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    Everyone's tastes are different, so here's a reflection of mine: I'm not in love with pasta. And when it comes to spaghetti, I'm not even in like -- blame it on too many P.T.A. spaghetti dinners. With that disclaimer in mind, I went to Lido's Italian Restaurant, a two decades-old favorite in South Orlando.

    The immediate impression was of a small, neighborhood-type of place -- 22 tables decorated with wine bottles and red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Easy listening music. Fans overhead. Plants hanging from the ceiling.

    The immediate impression was of a small, neighborhood-type of place -- 22 tables decorated with wine bottles and red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Easy listening music. Fans overhead. Plants hanging from the ceiling.

    If you're worried about others smoking, as so many seem to be these days, you probably should know that smoke inevitably drifts into the non-smoking section. Likewise, if you're worried about others overhearing your conversation, be warned that Lido's is almost like a huge family gathering with many people talking at once. (My own favorite discussion this night came from a group of four men who were pondering how founding father Thomas Jefferson would have viewed assault rifles.)

    If you're worried about others smoking, as so many seem to be these days, you probably should know that smoke inevitably drifts into the non-smoking section. Likewise, if you're worried about others overhearing your conversation, be warned that Lido's is almost like a huge family gathering with many people talking at once. (My own favorite discussion this night came from a group of four men who were pondering how founding father Thomas Jefferson would have viewed assault rifles.)

    A young woman greeted us immediately and cheerfully, and told us to pick any table we wanted. She quickly brought us our drink orders, a bottle of Peroni beer ($2.50) and a half-carafe of Chianti (very reasonable $5.25).

    A young woman greeted us immediately and cheerfully, and told us to pick any table we wanted. She quickly brought us our drink orders, a bottle of Peroni beer ($2.50) and a half-carafe of Chianti (very reasonable $5.25).

    A glance at the menu made it obvious even to a beer-drinker that Lido's has a surprisingly wide variety of often-inexpensive wines -- particularly for such a small neighborhood place.

    A glance at the menu made it obvious even to a beer-drinker that Lido's has a surprisingly wide variety of often-inexpensive wines -- particularly for such a small neighborhood place.

    We found our bread sticks were hot and filling, albeit somewhat ordinary. The salad of greens was served, a la Olive Garden, in one big bowl (though that restaurant's has more variety). The homemade Italian dressing could have used more bite.

    We found our bread sticks were hot and filling, albeit somewhat ordinary. The salad of greens was served, a la Olive Garden, in one big bowl (though that restaurant's has more variety). The homemade Italian dressing could have used more bite.

    My companion picked one of the 10 veal dishes, veal Marsala ($11.95), with a side-order of (shudder) spaghetti. The veal, properly thin, had a rich sauce of mushrooms, butter and Marsala wine. Feeling bold, I had a few bites of the spaghetti, which was mildly pleasing.

    My companion picked one of the 10 veal dishes, veal Marsala ($11.95), with a side-order of (shudder) spaghetti. The veal, properly thin, had a rich sauce of mushrooms, butter and Marsala wine. Feeling bold, I had a few bites of the spaghetti, which was mildly pleasing.

    I had the day's special, an un-Italian 8-ounce filet mignon ($8.95). It was cooked to the right degree of requested well-doneness, and was as good as you would find at most steakhouses.

    I had the day's special, an un-Italian 8-ounce filet mignon ($8.95). It was cooked to the right degree of requested well-doneness, and was as good as you would find at most steakhouses.

    Dessert was spumoni ice cream, which was creamy and rich. The menu said the cannoli had "homemade filling," which was fine, but perhaps they should have done the same with the rest of the dish, because the shell was thick and hard.

    Dessert was spumoni ice cream, which was creamy and rich. The menu said the cannoli had "homemade filling," which was fine, but perhaps they should have done the same with the rest of the dish, because the shell was thick and hard.

    On a return visit for lunch, I ordered a $3.75 Italian cold cuts and cheese sub. The meat was nicely lean meat, but the sub made even higher grades for the crunchy, crusty bread and the dressing that was sweet and tart.

    On a return visit for lunch, I ordered a $3.75 Italian cold cuts and cheese sub. The meat was nicely lean meat, but the sub made even higher grades for the crunchy, crusty bread and the dressing that was sweet and tart.

