We recently ate at the new Olive Garden location at Bay Area Blvd and Gulf Freeway, and were happily surprised. I had not eaten at an Olive Garden in several years. However following Hurricane Ike's passing thru Houston two weeks ago, there were not many places open out here in the Clear Lake area. The new decor, menu and wine list were notably different and improved from the O.G. days I remember. We were seated in a booth in the bar area, which had a pleasant country tone to the surroundings and furniture. I would have opted for different tiles and wallpaper, to give it a more "Italian" flare, versus a country kitchen look. But the interior is very comfy and cozy, and the food was very good as well. I had the Gorgonzola steak with pasta, which was abosutely wonderful. My fiancee had a chicken dish served with knocchi pasta, which she gave a "thumbs up" as well. Paired with a good red wine, and followed by the chocolate tart cake with the liquid chocolate center, is was hard not to be fully content. The waiter's service was a little lacking and not highly polished. However it was only the 2nd day that this new location had been open. So the slightly "rough around the edges" service was highly understandable. It will improve with a little time and experience.
Pros: New creative menu, new atmosphere