I personally dislike it so much, which is why I am not fond of fine dining. I went to Italy three months ago and was shocked to see that most of the restaurants there serve very small portion of food and less meat!
Most Helpful Opinions
OMG, OMG! I was in Italy 3 months ago as well and you are absolutely right! Aside from Venice, the portions were so small, and I needed to borrow Galieo's telescope to see the meat that was allegedly supposed to be in the pasta dishes.
I got completely destroyed for this post, but it's the truth!
Am I the only one who thinks authentic Italian food in Italy is garbage?
People might say it's because I'm an American, but I've had large portions outside of America too in Spain, Poland, Peru, Turkey and the Caribbean. But Italy was just awful! This is a country for vegetarians. They claim meat is unhealthy. Bullshit!
And you are so right about the so-called "Fine Dining" places. My Israeli friend described it best. This is not food, but "Art on a plate". It is just absolutely laughable. I don't know how any sane, rational person can call this a 5 star dining experience and pay hundreds of dollars for this...
Our guide in Taiwan took us out for a 5 star meal and it was so 5 star that when we got back to Taipei everyone in our group asked to be dropped off at the nearest restaurants. I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna sugarcoat anything. Anyone who gives such garbage a 5 star rating is a fucking retard!
It's nice to finally find someone who agrees that Italian food and these so called "Fine Dining" Meals are absolute garbage! Maybe for a mouse it's fine, but not for a grownass man!12
I think those restaurants are fine dining restaurants just as you said. They are so expensive since it's because of the chef's craft that you're paying for, their masterpiece. They serve it in small portions because the ingredients are expensive and they probably got enough nutritional content that is already ok.
Though you can definitely just eat after, if you're still starving. It's the experience and the craftsmanship that you're paying for in those restaurants.30
I would rather it was a small portion but great food, than a large portion and OK food. I rarely finish my meal at restaurants. The advantage of big portions is just that I take more home in a box, sometimes it turns into 3 meals (original + leftovers twice).20
What Girls & Guys Said
The food in Italy varies so much depending on what region you're in. Such as on the Amalfi Coast you'll get a lot of fresh seafood and huge sweet tasting lemons and of course pasta and great bread. You really need to get out into the country around Tuscany rather in the cities the vineyards which as well as great grapes and wine almost always produce olive oil and fantastic food, meals fit for a king. There is so much to discover food wise in Italy the cheeses the vintage very well aged Balsamic Vinegar from the Modena region some worth hundreds of dollars per ounce, drizzled on fresh bread is delightful. In Caciotta which refers to a range of rural Itslian cheeses from Central Italy is an experience in its self. The cheeses are nade from cow's, ewe's, goat's, and buffalo's milk or any combination of those. It's a cheese that has a thin rind which hides a creamy, buttery smooth and semi-soft texture beneath the rind. Again experienced slathered on fresh crusty bread as an appetizer or as part of main courses of even in desserts. There are more than 400 types of regional cheeses thst most people gave never heard of, every wine region and food city in Italy produces its own unique variety of cheese, and some have been producing cheese since as far back as the 5th century. Italy's food experience is never ending. You have to look for it to find it.20
We are the exception as Americans because when it comes to food portion sizes there is just no other country in the world that even comes close to our portion sizes. So if you were born & raised in the US, chances are you will be dissatisfied with how much food you are served in other countries, although I've noticed that some countries with heavy tourist traffic from the US & whom cater to American customers frequently will sometimes make their portions accordingly so that the disappointment you experienced doesn't happen whenever Americans visit their establishment. Essentially other countries have catered to our fatness by providing something we're so accustomed to. I've noticed this in Mexico & Canada the only two other countries I've visited outside of the US.
In fact the concept of leftovers & taking what's remaining home with you in a to go box is a very distinctly American aspect where as you are expected to finish your meal in most other countries. Fortunately that isn't too hard of a task considering the average portion sizes outside of the US. Imagine if we were expected to finish our meals here at home with our super sized portions, there'd be a permanent bloated epidemic, & I bet a new phenomena would form titled something like Post Meal Depression centered around the feeling one gets when they stuff their face, have to unbutton their pants, & feel lethargic for a few hours after the fact. There would be warning ad's telling people not to drive while experiencing PMD as it's not safe to do so. I could definitely see something like that occuring.10
As for Italy, I spent a bit of time travelling various cities and found the portions to be similar to what I get in the US. I guess if you follow some tours to "high class" places, you get "high class" meals, meaning not much!
In the US I often like to go to the all you can eat buffets. They have a wide variety of foods, including soups and salads, and many choices for desert. The variety makes for a great meal, and often I may eat more than usual and just eat less at the later meals.10
The choice is to go to some chain where the food comes out of a can or a box, or go to a better restaurant where everything was made fresh from fresh ingredients. Sure, the chains can give you large portions because the ingredients are cheap. Chain restaurant -- dried pasta, canned sauce, pre-grated "Parmesan" cheese. Fine Italian restaurant -- freshly made pasta, sauce made from ingredients fresh from the market in the morning, imported freshly grated authentic Parmesan. I can taste the difference.10
This is the primary reason I prefer to cook at home. I'm a meat and taters guy. This was how I was raised. I have had the pleasure to dine in some of the finest restaurants in the US and Europe. When I do go out I go to places like Olive Garden or Chilis. The last time I ate fine dining I spent well over $100. Heck just to get a wine that doesn't taste like horsepiss will cost $40 or more. Now the small portions don't bother me that much because most of the time when I am in such a place these days it is a business meeting and I have already eaten before the meal. I also can deduct 50% of the cost on my taxes.10
Yes I find it annoying and avoid fine dining because of the small servings and high prices. I just want a main not the three courses.
