There are few experiences as enjoyable and memorable as indulging in a delicious Italian meal at a first-class restaurant. Not only are the dishes prepared to perfection, but the ambiance is impeccable, and the wait staff is top-notch. 

If you’re planning to attend one of these meals soon, it helps to prepare a little beforehand. If you know the steps to take and the ones to avoid, you can make the most of your culinary experience. 

Today, we’re sharing a short etiquette guide to eating at fine-dining Italian restaurants and sharing everything diners need to know before they set out. 

Do: Make a Reservation

Most fine dining restaurants prefer for patrons to make a reservation rather than show up unexpectedly and request a table. This is especially the case if you want to eat at a popular location, such as a famous Italian restaurant in Las Vegas.

When you know the times you’d prefer to eat, you can simply call ahead and request a table. Some restaurants, like ours, will even allow you to make a reservation online! Our reservations begin at 5:00 p.m. daily. 

While managers understand that tardies may happen, remember that it’s best to arrive as close to your reservation time as possible. This isn’t an instance in which you want to be fashionably late!

Do: Set Aside a Few Hours

Whether you’re going for lunch or dinner, the first thing to remember is that Italian fine dining is an adventure to be savored. The best meals are those that allow you to linger over each dish, savoring the morsels as they arrive. You’re also encouraged to bring plenty of friends and loved ones with you, as Italians love big, festive group gatherings. 

That said, avoid booking your reservation at a time that will make you feel rushed. Your meal may include multiple courses, and you want to allow plenty of time to appreciate and luxuriate in all of them. 

Do: Toast With Eye Contact

Of course, no meal at a top Italian restaurant would be complete without a decadent bottle of wine or two to share with the table. At Ferraro’s, we take particular pride in our Nebbiolo collection

When everyone has a glass, and it’s time to make a toast, remember to look your fellow diners in the eye as you speak. This is a sign of admiration and respect and can help your friends and loved ones feel more connected. 

Speaking of toasting, never toast with water in your glass. If you want to make a proclamation and your glass is empty, a waiter will usually be around to fill it up before too long. This is a long-held Italian superstition, and it’s important to abide by it. 

Do: Follow Proper Table Manners

If you’re fortunate enough to dine at the best Italian restaurant Las Vegas offers, remember to follow basic table rules. These apply to almost any fine dining experience, and they’re easy to implement. Here’s a quick overview.

Sharing Dishes

First, pass any communal dishes to your left. This is especially important with the first course, called the antipasto, which will typically include shareable, family-style food such as bruschetta, arancini (rice balls), or bread seasoned with olive oil. 

Elbows and Posture

Second, remember to keep your elbows off the table and structure your posture toward the individual who’s speaking. This is a simple sign of respect. You may be able to prop your elbows up in a more casual establishment, but it’s generally frowned upon in finer restaurants. 

Utensil Usage

When eating, Italians normally hold their fork in their right hand and their knife in their left hand. To the best of your ability, try to mimic this pattern when eating. While Americans are accustomed to switching their utensils to their dominant hand during the meal, this isn’t as common in Italy. 

Do: Be Discerning With Scarpetta

Scarpetta is the wonderful Italian custom of using bread to mop up every last morsel of your dish before it’s taken away. While this practice is perfectly acceptable at most casual dining restaurants, it may not be as permissible at a finer establishment. 

Scan the room and see if others are participating in Fare la Scarpetta. If they aren’t, then skip it for now but remember it for the next time you’re at a less formal spot. 

Don’t: Eat Pasta With a Spoon

This might be one of the most polarizing topics in all of Italy! When the waiter presents you with a mouth-watering dish of spaghetti carbonara, resist the urge to grab your spoon and dig in. 

Chances are, you’ve seen this common scene in movies: Someone holds a spoon in their left or non-dominant hand and then twirls pasta on a fork, resting the tines against the spoon to keep everything together.

While this approach might work in concept, it’s far from how true Italians enjoy their pasta. Instead, they use a fork exclusively. While you might use a spoon to add some extra marinara to your meal, you won’t need it when it’s time to eat. 

Don’t: Forget to Leave a Tip

When you’ve finished your meal, and it’s time to enjoy the next part of your evening, remember to leave a generous tip for your server and waitstaff. While the general rule is to tip at least 15% to 20% of your pre-tax total, some diners prefer to leave more if they enjoyed a particularly delightful experience. 

Enjoy One of Vegas’ Top Fine Dining Italian Restaurants

Whether you live in Las Vegas full-time or you’re just visiting for a while, it’s enjoyable to immerse yourself completely in the city’s culture and ambiance. One of the best ways to do so is to enjoy a meal at one of the many fine-dining Italian restaurants nearby. 

At Ferraro’s, we’re fortunate to be included in this list of esteemed eateries. 

Now that you know some of the tips that can help you make the most of your time with us, are you ready to see what we have to offer? Take some time to browse our extensive menus online, and contact us if you have any questions!