One of the best things in life is eating. I looove to cook food, explore food, watch people cook food and smell food. Food is really one of the key attributes to my heart! If you want to treat me out on the town for a night or for a special occasion, for like oh… I don’t know, maybe my birthday, then direct me to food. Ok, so you get the idea. One of my favorite places that I like to go eat ALL the time is Olive Garden. I don’t know why, but I feel that this place really just takes me away to a place where I dream of vineyards and beautiful green fields…and LoVe. ONE day, I will make it to ITALY! I don’t know if you get that same feeling, but it sure is nice:) Anywho, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Olive Garden has recently unveiled the most significant NEW MENU evolution in the restaurant’s history, including more than 20 new menu items that include new cocktails, appetizers, main courses and desserts. Also, you will find some dishes on the menu suitable for those waistlines which are under 575 calories! Some of the items are already in your bellies and some are just waiting to get in your bellies 🙂 I had the honor of tasting some of the wonderful dishes ahead of time, just so I could prep you for what is to come…
Please allow me to take you along my date night with ITALY… shall we?
First up for the night was these DELISH Crispy Risotto Bites (“Small Plates”) which were bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served in marinara sauce. These were just scrumptous and were the perfect size. MMMmmm I could still taste them.
Next that came out was the Artichoke Fritta. These were marinated artichoke hearts that are lightly battered and fried. (Yes, fried) and also served with this AMAZING five cheese marinara dipping sauce. Folks, These are not out YET! BUT, will be on the menu’s starting June 16th. I recommend that you give these bad boys a try. I promise, you can’t stop at just one!
This dish was EXCELLENTE’. We have the Polenta Shrimp alla Greca (“Small Plates”) this consists of sautéed shrimp served on creamy and I mean creammmmy polenta that is topped with fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce.
Whewwww… I was NOT getting full. I was trying to only have one bite of each dish, but it was IMPOSSIBLE! Everything was soooo good.
Now I know a salad when I see one. Let me introduce to you the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper. This beauty tasted so fresh and DELISH! I loved how it was so colorful and you could really smell the kale! Fresh mozzarella bites, roasted tomato, bell pepper, basil, kale and an extra-virgin olive oil drizzle makes this salad taste outta this world. You seriously have to try this!
I don’t know about you, but this is heaven in a dish! This had so much good flavors going on all in one! Let me introduce to you the Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich! It is made with yes, you guessed it, smashed chicken meatballs that melt in your mouth and then add some roasted bell peppers and mozzarella on a focaccia bun! See, I told ya! Heaven on a bun 🙂
Now this is the dish I have been waiting on all night to dive into. Why may you ask? Well, it is the Lasagna Fresca which will be coming soon to an Olive Garden near you on June 16th that is comprised of the best sun-dried tomato sauce in this world. The combination of hand folded vegetable lasagna, sautéed shrimp and grilled tomatoes in one just makes all the taste buds in your mouth jumping for joy! I’m not kidding. This dish is outta this world and the only way you are going to believe me, is to TRY IT! I double dare you:)
Where are all my garlic lovers at? Boy do I have a dish for you! This Garlic Rosemary Chicken is just what the vampires
have ordered because it is simply lip biting good! See what I did there? :0) Anyways, this dish is made up of grilled marinated chicken breast that is topped with rosemary and caramelized garlic cloves. It is then paired with some garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and fresh spinach. I LOVED THIS DISH, and if you love garlic, SO WILL YOU!!
So as the night was winding down and my belly was soooo full. I was trying to capture every moment of the entrees, I oddly found room for one more dish. Any takers on what that dish might have been?
Allow me the honor of introducing to you the newest desert on the menu and it is simply to die for. It’s a Strawberry Panna Cotta which will be available to you on June 16th as well, and is made up of sweet summer strawberries top a rich and creamy vanilla custard that is inspired by ITALY’s mountainous Piedmont region. This dish which I DID NOT SHARE with no one as I inhaled it lol, was the perfect ending to my date night with ITALY! If you want to take a trip to ITALY, TRY THIS DESSERT!!!
And as my date night was coming to an end, luck was on my side as I had won this awesome gift card to come back and try out the fabulous new menu once it lands on June 16th. I will get to continue to fantasize what ITALY will be like through the wonderful meals at Olive Garden until I embark on my journey to the beautiful country itself. But until I do, I will settle for a DATE NIGHT WITH OLIVE GARDEN anytime!
Be sure to check out Olive Garden’s new menu on June 16th! I might just see you there!!!!
The review is written by me on behalf of Olive Garden. The opinions are all mine.