I didn't have your experience of Italy though a few years earlier. My surprise was that it was difficult to get a pasta meal. I rationalized this by supposing people had pasta at home and wanted something else when the went out but dunno.
We have to be a bit careful of generalizing as, when visiting a country, we are not that likely to eat where the locals do and might get unrepresentative impressions10
Where in Italy did you go, what did you order, what kind of restaurants were they? I've been to Italy a dozen times for no less than 3 weeks per trip, and only in very expensive "ristorantes" are the portions smallish. I can take you places where you'll walk out saying "we could have ordered half of what we had, shared it, and still had too much food". You have to know where to eat. Italy does NOT skimp on portion size, even in the most touristy of areas.34
People from around the world are always shocked at the large portions at American restaurants, so I'm not sure who is the "normal" one, but I wouldn't be happy with tiny, expensive portions either. Then again, I'm not interested in "fine dining." I'm a simple "meat and potatoes" kind of guy.20
Usually small plates and snacks aka tapas are cheaper than one huge meal.. I think restaurants that offer this is a great idea because then you can order like 2 or 3 or more things and sample a lot of stuff that they make with a lot of love, or if I’m not really hungry, and I’m not going straight home to put half of it in the fridge if I don’t finish, nothing goes to waste.10
the portions aren't small in italy or Europe that's like normal meal size.. i dont know where you're from but i guess america cause you say big portions. the portions there are HUGE HUGE. like that stuff is enough for 2-3 people from one main course. if you add an entree + dessert like most people do, oh god10
Let me put it this way: How many obese people did you see every day in Italy? And how many obese people do you see every day in the United States?1
They serve normal portions in Italy - not the oversized portions seen in the U. S.. I wouldn't spend hundreds on fine dining for dainty portions, but I woudn't be offended if the portions offered in regular restaurants were more "normal" than the oversized normally seen. ... I think Texas Roadhouse is a good example of normal portions compared to Olive Garden and their huge portions of pasta.20
I haven't been to Italy but I have been to restaurants that were very expensive with tiny portions that weren't even that great. It is simple, I don't go back and eventually those restaurants seem to go out of business.20
I sometimes like the smaller portions of food. Then you can get dessert if you're still hungry. I once went to a place that gave me a big bowl of pasta that could feed at least 3 people with garlic bread.20
Appetizer, soup, salad, main course + side dish, dessert.. at least 4 dishes, it's ancient Roman rule for a meal that has been adopted in French and Italian cuisine as menu.31
Some restaurants have a lunch portion which I was told I could order from the lunch menu in the evening also, and I usually order from the lunch menu because it’s cheaper and enough to fill my tummy.20
I think they follow the principle of quality and presentation over quantity. Sadly very few people understand how to correctly experience the dish and discover different flavours. That’s the reason I hardly go to any fancy restaurant unless I’m needed to. I’d rather go to a fast food place and have my favourites.10
I'll give them a bar review. Usually if the restaurant is a fine dine and super expensive. Ridiculous. I went to one once and never went back. I prefer to spend my money at a fast food restaurant get full and less money10
I won't go to them, I go to the ones that serve oversized portions for cheap.
My metabolism is too high to be eating tiny portions.12
With a fast metabolism I dislike having to eat already. I wouldn’t humor a chef who thinks they are artistic. I’d rather entertain my families tastebuds myself.10
Most Helpful Opinions
I think it's fine if the food is good, the emphasis is on delighting the senses, not eating for survival/sustenance. I prepare most of the food I eat myself, so when I go to a restaurant, it is more for the experience. A restaurant will always be more expensive than cooking your own food, for whatever it is even from a simple salad to sushi plates. That's how they make a living.
Food has definitely shot up in price since COVID started, I think it's due to gas price hike and an after effect of those costs. I went to get a poke bowl with my partner the other day and we had a coupon for buy one, get one free. So we both got a bowl, presented the coupon, and our total was $16! ($19 with a $3 tip). So for about $20 that was supposed to be the price for one person! Glad we had the coupon but that's the price of things today.
For around $10, I like there to be enough on the plate that everyone (3-5 people) can have a sample, or if there are only two dining, that couple can each have a few bites. I estimate that on average I will expect to spend $30-$40 per person on dining, and perhaps double that if we are taking alcoholic drinks.
If I am hungry and want a larger portion of food and don't care about restaurant preparation, I can just go to the store and buy a half pound of salmon and eat it raw. Or a bag of greens/kale/spinach/&c and some vegetables. I also usually carry some snacks with me like nuts or dried fruit. I like berries and vegetables but just need to find a place to wash them if I buy them on the go.