I don’t know how I’ve managed to miss Papa Lozzi Italia until now – apparently it’s been operating in Waterford Lakes for a couple of years – but I’m glad to have finally found it.
Then again, it has the comfortable mien of a mom-and-pop (or papa) operationt that makes it feel as though it’s been there forever.
Upon being seated, my companion and I were offered a basket of fresh bread and a dish of olive oil and vinegar sprinkled with grated parmesan for dipping.
We chose the calamari gamberi appetizer, which had delicately battered and deep fried shrimp and squid as well as mushrooms and zucchini spears with a cup of tangy red sauce for dipping. A bit of salt brought out all the other flavors.
My companion opted for the special of the day, eggplant rollatini, which had thinly sliced eggplant rolled with a filling of creamy ricotta cheese and baked so that the outside was crispy. It was accompanied by a side of spaghetti with marinara.
I chose the spaghetti alla chitarra, a thicker, square-cut noodle, with a meaty bolognese sauce. As tasty as it was filling.
I’m generally cutting some slack and omitting comments about service during the extraordinary personnel shortage that restaurants are experiencing, but I would like to acknowledge that our server worked diligently.
There is a small bar area inside the front door and a dining room beyond. Seating is at free-standing tables or booths – the latter separated by plexiglass dividers.
All of the food was good, though nothing extraordinary. But factor in prices that are mostly in the mid teens and it becomes a bit more exceptional.
Papa Lozzi Italia is at 504 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando (map). It is open for lunch on weekends and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The phone number is 407-440-2099.