Can you really say that you have experienced a proper Italian dinner while living in NYC? Well, if you don’t have an answer yet, you will now.

It might sound like an impossibility considering you are far away from Italy but let me tell you a secret. You can truly enjoy Italian dinner in NYC too!

It’s one of those beautiful times when you think about Italian food and a quick night of outdoor dining in Hell’s Kitchen with your friends and loved ones. So, take the opportunity and enjoy an Italian dinner today. Here are a few tips that can help you have an Italian experience in NYC.

Find an Authentic Italian Restaurant

The first step is quite obvious. You can’t have a true Italian experience without an authentic Italian restaurant. Now, there are many restaurants that claim to be authentic but highly Americanize the meals and even the vibe. And honestly, it’s never really possible to get the 100% Italian experience to a different corner of the world.

However, there are always motivated chefs and restaurants that try their best to make it a reality for people who cannot visit Italy whenever they crave Italian food. And as for those seeking a wonderful Italian dinner experience, an authentic restaurant will try to make it possible for you. But, how do you know if a restaurant is authentic or not?

Well thankfully, there are a few tips that can help you identify an authentic Italian restaurant in NYC. Some of these tips include exploring the menu and observing subtle things like the choice of pasta for different sauces and cheese. This will help you start with a strong foot.

Prefer Outdoor Dining

While this step is meant to provide you safety, it is equally effective in creating a wonderful overall vibe. In the present times of the pandemic, if you are thinking about dining in a restaurant, the best option would be to go for outdoor dining.

The tables are spaced as per the COVID safety norms and there’s proper ventilation so you can have a safe dining experience. Also, what’s the harm in having a true Italian dinner under the stars?

Crispin’s Restaurant is one the best Italian restaurants that offers beautiful space for outdoor dining in Hell’s Kitchen.

How to Order?

Now, if you wish to eat like Italians, you need to order like Italians too. When it comes to Italian dinners, the course does not include a salad, soup or a huge plate of lobster. It’s a little different from what American’s would consider regular. And you might also have an interval of about 30 minutes before each course as a way to rile up your appetite.


You can always order some appetizers or antipasti before the first meal. In NYC, it can be whatever you like. But, just to put it out there, a general appetizer or antipasti in Italy would probably be cold cuts, mushrooms, different types of cheese, pickled meat or a platter of everything.

More than often, antipasti can be more food than you can imagine. If you still feel like eating, read along to learn about the next courses.

First Course

First course or Primo in Italian meals is more often than not a type of non-meat dish. This can include a risotto, pasta, soup, lasagne or even casseroles. The choices for the first course are endless.

And as per the technicality of course meals, a Primo is slightly heavier than the appetizer but not more than the next course. So, you can always leave some space for the second course.

Second Course

The second course or Secondo is where you can gorge on the meaty stuff. You can order dishes that include poultry, meat or fish dishes such as steak, rabbit, sausage, etc. So, you may not really find many vegetables in the meals. However, if you are vegetarian, you can always ask for non-meat options. Also, the restaurant may serve a side dish or Contorni with the second course which includes the vegetables, salads or potatoes. You can always ask for a contorni if you like.

It’s easier to go through the entire course because Italian portions are generally very small. It allows you to enjoy the food without having to overeat.


The ending of every Italian dinner is always sweet. You have the freedom here. Choose the most appealing dessert from the menu and enjoy the burst of sweetness that follows. If you are out on a romantic dinner, you can always share the dessert for a special moment.

Order Wine

Can any Italian dinner go on without a glass of wine? Not really.

There’s no wrong time to order wine. You can start sipping as soon as you reach the table. Just make sure to ask for suggestions. The staff generally has a better idea about the type of wine that goes best with a specific type and flavors of food.

Since Italians take food very seriously, having wine on a dinner table makes sense. Wine is just one of the many ways to uplift the textures, flavors and tones of the food. Also, a moderate amount of wine is also good for your gut. At Crispin’s, you can find wines from all across Italy.

Try Seasonal Dishes

If a restaurant is authentic Italian, you will find dishes with seasonal herbs and produce in the menu. Because it’s all about maintaining the freshness and keeping the fresh flavor in every meal.

If you see that on the menu, it’s worth giving it a try. Because you may not find the same dish again until the next season.

Now that you know how to have a perfect Italian dinner in NYC, are you ready to experience it? Wait no more. Make your bookings today!