Olive Garden

Food Tasting @ Olive Garden

Josh and I were lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive food tasting @ Olive Garden in Ann Arbor, MI last week. Olive Garden’s culinary geniuses were looking for feedback on their latest and most significant menu evolution in OG history. Olive Garden’s new menu is designed to appeal to the evolving palettes and preferences of casual dining guests, while providing more customizable options. See how they ranked!

Atmosphere: 4 out of bites

Price: 3.5 out 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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We started off with a drink…

Italian Margarita: Sauza Gold Tequila, triple sec and imported Italian amaretto. Light, refreshing, and dangerous because you cannot taste the alcohol. The sweetness from the amaretto balances the sourness from the margarita. Highly recommended!

Italian Margherita

Out of a 10 course food tasting, Josh and I decided to share our favorites.

Crispy Risotto Bites: A bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served with marinara sauce. Perfectly crispy and not greasy. The marinara was flavorful and the perfect sidekick. Great for sharing!

Risotto Bites

Artichoke Fritta: Artichoke hearts lightly battered and fried, topped with Italian cheeses, Served with citrus aioli dipping sauce. Even though the artichoke hearts were fried, this appetizer was very light. The artichoke has a slightly lemony and sour element that brightened up the texture. The citrus aioli sauce was what made this dish: delectable!

Articoke Fritta

Salmon Bruschetta: Grilled filet topped with fresh tomatoes and basil pesto. Served on a seafood risotto with sauteed shrimp. Although we’re not huge seafood fans (Josh even less than I), this salmon was amazing. Cooked and seasoned perfectly and extremely fresh! The creamy and silky risotto was the perfect pairing.

Salmon bruschetta with shrimp risotto

Citrus Chicken Sorrento: (Lighter Italian Fare, under 575 calories). Tender, grilled chicken breasts in a citrus honey glaze, inspired by the city of Sorrento, famous for it’s lemon groves. Served with lightly seasoned broccoli, artichokes and roasted vegetables. The sweet citrus and lemon flavor was light, yet satisfying. The chicken was tender, juicy, and succulent.

Citrus Chicken Sorrento

Braised Beef and Tortelloni: Tender slices of slow-braised beef, portobello mushrooms, and asiago-filled tortelloni tossed in a basil-marsala sauce. OMG! Hands down, the best thing we’ve ever eaten! The beef was so tender and absorbed so much of that slightly sweet basil-marsala sauce. The tortelloni was perfectly cooked, and filled with buttery asiago cheese that just melted in your mouth. Although this dish was slightly heavy, it was comforting, exquisite and so worth it!

Braised Beef Tortelloni

Apple Tuscan Bread Pudding: (Seasonal dessert)-Warm, rustic Italian bread pudding baked with York Imperial applies, then topped with caramel and a rich vanilla cream. Now, I would normally gravitate towards a chocolate dessert or cheesecake for an after dinner delight, but this bread pudding is good! A nice crusty top with a moist, soft center. This is the perfect dessert to warm you up right before you venture out into the Michigan cold. The vanilla cream is the perfect finishing touch and really compliments the bread pudding well.

Tuscan Apple Bread Pudding

Some of the other menu features include Spicy Three Meat Sauce part of Cucina Mia (customize your pasta), Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper, Mediterranean Flatbread, Spicy Calabrian Wings, and Pappardella Pescatore seafood entree.

The OG staff and organizers of the food tasting were really great and took the time to explain each dish and interact with the food tasters. Service was good as always and the staff was very accommodating. A big thank you goes out to the the staff at Olive Garden and Costa Communications Group! We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, if you want good Italian that never disappoints, go to Olive Garden. This new menu is the best we’ve had at OG so stop wasting your time with mediocre. Get to Olive Garden now and experience decadence.

