Fun Italian Dinner

by Cace

This is a simple but creative way to serve a dinner. It works well as a dinner party theme, but it could also just be used for a fun family dinner. The host/hostess will be serving a four course meal. Each guest or family member will be given a menu in Italian. The menu items not only include the food, but also the drinks and utensils for the meal. The idea being that your guests or family members will not have any idea what they are ordering. So if your family and friends are fluent in Italian, you should choose a different language.

Here's how it works:

The table:

The table should be cleared. No plates, utensils, napkins. The only items on your table will be a plate of cubed cheese, any kind you like, with a toothpick in each piece and bowl or cup with breadsticks. Make sure you have plenty of these items, sometimes they go quickly once people catch on to their uses.

The menu:

Give each guest a menu and ask them to pick three items for each course. Have them fill in the numbers under the course. Each number may only be used once. Serve each course separately and clear the table of all items served after each course. No swapping of items among guest is allowed. However, the guests can use the cheese, toothpicks and breadsticks which remain on the table throughout the entire meal. You should serve each course in small portions. After the fun of the four courses is over, everyone can eat the meal.

This is what my Italian menu looks like.

Name:______________________                                              1 – Forchetta de Insalata

Orina                                                                                           2 – Caffè con panna/Café Nero

Prima Corso                                                                                3 – Acqua

____    ____    ____                                                                    4 – Tovagliolo

Secondo Corso                                                                           5 – Forchetta

____    ____    ____                                                                    6 – Piatto culinario italiano

Terzo Corso                                                                                 7 – Insalata Verde

____    ____    ____                                                                     8 – Cucchiaio da Zuppa

Gelato                                                                                           9 – Cucchiaio

____    ____    ____                                                                    10 – Zuppa di Verdura

                                                                                                    11 – Sorbetto

                                                                                                    12 – Pane all'aglio


Of course the host/hostess has the translation key. Be sure to keep it well hidden! You don’t want anyone peeking and spoiling the fun.

The translations for the above menu:

1 - Salad fork

2 - Coffee with cream/ Coffee black

3 – Water

4 – Napkin

5 – Fork

6 – Lasagna

7 – Salad

8 – Soup spoon

9 – Teaspoon

10 – Vegetable Soup

11 – Sherbet

12 – Garlic Bread.

So for example, if I choose 1, 4, and 10 for my first course.I would be served a salad fork, a napkin and soup. It’s fun to see what combinations people end up with and if they can figure out a way to eat their meal. I have seen toothpicks used as forks, an attempt at using breadsticks like chopsticks, cheese used as a spoon and a number of other creative funny solutions.

I choose Italian as my example, but any foreign language could be used. With so many free translators online it would be easy to find the items you need to create a new menu or even to alter the one I have used. One of the things I really like about this idea, it’s not very expensive or fussy. You don’t have to do a lot of preparation for it. Of course, if you wanted to go all out, you could do a complete Italian decorative theme, but it works just as well done simply, with just the menu and the food. The entertainment and enjoyment is in the guessing, the surprise and the creativity and sense of humor of your guests or family members. 

Updated: 07/05/2011, Cace
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Tolovaj on 07/01/2014

I like it! It will be perfect for some of the summer afternoons. Thanks!

Tolovaj on 07/01/2014

I like it! It will be perfect for some of the summer afternoons. Thanks!

traveller27 on 08/24/2011

Sounds like a lot of fun!

chefkeem on 07/05/2011

I've never heard of this dinner game before. It sounds hilarious! :)

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