Eating out - Lesson 1 - Conversation:

Volete prendere un aperitivo prima di mangiare?

(Ordering aperitifs)

(photo by  MargaretNapier used under terms of Creative Commons license.)
italian restaurant


Capo Cameriere:

Buona sera, Signori.

Don Smith:

Una tavola per due, per favore.


Prego, da questa parte.

Don Smith:

Cameriere, il menù, per cortesia.


Ecco. Volete prendere un aperitivo?

Signora Smith:

Io prenderei un Campari soda.


Va bene, Signora. E per il Signore?

Dgn Smith:

 Io vorrei uno scotch con ghiaccio.


Molto bene. Grazie.




Good evening, sir, ma'am.

Don Smith:

A table for two, please.


This way, please.

Don Smith:

Waiter, the menu, please.


Here you are. Would you like (to take) an aperitif?

Mrs. Smith:

I'll take a Campari and soda.


All right, ma'am. And for the gentleman?

Don Smith:

I would like a scotch on the rocks.


Very well. Thanks.


Notes on conversation

1. Other words for il menù are la lista (della vivande), literally "the list (of food)," and la carta. La carta is the list of appetizers, pastas, meat and fish dishes, vegetables and desserts from which you can choose. When you order alla carta, you pay for each item separately. Il menù a prezzo fisso, a list of complete meals with different courses for a set price, is sometimes referred to in the United States as "table d'hôte."

2. Prenderei, "I would take."

3. Con ghiaccio, "with ice."

4. If you eat at a ristorante, you are expected to order a complete meal. A trattoria is a family type restaurant where local food is mainly served. A pizzeria is a restaurant for pizza and first courses. Tavola calda is a snack bar. Many restaurants have menu turistico, a tourist menu, and offer complete meals at fixed and reasonable prices. Lunch, served from 12:30 to 2:30 is the most important meal of the day. Supper, served from 7:30 to 10:30 is usually a light meat.