I was invited to try Olive Garden’s new Tastes of the Mediterranean menu, which features fresh, robust ingredients; seafood, vegetables and olive oil – all for under 600 calories. Naturally, I asked one of my favorite picky eaters, who also happens to be one of my best friends, to join me for a lovely dinner.
We met at the Olive Garden in Northridge, CA, and boy did it bring back memories. It has been quite some time since I was there last, but I have to say, I have eaten at this particular Olive Garden since I was about 16 years old. It was probably one of my favorite things to do with my mom, as a teenager. She'd pick me up from school, and we would often spend our afternoons shopping and lunching before going home to do homework. Fond memories!
When we arrived, we were quickly seated. No wait, no hassle.
We immediately noticed that Olive Garden is incredibly family friendly. I looked around and absolutely loved seeing all of the families dining. Some with older parents, some with young children, several with both. As a mother, it's always a struggle to find family friendly restaurants with great food. You usually have to sacrifice one or the other. But if that's not your thing, there are plenty of more secluded, quiet seats at this location.
As we looked through the menu, we decided on soup and salad to start. Jessica ordered the Minestrone, and I had the Chicken & Gnocchi soup. Olive Garden's famous breadsticks and House Salad were incredible as always.
The Chicken & Gnocchi soup is to die for! If you like creamy soups, this is THE one! You do not want to miss this soup.
Our main course choices were the Shrimp Scampi, and the Herb-Grilled Salmon, with a side of Parmesan Crusted Zucchini. To make our meal even better, the manager brought us the perfect white wine to pair with our entrees.
We had such a good time, eating, drinking and catching up. Sometimes, all you need is a night out with one of your favorite girl friends.
Of course, I was not going anywhere without getting dinner to go for hubby.
While Jessica and I loved the Taste of the Mediterranean menu, hubby prefers Olive Garden's classic menu. His order was the Tour of Italy, with slice of Lemon Cream Cake for dessert. Where usually, it would have taken all I had not to dig into his dessert, my light and healthy Shrimp Scampi was so tasty and filling, there was no room for dessert.
What I love about Olive Garden is that there is truly something for everyone. With Taste of the Mediterranean's under 600 calorie options, I don't have to feel guilty about indulging in delicious Italian food. And if you are into hardier meals, their classic menu, well, it's classic!
With full tummies, and plenty of food to take home, Jessica and I were delighted with Taste of Mediterranean's under 600 calorie options.