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  • Recipe name Category
    Breadsticks Appetizers, Salads, Snacks, Soups
    Chicken Formaggio Pizza Main Dish
    Pasta e Fagioli Main Dish
    Tiramisu Dessert Breakfast, Brunch, Desserts
    Olive Garden is a casual dining American restaurant chain specializing in Italian food. It bills itself as a traditional family restaurant with Old World-inspired dishes. Founded in 1982 in Orlando, Florida, there are presently 582 Olive Garden locations throughout the United States and Canada.


    Olive Garden restaurants have an ersatz Italian-American atmosphere, utilizing wine bottles, bright colors, lots of foliage in their decor, stucco walls with facial cameo carvings, and background music consisting of Italian songs and American music by Italian composers and singers.


    Olive Garden restaurants are especially noted for their breadsticks, soups, and salads, unlimited refills of which are offered to each guest who orders an entree.

    Olive Garden serves a mixture of traditional Italian food and Italian-American dishes, including Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna, Ravioli, Fettucine Alfredo, and Chicken Parmesan. There are several other menu options, including Specialty Pizzas and various seasonal specials.

    Romano cheese is freshly grated by the server, and may be added to any food item served at the restaurant at the customer's request.

    The Olive Garden also has a signature wine collection called Principato, it is bottled by Cavit.

    Restaurant design

    The newer restaurants are styled after Tuscan-style farmhouses and are meant to look and feel like the inside of a family home in Italy. The restaurants are modelled after an actual farmhouse in the town of Castellina in Chianti on the grounds of the Rocca delle Macie winery. The farmhouse is home to the Riserva di Fizzano, the Olive Garden's Culinary Institute, Restaurant and Cooking School. It is lead by Executive Chef Romana Neri.

    Culinary Institute of Tuscany

    In 1999, Olive Garden partnered with Sergio and Daniela Zingarelli, proprietors of the restored 11th century village of Riserva di Fizzano in Tuscany, to form a cooking school in Italy called the Culinary Institute of Tuscany. The Culinary Institute is located in Italy's Chianti Classico wine-growing region near the Rocca delle Macie Winery, also owned by the Zingarelli family.

    The curriculum for Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany was originally developed in collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America. Olive Garden sends chefs and general managers for training at the institute.


    Olive Garden is owned by Darden Restaurants, Inc., which was spun off from General Mills in 1995. Darden owns all Olive Garden restaurants, and does not franchise. Darden also owns the Red Lobster, Smokey Bones BBQ and Grill, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52 restaurant chains.


    Official site

    Darden Restaurants homepage

    Olive Garden Recipes
    Olive Garden logo
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