We have a benchmark for Italian restaurants. First, there is my favorite wine, if they serve it, then it's a plus for them! My second bench mark if my favorite dish...gnocci ...a little harder to find and last a good cannoli or spumoni ice cream for desert. Italia Gardens had 2 out of 3...no gnocci, but that's not unusual.
We started with a glass of wine, chilled just right. The dinner includes a salad...not you plate of lettuce with a cucumber, but a real Italian salad with a great house Italian dressing. This salad was fresh and had everything that is usually found in an Italian salad. A huge bowl is set on the table for self serve. They bring bread too...not your usual little loaf of hard crust hidden in a napkin, but a mountain of fresh baked bread. It looks like a giant Italian "knot", at least the size of a volley ball....well maybe not quite that big. Warm and delicious. Really, the salad and bread would have been a meal! We tried the Sausage Sampler for an appitizer, this too, with the bread and salad would have been more than enough...but we continued the experience with entrees as well. I chose the blush linguini with a meat ball. Another neat feature, you can order your meat on the side, sold by the serving. One meat ball...1 dollar. The pasta was tender and the sauce a misture of alfredo and their regular sweet red...very good. The meat ball was moist and tasted of a traditional mixture of pork and beef or veal, but I'm not sure on the content. My husband had a combination plate, lasagne and a parmesan combination. He made a happy plate so I'm guessing it was all good! He shared a bite of the lasagne and I'll admit, it rivaled mine...which is a complement from me. The Cannolis were good, but I've had better.
The service was pleasant, and the prices reasonable $40.00 for all the food I described and 4 glasss of wine. I've been in resaturants where that would have been the wine bill alone!
If I get back to Flint and have time for dinner, The Italia Garden will be on my list. Oh yes...kids eat free on Monday night!
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