Falcon Stiletto Olive

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All About the Olive Garden - A Great Restaurant

The Olive Garden is the most popular "Italian-American" restaurant chain in America. The USA is a country that loves its Italian food--every town has their Italian cafe or upscale pizza joint serving pasta dishes and wine by the glass. The Olive Garden became the king of Italian-American food in part with sheer volume. As of the end of 2010, The Olive Garden was operating more than 700 restaurants in America and Canada.

The first Olive Garden restaurant was opened in 1982 by the General Mills corporation. Corporate ventures into the restaurant business were not exactly unheard of in the early 80s, but not on the scale that General Mills planned. In just seven years, 200 more Olive Garden restaurants opened. General Mill's foray into food would become the model that the big restaurant conglomerations would follow for the next thirty years.

The Olive Garden's menu has changed a number of times in the past thirty years. The most dramatic changes have come in recent years. Olive Garden restaurants have been restyled, redesigned, and the entire focus of the menu has shifted. Olive Garden restaurants are now styled after a farmhouse in Castellina, Italy, a specific building chosen for its "rustic" look. The menu took a giant leap along with the design, with a complete makeover done in cooperation with Italian chef Romana Neri, also the head of the Culinary Institute of Tuscany. The wine list was updated, the food is entirely different, and the ambiance of the restaurant is more relaxing, with soft light and neutral colors.

Lots of people are drawn to The Olive Garden for simple foods like soup, salad, and bread sticks--a popular menu combo. With a decent selection of wines by the glass and plenty of appetizers and small plates, The Olive Garden is a popular gathering spot for family and friends or employee lunches. The big changes made to the menu did add a few dollars here and there to menu items, but the bar menu moved the opposite direction, meaning you have a wider selection of wines at a wider selection of price points.

The Olive Garden is now headquartered in Orlando, Florida, and the restaurant chain has changed hands a few times. Now owned by Darden Restaurants, the Olive Garden does more than a hundred million dollars of business every year. Olive Garden restaurants are everywhere, especially as you travel on Interstate roads or near big commercial areas like shopping malls. With a plan in the works to expand their presence into airports and colleges, you'll be seeing plenty of Olive Garden restaurants in the years to come.

Learn more about
Olive Garden Coupons
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Olive Garden Coupons
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