4 Classic Italian Dishes To Try

Italian food is a well-loved culinary treat for many. However, it can be tempting to stick to your same tried-and-true orders instead of branching out and trying new things. Here are four classic Italian dishes to try the next time you're at your local Italian restaurant:

1. Fettuccine Alfredo

When most people think of Italian food, they immediately think of tomato sauce. While tomatoes lend a fresh and vibrant flavor to many Italian dishes, cream sauces offer a more mellow and rich flavor experience. Try fettuccine alfredo when you're looking for a creamy indulgence. The sauce for this dish is made with heavy cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese; it's then tossed on broad, flat noodles that provide an excellent counterpoint to the silken sauce. If you're a meat lover, opt for chicken alfredo or even shrimp alfredo.

2. Lasagna

Lasagna is a classic entree for good reason. It's hearty, cheesy, and when filled with high quality meat, it's very filling. For a new twist on an old favorite, order lamb lasagna. Lamb is rich and flavorful, and it adds a new depth of flavor to this time-honored classic. Vegetable lasagna is another option for vegetarians or those trying to cut down their red meat consumption. Red wine pairs well with lasagna, since it balances out the heaviness of this dish without being too overpowering.

3. Espresso

Coffee is well-loved in Italy, and there's nothing more classic than finishing your meal with espresso, according to Eataly. For a truly authentic experience, order your espresso black. Milk and sugar will alter the flavor of the coffee, and real Italian coffee should taste good on its own. The strong, bitter flavor of the espresso is an excellent palate cleanser, and it will pair well with the sweetness of whatever you choose for dessert.

4. Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a decadent Italian dessert and a fantastic way to end your evening. It's made by layering ladyfingers with sweetened mascarpone cheese. Finally, it's soaked in coffee and rum to give it its exquisite, rich signature flavor. If you're feeling full after your entree, you might want to split this dessert with your dining companion.

There are so many great Italian dishes to try. For your next date night, take your sweetheart to a local Italian restaurant like Z Prime Steakhouse and order a few of these dishes. They'll be impressed by your knowledge of Italian cuisine, and you'll get to relax and enjoy good food and good company.