Cincinnati, Ohio

Monday, September 26, 2011

Olive Garden - Florence, KY

Last night we had dinner at the Olive Garden on Mall road in Florence, Kentucky. I had a really busy day and did not want to cook. We all needed a night off! We threw caution to the wind and embraced a high calorie but fantastic meal! Olive Garden is a very pretty restaurant with amazing food and a great wait staff. I must state up front that this is not a budget dinner but it is not outrageous either. Dinner for the four of us ran just under $50. We did not drink any vino (wine) though because the price stacks up quickly! I had a bottle chilled and waiting at home.

We started with a pick two sampler appetizer. We got stuffed mushrooms and ravioli. You get six of each. The ravioli was wonderful. It was lightly breaded and fried. It came with a thick tomato sauce for dipping. Not good for you by any means but yummy. I am normally a huge mushroom fan but I was not impressed with these. Ivy loved them however.

The Eggplant Parm caught my eye on the dinner menu. It was great! I got five eggplant slices and spaghetti on the side. Michael, my husband, got Carbonara Ravioli with Chicken. I tried a bite of each. They were just as good as the eggplant! Their kids meals are set up so the kids get choices. They pick a pasta and a sauce. Bella, my toddler, got small shells and red meat sauce. You can add a protein to a kids meal for a $1.25. This is what Ivy did. She got Fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp. She said it was very tasty. The kids also got to chose a side. Ivy got mashed potatoes, which I thought was a little weird. I normally would not allow two carbs in one meal but this was a special outing. We let the kids pick whatever they want when we go out. It is not an issue because we do this so rarely! I got Bella grapes for her side.

They also brought a huge bowl of salad with Italian dressing and a basket of hot, fresh bread sticks to the table for all of us to share. The salad and bread sticks are unlimited. They will gladly refill either or both as many times as you want. This was not an issue for us. We had way too much food!! While we greatly enjoy food we are not huge eaters. We can all eat a decent sized meal but everything here was double sized! The waiter packed up half of all our meals except Bella's. We brought almost her entire meal home. She only ate a few bites of her pasta. She did have a bread stick and some salad. She was so overwhelmed by the environment that she spared little time for eating. She enjoyed herself, talking to people who walked by, coloring on the kids menu and checking out her large cloth napkin. They ended the dinner by bringing us our doggie bag with our packed up leftovers and mints for all of us.

It was a great dinner! Next time I will not order appetizers. There was too much food for us. The place does have a good atmosphere. It is the kind of place that allows you to linger and enjoy your food. Granted we were a little later then the normal dinner rush which may have impacted this fact. We got there at about 8pm. During the weekend dinner rush our experience could have been much different. The place was still busy but there was not a line waiting to be seated. For popular restaurants it typically pays to go early or wait until a little late. The service tends to be better because the staff is helping less people. At some places we have visited even the food is better when you visit outside of the peak hours.

The Details:
Location: 7848 Mall Road, Florence, KY 41042
Phone number: (859) 371-5425
Ordered: 1 appetizer, 2 adult dinners plus drinks, and 2 kids meals
Cost: $48 plus tip
If I had it to do over: I would drop the appetizer!

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