The Origins of Appetizers

An appetizer is a small dish of food or a drink taken before a meal or the main course of a meal to stimulate one's appetite. Who decided we needed food before more food? Keep reading to learn about the origins of appetizers! Then take a look at what delicious pre-meal snacks we have to offer here at Li'l Rizzo's.

Appetizer History

Virtually all cultures have indulged in pre-meal morsels designed to whet the appetite. The ancient Greeks and Romans sampled bits of fish, seasoned vegetables, cheese and olives prior to their meals. Italians often ate thin rolls of grilled veal to stimulate the appetite for the meal to come. Wealthy Frenchmen picked at hors d’oeuvres throughout fancy meals from the late 17th through the mid-19th centuries. These snacks ranged from oysters and stuffed eggs to slices of beef tongue or braised quails.

Americans began emulating that french dining model, by placing these bites of food on the table to be served throughout the meal as a palate refresher until dessert was served. Styles of service changed radically in the 19th century, evolving to the successive, multi-course meal structure we see today. During that time, the role of hors d'oeuvres changed as well. By the late 19th century, hors d’oeuvres, such as small pastry cases filled with bits of meat in creamy sauce, had become a separate course after the soup was served. The term “appetizers” seems to have appeared nearly simultaneously in America and England in the 1860s, simply to provide an English equivalent for the French hors d’oeuvre.

Appetizers at Li'l Rizzo's 

Who doesn't love a great appetizer? Not only does it keep your mind and stomach occupied while you wait for the main course, but you can share them with friends and family due to their bite-sized qualities. Check out some selections from our appetizer menu below and come taste some today!

Spinach, Green Chili & Jalapeno Dip 
Creamy, cheesy dip with spinach, green chiles and jalapenos. Served with nacho chips.

Garlic Cheese Bread
Sliced French bread topped with butter and a blend of mozzarella and provel cheese.

Chicken Tenders
Hand-breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown, served with a side of sweet and tangy, mustard based BBQ sauce or tossed in your favorite wing sauce.

Toasted Ravioli
Beef ravioli deep-fried to a golden brown, topped with parsley flakes, parmesan cheese and served with a side of meat sauce.

Loaded Potato Skins
Potato "cups" filled with bacon, green onion, provel and mozzarella cheese. Served with sour cream.

Cheese Sticks
Mozzarella sticks, deep fried, sprinkled with parsley flakes, parmesan cheese and served with a side of marinara.

Traditional Bruschetta
Sliced French bread topped with butter and a parmesan, basil, garlic and olive oil spread, finished with diced tomato and green onions.

Which of these tasty appetizers do you think will whet your palate the most? Come into Li'l Rizzo's today to find out. Join us between 3 and 6 pm to take advantage of our half-price appetizer deal during Happy Hour! There's no better time to try our variety of pre-meal snacks. We'll see you soon at the best Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks!

Lake of the Ozarks BEST Italian Food and Sports Bar! 

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