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AAA Coupon


We had a AAA coupon for 25% off at Olive Garden that expired today, so we headed over there for a late lunch.  We weren’t sure how busy they were going to be on Christmas Eve, but when we got there at 1pm, we didn’t have to wait for a table.   We started off with soup, salad and breadsticks.

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I think we could have stopped right here and been very full and very contented.  The breadsticks were fresh and soft and both the salad and soup were yummy.  I like the pasta fagioli soup here.  It has a nice blend of flavors and textures.  For some reason, we felt the need to order an appetizer.

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Calamari & stuffed mushrooms… oh so good!  They prepare a really tender calamari here.  The mushrooms were also flavorful and filling.  As if this wasn’t enough food, we ordered entrees as well.  Loren got the braised beef tortelloni.

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It was definitely more tortelloni than beef, but he said it was very good.  I ordered the fettucine alfredo.

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This is my favorite dish here, though it could have used a little more sauce on it.  It’s very creamy and the noodles are cooked perfectly.   There’s a reason we don’t come here very often; we eat too much.  We both took home some leftovers.  For a chain restaurant, they really do prepare the food very well.  After the coupon, the total bill was $26.

Olive Garden
29461 Us-19 N
Clearwater, FL
(727) 787-3988

Olive Garden on Urbanspoon

Food4/5
Service4/5
Atmosphere4/5
Value4/5
4.0/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Italian
  • Quiet Dinner


    Another quiet dinner tonight, this time at Bascetti’s in Dunedin.  The restaurant was pretty empty when we got there around 5:45pm.   We liked the calamari the last time we were here, so had to get it again.

    The calamari was very tender and flavorful, though some of the pieces were stuck together and didn’t get quite as crispy on the outside as I would have liked.   It’s a really tasty dish though, especially with the dipping sauce.  Next up were the salads and bread.

    The last time we were here, neither of us were too keen on the housemade salad dressing.  It was better this time, but I’d still prefer a nice ranch dressing.  The bread was warm and delicious.  The dipping sauce is addictive.  Loren decided to try the catch of the day which was mahi.

    He said it was good, though he didn’t like all of the veggies that came with it.  I ordered the bolognese pappardelle.

    This dish was quite unexpected.  Any other places where I’ve ordered the bolognese, it’s been a tomato based sauce.  This was a very thin, white sauce.  It almost reminded me of a stroganoff.  The meat tasted like sausage and the pasta was homemade and cooked perfectly.  I just have mixed feelings about the dish.  It was ok, but I don’t think I’d order it again.  It just lacked depth of flavor.  Total bill with a drink was $49.

    Bascetti’s
    1568 Main Street
    Dunedin, FL
    727-738-2808

    Bascetti's on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    3.4/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Dunedin, Italian
  • Sirio


    Tonight’s dinner was at Sirio Ristorante with some co-workers.  This was probably the most upscale restaurant I ate at while in Vegas.  The food was excellent, but the prices were pretty outrageous.

    We started off with an antipasti platter and some bread.

    There were several different types of bread and they were all very good.  I didn’t eat much off of the antipasti platter.  I found the flavors on both the cheeses and meats to be too harsh for my tastes.  The guys at the table really enjoyed it though.

    I ordered the Cappellacci, a cheese & spinach stuffed pasta.

    It was very thick and dense, but overall had some good flavors.  Other dishes ordered around the table were the Lobster Risotto, a seafood pasta, and a pork three ways dish.

    Everyone seemed very happy with their meals.  I tasted the lobster risotto and it was good, but had a really strong flavor to it.  I don’t think I’d have been able to eat an entire bowl of it.  I didn’t see the final total on the check, but it definitely wasn’t cheap.

    Sirio Ristorante
    3730 Las Vegas Blvd S
    Las Vegas, NV
    (877) 230-2742

    Sirio Ristorante on Urbanspoon

    Food4/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    3.3/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Italian, Las Vegas
  • Cafe Vettro


    I’m in Las Vegas for a few days, staying at the Aria hotel.  The whole 3 hour time difference is totally throwing off my dining schedule.  By the time I got checked in, it was 9:00pm Florida time, so I just went down to Cafe Vettro which is in the hotel.

    I ordered the scallop pasta.

    It was pretty good, but the bacon in it was overpowering and also very fatty.  It pretty much overwhelmed the whole dish.  The scallops were tender and the pasta cooked just right, but I don’t think it was worth $24 though.  At least the rolls were tasty.  The waiter was ok until the end of the meal when he just disappeared.  I waited way too long to get my check.

    Cafe Vettro
    3730 Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV
    (877) 230-2742

    Cafe Vettro on Urbanspoon

    Food3/5
    Service2/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value2/5
    2.6/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: American, Las Vegas
  • Since we figured we’d be waiting for a table no matter where we went for dinner tonight, we decided to get some Italian food at Johnny’s.  Surprisingly, the wait was only about 10 minutes tonight.  We got the best part of the meal out of the way first thing, the Johnny bread.

    Hot & fresh out of the oven with a garlic oil dipping sauce that will have you tasting garlic for days.  It’s so good.  We kept going back & forth about whether to get calamari or crab cakes for an appetizer and settled on the crab cakes.

    I think we’d have been better off with the calamari.  Though the crab cakes were ok flavorwise, they just had no texture whatsoever.  They were mushy and definitely needed a crunch on the outside.  The two sauces served with them were spicy and spicier.  The red pepper sauce was miserably hot.

    Loren got a salad and I went for the clam chowder.

    The chowder lacked seasoning tonight.  A bit of salt went a long way to improving it.  Loren ordered the Chicken Fra Diavlo.

    He liked it.  The sauce was spicy and the chicken was tender.  There was easily enough for two meals in the bowl, so he had some leftovers.  I went for the fettucine alfredo with mushrooms & onions.  I’ve had it here before and really enjoyed it, but tonight’s version was quite inedible.

    As soon as the waitress put it on the table, I knew there was a problem.  It wasn’t creamy.  The alfredo sauce had completely separated.  It was a bowl of pasta in oil basically.  She took the bowl back to the kitchen & added some additional alfredo sauce to it, but the damage was already done.

    I get that alfredo sauce separates when it’s reheated, but it should be able to stay together through the first serving.  They did take it off our bill which ended up being $27.  This was sadly an off night for one of our favorite Italian restaurants.

    Johnny’s Italian Restaurant
    2907 SR 590 #1
    Clearwater, FL
    727-797-2940

    Johnny's Italian on Urbanspoon

    Food2/5
    Service3/5
    Atmosphere3/5
    Value3/5
    2.6/5
  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Clearwater, Italian