Mangiamo! Ordering Food From Italian Restaurants In Hawthorn & Other Italian Dining Insights

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Italian restaurants in Hawthorn somehow mirror the ways and means of dining in Italy. These restaurants try their best to bring everyone to the shores of Italy without leaving town. To some degree, they are doing a good job at it. While the world is thousands of miles away from Italy, they make the Italian dining experience as authentic as possible.

Since such Italian restaurants introduce the unique traditions of Italy to this side of town, it may be helpful to know what to expect out of the experience. Because authenticity is the name of the game, guests should also imbibe the culture of this Mediterranean paradise. Everyone has to let it all sink in and feel that they are basking in the glory of Italy.

Food is the best representation of any country. In this case, Italian restaurants in Hawthorn are here to bring forth the best that Italy can offer to the community. Therefore, it is just right for everyone to know a little bit of Italy’s culinary wonder. It’s nice to know that Italy is not just about pizza and pasta. These delectable dishes are proper representatives of Italy; however, they don’t define it at all. 

Italian meals: What to expect? 

You think you know, but well you may not completely have an idea. Dinner in Italy transcends common knowledge. When the rest of the world is satisfied with the main course and dessert, it may be a little bit different for our brethren on this side of the world.

Aside from dinner, here are other interesting tidbits to know about how Italians live life through their meals.


While many people swear by breakfast as the most important meal of the day, Italy somehow takes this a little bit differently. Dinner happens to be an important part of the day for Italians. It is special because dinner brings everyone together after a long day at work or whatever it is that they have to do. At this time, everyone can relax with the company of their loved ones over a nice traditional meal with a glass (or two) of their favorite wine to cap the night.

Dinner in Italy is called Cena and is made up of many courses. Be informed that traditional Italian dinners comprise of the following:


Perhaps, this may be considered as the Italian appetizer. The antipasto is served before the meal. It’s food that they can snack on while waiting for the main course. Antipasto can be olives, cheese, cured meats, and anything light and bite-sized.


This is characterized as the first course which usually is composed of pasta, soup, polenta, or rice. The primo is a perfect way to get them started with what’s in store. Note that the primo is like an extension of their appetizer, Therefore, everything is consumed in moderation. This meal course is to get them waiting in anticipation, not full to their capacity.


From the actual word, it is the second course. Still not the heaviest but already getting richer in character. The secondo or second course usually consists of a simple serving of choice meat or seafood. It could be the freshest catch of the day or premium meat from the local butcher shop or deli.

Contorno and Insalata 

These portions significantly have something in common- vegetables. For contorno, meat dishes are usually served with fresh vegetables as a side dish. They add the fresh produce to serve as a delectable pair to the succulent dish they may have. Italian restaurants in Hawthorn may also have these in their menu to keep up with authenticity.

Insalata, on the other hand, is considered a salad before the main course (at least for the rest of the world). However, in Italy, Insalata is sometimes served with vegetable dishes. Yes, it’s one of the wonderful nuances of cultural gastronomy that’s best to be tried instead of analyzed.

Formaggi e Frutta 

After the main course, which is most of the time decadent slices of meat and freshest seafood catch for the day, this is brought to the table next. This literally translates to cheese and fruits. Remember, this is not dessert yet. 


Now, we are talking. Aside from the main course, this is perhaps the most awaited part of the meal- dessert. What are the common and traditional Italian desserts? Well, don’t be surprised if Italian restaurants in Hawthorn serve tiramisu, gelato, or cannoli. These are definitely traditional Italian after-meal staples.

Useful Italian words/phrases when dining at Italian restaurants in Hawthorn 

Here are some helpful Italian words and phrases you can use when dining in Italian restaurants. Make sure to research on their proper intonation and pronunciation, alright?

Possiamo avere un tavolo

This is asking if you and your party can have a table. Whether in an Italian restaurant in Hawthorn or on the shores of Italy, this can come in handy. Ideally, the server or host can show the seating area. At this point, you can perhaps suggest or point to the direction of your preferred place.

Posso vedere il menu, per favore

Context clues, ladies and gentlemen. It’s easy to detect that this question is asking for the menu. When handed the menu, take time to read what’s in there. Remember, authentic Italian restaurants may not have photos on their menu. However, don’t be intimidated to ask. The lovely server surely will be happy to answer your questions. 

If you happen to be dining in Italian restaurants in Hawthorn, clearly, they know English. But things might get a little bit different when in Italy. Authentic Italian restaurants have in them traditional servers that may have limited to no English at all. At this point, Google Translate may come in helpful to save the day.


Succo is juice.

Birra is beer.

Te freddo is iced tea.

How to order in authentic Italian restaurants in Hawthorn? 

Needless to say, authentic Italian restaurants in Hawthorn may have a direct relation to Italy. Either the owners are Italian themselves or have significant affiliation with the country. Therefore, following a certain manner of ordering may be much appreciated by them. 

Right timing 

Italian restaurants vary. For many, they open all day long usually before lunch until close to midnight. However, if it is a well-known authentic Italian restaurant, timing is key. For the most part dinner is served at around 8 in the evening. Therefore, such restaurants open a few hours before 8. 


Unless you have lived your life in Italy or a frequent visitor, there will be many things about Italian dishes and dining that may be unfamiliar. It is not a mortal sin to ask for recommendations. This is also a good opportunity to learn more about Italian dining altogether. The host will surely be delighted to share a thing or two about the Italian cuisine.


It has been discussed earlier, right? Italians take their meals seriously. As such, it’s not just simply having the main course and out you go. They have several layers to their meals which need to be enjoyed and savored. It is wise to observe proper pacing. Don’t overindulge after the first serving because there’s more to come. You don’t want to be fully stuffed for the main course. 

If you plan to visit Italy in the future, it is good to practice all these in an authentic Italian restaurant near you. Let this restaurant be a training ground so you’d be experts when dining in restaurants in Italy. Know that Italian restaurants in Hawthorn may be a good representation of Italy in the area so you can’t go wrong dining there.

We are open from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm Monday to Sunday and are available for Coffee, Lunch, and Dinner.
For dining or event bookings please feel free to call (03) 9818 3600 or email us at

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