Olive Garden

Name of Restaurant: Olive Garden
Location: 1809, Walnut Street, Cary 27511, NC

Cuisine: Italian
Date: 11/06/2010
Time: 2:30 pm

What we ordered:
1. Olive Garden Appetizer Sampler (we could pick 3 of some 6 appetizers): Stuffed Mushrooms, Chicken Fingers, Pork Ravioli
2. Seafood Brodetto, with the House Salad, for the side.
3. Shrimp and Crab Tortelli Romana, with Chicken and Gnochi Soup, for the side
4. Strawberry-Mango Limonata
5. Cabarnet Sauvignon (Sterling Vintner)

We paid:
$34 each (inclusive of tip and were two very very stuffed beings, there after)

Rating:
1. Ambience: 7.5/10
2. Service: 9/10
3. Food: 8.5/10

Notes:
1. With the gaddi di chaabi in our bagal, we decided to live it up this weekend: G and I. Perfect Satuday night. Super Sunday morning. Multiple hundreds of miles of driving around, just for the heck of it. A lunch at Olive Garden. I’d deprived my graduate self of pleasures that are expensive Italian Cuisine. (Ok! Turns out it’s not THAT Italian!)
2. There was a fifteen minute wait before we got a table. Well, we got a booth. The restaurant has booths, mostly, except for a few tables in an open area, which are pretty much empty. When we wee seated, i complained of a weird smell. I figured it was just an OD of parmesan somewhere. I really like the smell of parmesan, though. So I thought it was a little strange that I was affected.
3. The waitress was pretty. She was jumpy. She was friendly. I instantly took to her. And I think her suggestion for the wine simply made my meal.
4. I got a side salad with my meal, which came before the appetizers. So did the soup, which was G’s side. The chicken and gnocchi soup was awesome! G loves gnocchi. He never seems to remember he likes it so much though. For one, he goofs up the pronunciation, which is quite cute. Two, he doesn’t remember the spinach gnocchi and marinara (?) sauce from Trattoria Dopo Teatro – July 2nd, 2010!!! HAWWWWW!!!! *angry face* Anyway, the soup was a pleasure, yes. I secretly love gnocchi too, you know.
5. As is with most Italian(ish) restaurants, serving a basket of bread is customary. The bread bowl was a few mini baguettes, if I may call them that. Lightly drizzled with garlic salt. Very fluffy. Very enjoyable.
6. Then came platter of stuffed mushrooms, pork ravioli and fried chicken (because we didn’t want any of the other stuff: fried mozza, fried calamari, fried zucchini… yep, the fried chicken was our best bet). We’ve eaten too much fried calamari. We eat it all the time. We get Mozzarella sticks at Sammy’s next door, why’d we go to *OLIVE GARDEN* for that? And fried zucchini? That’s like bhoplyachi bhaji. The stuffed mushrooms were great. A couple of kinds of cheese in there, for sure. The chicken fingers were, well, chicken fingers. The pork (and beef) was toasted! WTF! Really!! Who toasts ravioli? Unless it’s some unheard of delicacy in some unheard of Italian village. :S
7. G ordered the Brodetto. It was pretty much of an orange stew, of sorts, with shrimp, scallops and chunks of tilapia. It was served with some sort of Texas Toast. It was just about alright.

Seafood Brodetto

8. My Tortelli Romana was a mozzarella-stuffed ravioli with shrimp and crab meat, served with a creamy sauce and sun dried tomatoes. It was pretty good. Or then maybe, I just like to believe that I have the ability to order better food than G does. 😛

Shrimp and Crabmeat Tortelli Romana

9. The limonata which G ordered was this overwhelmingly khatta-meetha sarbat. Yes, it looks pretty. But I’d have like mine spiked up.

Fake smile!!! (and tropical drink)

10. My wine was red (d-uh!) and dry and really fucking good.
11. We were tempted to order dessert, but with all that food already in our systems, hell no!
12. Ooooh, porcelain crockery is always appreciated. The heavy plates et. al. Always makes the meal more worthwhile.

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