Choosing a great Italian starter

Enjoying a nice meal in an Italian Restaurant Dublin way, or in your local area is one of the best ways to taste authentic Italian dishes outside of visiting Italy itself. When you first open the menu, you are faced with the agonising decision over which starter, main and dessert to choose as there are so many great dishes available. Here are some of the traditional starters that you may find available:

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  • Mozzarella Sticks – these crunchy delights are made from slices of Mozzarella that is dipped into an egg and breadcrumb mixture and then fried. During the frying process the breadcrumbs turn golden and crispy whilst the Mozzarella tarts to melt slightly inside.
  • Topped Bruschetta – bruschetta is a popular starter choice and can be topped with a variety of items including mozzarella, tomatoes and basil or perhaps some caramelised red onions. The bread is lightly toasted sometimes before the toppings are added and in some other instances they are toasted and served in a bowl as a sharing option whilst you are perusing the menu.
  • Topped Flatbreads – these flatbreads known as Piadina and again these can be finished off with a variety of toppings including cheeses and prosciutto. These flat breads are also becoming a popular option for those looking for a lighter alternative to a traditional pizza main choice.
  • Mozzarella and Tomato Salad – this salad option is served in a variety of ways but always consists of the same ingredients including tomatoes (large beef tomatoes where possible) sliced, Mozzarella, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. In some restaurants these will be served to you in a stack and in others it will be served in more of a salad style. Before serving this dish is drizzled with olive oil and a generous helping of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Sharing platters – these platters are a great option if you want to have a starter that you can share with everyone at your table and usually consists of prosciutto and other meats, Mozzarella balls, tomatoes, anchovies, olives and a variety of other antipasti style foods.

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When choosing a starter in an Italian restaurant many people opt for the lighter options so that they can then choose one of the richer more filling starters usually then followed by a light sorbet style dessert. In Italy food is a real family affair and they are happy to take their time to enjoy their meal in the company of their friends and loved ones.

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