it worth the effort to carry yet another guide book with me just to figure out a menu). Look at Budget Traveler's website. They have a one page printout with some common translations for often seen items that I do stick into my purse for times the waiter is not around or being helpful.
I don't know either menu translator, but more important than a straight menu translator, I think, is knowing what the local specialties are in each region. If the translator gives you that information, fine; if it doesn't, there's lots of information out there on the Web.
the basic range of terms is pretty simple and the arrangement of the meal is orthodox, and you will find this info in any phrasebook or even most standard guides but what you run into is regional dialect, fanciful nicknames, variations in what pasta shapes are called, names of particular fishes, etc. which make a menu guide pretty useless outside of the most standard restaurants.
I agree with Zerlina that it makes sense to do a little study of the regional cuisines so you know more what to expect, the names of the main types of meat, etc. but you will need to know a few words and expect a degree of uncertainty and adventure as you go.
Dark Uncle: I've used neither of your ##1 or 2. I've almost always found our own Maureen B. Fant's _Dictionary of Italian Cuisine_ to do the job.