I was recently told a story (by my mom of all people) involving a young lady, Olive Garden, leftovers, and an STD. I don’t want to get into specifics because this particular story is rather grotesque, but I’ll let you use your imagination. After doing some Internet research, I determined that there’s a high likelihood of this story being an urban myth, but it got me thinking – why would anyone in Bergen County dine at the Olive Garden when we’re surrounded by so many authentic Italian restaurants?
I personally have always been a skeptic of the Olive Garden. I dined at the Ramsey location when it first opened and was very underwhelmed by my meal. I had the Sampler Italiano for my appetizer, and everything on that platter tasted like (and had the texture of) recently defrosted freezer food. For my entrée I had crab-stuffed ravioli, and while the menu said the ravioli was stuffed with lump crabmeat, it tasted exactly like crabmeat from a can. Needless to say, I haven’t dined at the Olive Garden since my unfortunate gastronomical experience that evening several summers ago.
If you find yourself in the mood for eggplant rollatini or veal bolognese, here are some of Bergen County’s real Italian restaurants:
- Aldo’s in Wyckoff
- Radicchio, La Piazza, and Marcellos in Ridgewood
- Baci Italian Grill and The Mountain House in Westwood
- Solaia and Café Italiano in Englewood
- Paisano’s in Rutherford
- Sorrento in East Rutherford
…and the list goes on. If you’re feeling adventurous, hop in your car and drive the 20 miles to Little Italy in New York, where you can enjoy some of the best and most authentic Italian cuisine on the East Coast!
So the next time you’re craving Italian, avoid the unlimited wilted salad, greasy breadsticks, and substandard entrees by patronizing one of Bergen County’s wonderful genuine Italian restaurants. Let’s leave those mediocre Olive Garden meals to the folks in the Midwest.