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"Authentic Italian" - What would you expect?

Just wondering what your expectation would be if an independent Italian restaurant touted itself as "Authentic Italian". By that, I mean what would you expect the dishes to be offered and what would you expect as far as quality of ingredients (i.e. canned clams vs. freshly shucked or frozen cooked chicken vs. freshly grilled chicken)? The prices range in the double digits up to about $20 for pasta and $30 for "secondi" meat dishes.

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  1. Fresh and in season ingredients; pasta not drowning in sauce; simple fish preparation, simple meat preparation.

    M.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      Agree wholeheartedly.....and will add smaller portions than Americanized, ridiculously huge portions.

    2. Rustic food....no fancy pants presentation. Simple braising and grilling for meats, fish and sea food. Hearty soups, stews and ragu, Fresh vegetables and salad greens.

      1. Primi's are small and priced in the low teens; secondi are larger but not huge cuts - you can have both and not be massively full. They serve a course with parm reggiano and honey. At some point a dessert wine shows up at the table. They don't expect customers to show up until 8:30 or so..

        1. Simple preparations of high quality ingredients prepared well.
          High quality ITALIAN olive oil. High quality bread. Authentic Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegars and prosciutto.
          Canned clams? Frozen cooked chicken? Not at $20 and $30.

          1. My first question would be authentic to what region? Italy's table varies widely from one end of the country to another, so it would depend on the region as to what I'd expect.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sunshine842

              Yes, that was my first thought. Authentic.... what? Ligurian? Puglian? Emilia Romagna? Tuscan?

              I'll tell ya what I *wouldn't* expect on an 'authentic' Italian menu: spaghetti w/meatballs, any mention of "red gravy", eggplant parmesan, caesar salad.

              Beyond that -- sky's the limit, really.