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Olive Garden

Today on the Bite Tonight: Olive Garden’s unlimited soup & salad

My mother and I decided to have a nice mother/daughter day. After a long morning of shopping for fresh produce @ Block’s Farmer’s Market, we stopped in to Olive Garden for lunch. Located on Eureka Rd in Southgate, Olive Garden is a great Italian restaurant that never disappoints. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Chicken & Gnocci: A creamy soup made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings and spinach. My favorite! Creamy broth, fresh ingredients, and perfectly seasoned.

chicken gnocci soup

Zuppa Toscana: Spicy sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth. Rustic, hearty, and delicious. I love the sausage paired with the kale.

sausage and potato soup

House Salad with house dressing. Love the pepperoncini’s!

OG salad

If you’re looking for a nice lunch, without all the calories of pasta, opt for soup and salad. Olive Garden offers up fresh ingredients, traditional classics, and delicious comfort food.

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Gregorio's Italian Restaurant

Josh and I decided to stop in to Gregorio’s Italian Restaurant. Gregorio’s is located in Wyandotte on Biddle. This small, cozy restaurant has been making favorites for locals since 2003. Check out our visit.

Fried Ravioli: The ravioli was lightly breaded, golden brown and tasted pretty average.

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For dinner, we tried one of the specials: The Bocci: Sacchetti cheese filled pasta with Alfredo sauce and chicken. We were able to customize this dish which is always a plus. It originally came with marinara, but the Alfredo sauce was the way to go. We also added the chicken. The cheese filled pasta was tender and tasted good with the Alfredo sauce. There was only a few strips of chicken which was a little dry.

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If you visit their website, you can sign up for the email club and view weekly promotions. I was really impressed with the website as well. It’s user friendly and has some great pics. However, the website looked better than the actual restaurant did. The decor was outdated and the place was very small which means there wasn’t much privacy. The prices were a little on the high side, also. Our special was orginally $13.99 and for cheese filled pasta, that seems a little steep. After adding Alfredo sauce & chicken to our dish, it came to $20, which wasn’t worth it. The service was great, but next time I’m craving Italian, I’ll stick to Antonio’s or Olive Garden.

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Roman Village Cafe

Antonio’s Cusina Italiana has a sister restaurant located on Dix Rd. in Dearborn, Roman Village Cafe.  If you love Antonio’s, Roman Village is serving all your Italian favorites. I decided to take Josh there for Sweetest Day.

We started off with the garlicy, buttery fresh bread with Alfredo dipping sauce: The bread is amazing and the Alfredo was not salty like Olive Garden’s  is.

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Tortellini Alla Panna: Cheese filled tortellini prepared with peas and ham in a rich cream sauce. The tortellini was tender and the sauce was a little bland. The ham was good, but it seemed as though it was ripped up pieces of deli ham.

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I went with the famous Chicken Antonio (previously featured). Lightly battered chicken breast topped with melted Provolone cheese and white sauce. Delicious! I highly recommend this dish.

The food was good, but Antonio’s seems to be my favorite. I did like that we only waited about 20 min @ 7:30 pm on Saturday and the service was great. We also didn’t really like was that Roman Village Cafe was a little bright. Normally, when we go out to an Italian restaurant, we expect it to be dimly lit, creating a romantic ambiance.

Josh surprised me with some sweets (what a Sweetie)! He just wouldn’t tell me where he got them.

Chocolate Covered Bacon: Sweet meets salty. I thought the bacon would have that bacon-bit fake flavor, but it tasted like the bacon I made for breakfast this past weekend. Very interesting!

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(The pieces broke during transportation).

Butterfinger Dipped Pretzel & Chocolate with Cashews: Who doesn’t love a pretzel wrapped candy bar? The salt from the pretzel balances out the sweetness from the chocolate and peanut buttery Butterfinger! The chocolate with cashews was creamy and fresh. It didn’t taste like your average Hershey Bar. You could really taste the quality.

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The night was awesome and we have a lot of fun. Thanks Baby for the best Sweetest Day! ❤

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