    Of course, the true test of a restaurant is whether you will go back. In this case, I will, not only for the atmosphere but also to try some of the pasta dishes (the vegetarian lasagna looked good) and maybe even have a few bites of someone else's spaghetti.

    We didn't make the connection at first, but anytime you visit Heathrow, the community where frozen-pizza baron Jeno Paulucci has played such a pivotal role for more than a decade, you can assume he's somehow involved. Luigino's Pasta and Steak House is indeed Paulucci's brain child, taking its title from his formal name. (Jeno's Pasta and Steak House definitely would not suit this upscale restaurant.)

    Even though it's set in a shopping plaza and mini-office park, Luigino's initially strikes you with the look and tone of a country club. Enter through the polished glass doors into the mahogany-accented foyer to be led to table in the dining room, which is dominated by expansive waterfront views of palatial homes and golf-course links. Add to that the Continental menu with entrees that top out at $29.95, and this restaurant would seemingly qualify as a selection for special occasions.

    Even though it's set in a shopping plaza and mini-office park, Luigino's initially strikes you with the look and tone of a country club. Enter through the polished glass doors into the mahogany-accented foyer to be led to table in the dining room, which is dominated by expansive waterfront views of palatial homes and golf-course links. Add to that the Continental menu with entrees that top out at $29.95, and this restaurant would seemingly qualify as a selection for special occasions.

    But we quickly got over the imposing setting and relaxed when we found the mood to be lively and casual, with diners dressed in khakis and oxfords. And the couple at the next table felt comfortable enough to engage us in a friendly conversation about what another table had ordered.

    But we quickly got over the imposing setting and relaxed when we found the mood to be lively and casual, with diners dressed in khakis and oxfords. And the couple at the next table felt comfortable enough to engage us in a friendly conversation about what another table had ordered.

    The menu is up to par, as we discovered, beginning with our appetizers. My guest's "antipasto misto" ($8.95) was a delicious presentation of a platter of the best cuts of tender, salty prosciutto, salami slices, ham and mozzarella. A luscious, marinated artichoke was carved open to reveal a firm, meaty center. We also enjoyed "calamari fritti," priced rather low at $5.95. The calamari rings were curiously narrow and slender, but the fried batter was light-tasting with a hint of "pomodoro" sauce.

    The menu is up to par, as we discovered, beginning with our appetizers. My guest's "antipasto misto" ($8.95) was a delicious presentation of a platter of the best cuts of tender, salty prosciutto, salami slices, ham and mozzarella. A luscious, marinated artichoke was carved open to reveal a firm, meaty center. We also enjoyed "calamari fritti," priced rather low at $5.95. The calamari rings were curiously narrow and slender, but the fried batter was light-tasting with a hint of "pomodoro" sauce.

    There is a substantial pasta menu that includes primavera versions of penne dishes and a delicious lobster ravioli ($18.95) that's seasoned with saffron and topped with a pink sauce of shiitake mushrooms. But my guest raved about the frutti di mare ($23.95), which included a sautéed jumble of lobster, shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels and calamari. These were served over a bed of linguine with a surprisingly delicate marinara sauce. We also enjoyed "filet Guiseppe" ($24.95), a dish reminiscent of beef Wellington. The filet mignon was stuffed with prosciutto and cheeses that were a bit too salty, but it was baked in a towering puff pastry and served with bordelaise and béarnaise sauce.

    There is a substantial pasta menu that includes primavera versions of penne dishes and a delicious lobster ravioli ($18.95) that's seasoned with saffron and topped with a pink sauce of shiitake mushrooms. But my guest raved about the frutti di mare ($23.95), which included a sautéed jumble of lobster, shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels and calamari. These were served over a bed of linguine with a surprisingly delicate marinara sauce. We also enjoyed "filet Guiseppe" ($24.95), a dish reminiscent of beef Wellington. The filet mignon was stuffed with prosciutto and cheeses that were a bit too salty, but it was baked in a towering puff pastry and served with bordelaise and béarnaise sauce.

    The wait staff was watchful throughout the meal; water goblets and coffee cups stayed full, and leftovers were discreetly boxed up and presented with the check. Luigino's Pasta and Steak House may not break new culinary ground, but on the north side of town, it stands out for its consistently delicious menu and picturesque setting.

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