How to Order at an Italian Restaurant Without Sounding Dumb (Or Pretentious)

A few dishes are frequently, well, butchered by well-meaning diners

Italian restaurants are date staples: They're widely available, often inexpensive, usually have a romantic atmosphere, and the food is consistently delicious. But sometimes the thought of ordering (or pronouncing) words from an Italian menu can be intimidating, and no one wants to sound fumbling or silly in front of a date (and risk ruining your chances for a second one).

Click here for the How to Order at an Italian Restaurant Without Sounding Dumb (Or Pretentious) Slideshow.

Because Italian food is such a big part of American culture, by now most dishes have perfectly acceptable English pronunciations — but there are a few dishes that are frequently, well, butchered by well-meaning diners.

While you definitely don't have to sound like Super Mario when you order your food (Is there anything more annoying than the one person who makes a big deal out of rolling his or her "R's" when ordering spaghetti carbonara?), here are some basic pronunciation guidelines to help you feel reasonably confident.

— Chiara Atik, How About We

 

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