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The hardest part about going out to eat is choosing a restaurant. If you are in the mood for Italian food, the following tips should help you choose the ideal place:

* Figure out what kind of Italian food you feel like eating. Italian restaurants generally serve one of two different styles of Italian cuisine. Some restaurants serve Americanized Italian food. Common examples of this kind of food include pizza, spaghetti, and garlic bread. You generally won’t find these dishes at restaurants in Italy.

Authentic Italian restaurants, on the other hand, focus on serving food that you would actually find at a restaurant in Italy. For instance, they may serve appetizers such as bruschetta and usually have a lot of light pasta dishes that incorporate seafood or vegetables. A good place to start when choosing a restaurant is deciding whether you want authentic Italian food or less traditional cuisine.

* Check out menus online. These days, the majority of restaurants have their menus posted online. You should be able to pull up the menus from any restaurants in your area that serve Italian food. Along with looking at the prices, make sure that you check out all of the items on the menu to see if there are any dishes that interest you. If you have any special dietary concerns such as allergies or food intolerances, you should also make sure that there are things on the menu that you can safely eat.

* Read reviews. Restaurant reviews can be helpful since they give you a chance to hear how other people liked the food and service at a particular venue. In some cases, reviewers also share photos of their meals. This type of information can be useful when deciding where to eat.

* Make sure you can get in. If a restaurant is particularly popular, it may be difficult to get in. Call ahead to find out whether or not you need a reservation. This is especially important if you are planning on dining out on a holiday. Special occasions such as Valentine’s Day usually cause restaurants to fill up quickly. If you don’t have a reservation ahead of time, you are unlikely to get a table.

* Check that everyone in your party is on the same page. If you are dining with other people, you should be sure to get their opinions on where to eat as well. You should be able to decide on a place that everyone wants to try so that no one feels left out.

Deciding on an Italian restaurant can be hard – especially if you live in an area with a lot of different restaurants that serve Italian cuisine. Your best bet is usually to compare the menus between each of the restaurants to see which ones have food that you actually want to eat. From there, it is just a matter of reading reviews to determine which restaurants are the best. Once you pick a place, be sure to make a reservation so that you don’t wind up getting turned away at the door.