It’s not often that I visit Lido, but when I do, I always wish that I made it out more often. The tree-lined streets, particularly around Lido Park, feel more like Europe than Beijing. The street-level terrace seating at new Italian restaurant Florentina is no exception: the stylish white furnishings, trimmed hedges, and Migas-like lounge music are decidedly cosmopolitan.

The menu at Florentina, however, sticks with the classics, treading a well-worn path through pastas, pizzas, and risottos, as well as classic Italian dishes such as osso bucco alla Milanese (RMB 268). Portions and pricing are designed with sharing in mind – the signature lobster risotto comes in a huge dish with several of the luxurious crustaceans positioned proudly on top. The dish is certainly spectacular, but unfortunately the flavor of the rice or the lobster didn’t quite live up to the presentation. We appreciated the kitchen’s talents rather more in the expert homemade spaghetti alla bolognese (RMB 98); although we didn’t care so much for the lengthy wait for the dish to be served. Those who are less inclined to share might appreciate the set dinner menu,priced at RMB 338 for three courses.

On one same visit, having ordered pasta, our server warns us that the calzone ripieno gigante (RMB 228) is too big for two diners, but we persist regardless and are forced to sheepishly request a doggy bag for the remaining two-thirds at the end of the meal. However, don’t let this put you off if you are a small group – the generous ham and mozzarella filling and oozing egg yolk in the center are very much worth the potential embarrassment of leftovers. 

1/F, Bldg 2, 6 Fangyuan Xilu, Lidu, Chaoyang District (8431 0027)

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Photos: Joey Guo

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