Italian Dinner Courses

Italian Dinner Courses

If you have ever been to Italy or ventured into one of Pattaya’s best Italian restaurants such as La Costa you may be a trifle confused reading the menu. This is because Italians have a different format to how they dine.
Unlike many Europeans they do not have the standard three courses of starter, main dish, and dessert. An Italian meal can consist of six courses, the antipasto, the primo, the secundo, the contorno, the dolce and coffee. Not every meal contains all these courses, in fact in some rustic areas of Italy the food is served almost Thai style, arriving at the table as they are cooked.
There are also some Italian restaurants that make additions to the above format and have a designated seafood course on the menu. But for now we will concentrate on the most popular format.

The Antipasto

The Antipasto course is virtually an Italian starter dish, it is usually something small just to nibble on. Antipasto translates as before the meal and can be virtually anything.
Some of La Costas stunning Antipasto dishes include, antipasto misto terra, prosciutto e melone, caprese, bruschetta, carpaccio di manzo, antipasto misto mare freddo, and polpo con salsa verde e patate.

The Primo

In Italy, the course is served like an appetizer, and can often be a pasta dish but it is not the main event. A rice dish, perhaps soup or polenta are other options for a primo.
La Costas Primo dishes include, penne ai quattro formaggi, gnocchi al gorgonzola, ravioli di ricotta e spinaci al burro e salvia, and risotto al funghi porcini.

The Secondo

The main course in Italy is called the Secondo, and the choices are normally meat, poultry, or fish. The difference with an Italian Secondo and a European main course is that the portions will be smaller. After all you have already devoured an appetizer and a great bowl of pasta!
Quite often these dishes are just lightly garnished and if you want vegetables you have to ask for the Contorno.

The Contorno

The Contorno is a platter of vegetables which should be ordered to accompany The Secondo. It is also a great option for vegetarians and Italians believe that this course helps to shape and define the meal.

The Dolce

The Dolce is of course the sweet end to the eating, and Italian desserts are some of the finest ways to end a meal in the world. Italians have a real passion when it comes to desserts and great skill at making them.


No Italian meal would be complete without a delicious Italian coffee and perhaps a liqueur to end proceedings. Italians tend to drink espresso or black coffee after lunchtime so don’t expect a cappuccino to finish your meal.
If all this sounds delightful why don’t you head down to La Costa by L’Italiano on Beach Road Pattaya, where you can sit down to a perfect Italian meal served the traditional way.