A Dinner Outing to Celebrate Paul’s New Job

Destination: Olive Garden


The Mediterranean Tastes Menu…Mmmmmm

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Friends, my husband Paul is finally leaving his law enforcement career for a job as a mental health professional!

Back in 2017, he graduated with a Masters in Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) but remained in his job as a peace officer waiting for the perfect opportunity to leave.

It looks like the new year brought him good luck because that perfect opportunity arrived last week when he was hired to join the team at a public agency where he will offer therapy to at-risk youth!

This called for a celebration so we decided to have a midweek dinner outing at our nearest Olive Garden Restaurant, where our friendly server, Patrick, was super enthusiastic about Paul’s good news:


Olive Garden is a national Italian food restaurant chain

with dozens of locations in California alone. Chances are you’ve been to an Olive Garden before and indulged in their warm bread sticks and yummy pastas. But did you know Olive Garden also offers a really good “Tastes of the Mediterranean” menu? 

Olive Garden has an extensive wine list. I recommend pairing the Picatta dishes with a glass of Settesoli Seven Suns Chardonnay.

Olive Garden has an extensive wine list. I recommend pairing the Picatta dishes with a glass of Settesoli Seven Suns Chardonnay.

Drawing inspiration for each dish from Italy’s Mediterranean coast,

the menu highlights familiar cooking styles from the region featuring fresh, robust ingredients like seafood, veggies and olive oil. Best of all, each item from Olive Garden’s Tastes of the Mediterranean menu is under 600 calories!

Eating lighter doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice flavor, friends!


Paul and I both ordered Picatta dishes—

He ordered Chicken Picatta and I went for the Salmon Picatta, a grilled salmon dish topped with a lemon garlic butter sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. By the way, capers are the pickled flower buds of a plant called Capparis spinose. They’re used in many Mediterranean dishes and pair perfectly with the lemon garlic butter sauce on this particular dish.

“When it comes down to the acidity, the capers help balance it out,” explained the restaurant’s chef.

The picatta dishes are served with Parmesan crusted zucchini. They were a great option, especially after having enjoyed a shared plate of Italian salad and a Lasagna Fritta appetizer:


For the boys we ordered Spaghetti.

Because what child doesn’t love slurping noodles with marinara sauce!? Benny and Toby behaved pretty well throughout the evening. That’s not to ignore the fact that they spilled a cup of water over the table set-up and ended up wrestling for crayons underneath the booth. Still, the pre-mealtime chaos was paused when little Toby saw his fresh bowl of spaghetti (which comes with an order of chicken fingers) delivered right before his eyes.

Ahhh, to feel a child’s culinary excitement!


Satisfied and very pleased with our meals,

we couldn’t possibly leave Olive Garden without a celebratory dessert! We ordered a slice of chocolate cake and some incredibly delicious Zeppoli (think rectangle-shaped beignets with chocolate dipping sauce).

The restaurant manager, Mr. Steven Crum, stopped by our table to greet us. His visit was reminiscent of a dining experience at a quaint family restaurant, where the owner gets to know his patrons. Mr. Crum has been managing Olive Garden restaurants in the San Fernando Valley & Burbank areas for over 25 years!

Thanks for a great experience, Steven!


Congrats, life partner…

You’ve worked hard for a new career and brought us along for the rollercoaster ride. I couldn’t be prouder of your determination. Love you, Paul!

Thanks Olive Garden, the Tastes of the Mediterranean menu is light and delicious. Looking forward to another visit! Next time, I want to try the Shrimp Scampi or maybe the Chicken Margherita…or the Chicken Giardino…you get the point…yummmm!


-Anabel M.