"So I ordered a plate of beef carpaccio," says Glencora. "It came with a sprinkling of capers, some arugula and half a lemon. The waiter asked if I wanted olive oil and seemed surprised when I declined. (Seemed messy; I was fond of the shirt I was wearing.) He also brought a basket of bread. Was there any particular way I should have eaten this? Other than just...eating it?"
"First time I ordered it the waiter instructed to squeeze lemon over the beef to 'cook' it," says laststandchili. "Tried it on a small piece then dug into the the rest sans lemon. Not sure if it's correct to add the lemon, but seems to defeat the purpose of experiencing exceptional beef. I'd think the olive oil would be a personal choice as well."
"Carpaccio should be eaten with the best olive oil you can find and with a small (a few drops) amount of lemon; but the meat should not be 'cooked' by the lemon; only flavored," says Maximilien. "Other than that, just enjoy it." nobadfoodplz explains that "the olive oil brings out some very unusual flavors in the meat with the saltiness of the capers and the bitterness of the arugula."
What about eating carpaccio on bread, as opposed to alternating bites? "IMO, carpaccio et al is a knife and fork dish," says c oliver. "I suppose you could tear off a small piece of bread, 'compose' your meat, greens etc. on your fork and then 'spear' the piece of bread and eat. Seems easier to alternate bites somehow." "I enjoy it on thinly sliced bread, sometimes very lightly toasted (crostini) with a little olive oil and maybe a shaving of Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese and a few capers," says lynnlato.
Discuss: How to eat carpaccio