501 Morse St. NE (corner of Florida and Fifth streets NE). 544-3767.

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight. Closed Sunday.

Atmosphere: Plain; serious eating.

Price range: From $4.50 for spaghetti to $14.95 for lobster. Pizza from $3.25 to $8.25.

Credit cards: Most major.

Reservations: Not necessary.

Special facilities: Booster seats. Accessible entrance. Parking.

G and G Italian Villa is filled with surprises. It is a restaurant with little atmosphere, but a caring attitude. It serves few fancy dishes but many successful dinners.

Inside, its dull green room has received its sole spark of life from the Christmas decorations and the tree at the back. There are also a few mementos, several crests, a mural and a small working fountain. You can close your eyes and imagine that all is as it has been for years.

The employes help create the air of permanence: both the manager and the pizza man have been there for more than 15 years.

After looking over the large, basically standard Italian menu, we turned to the waiter for suggestions and he willingly took our orders and listened to our questions.

While we waited for dinner, the waiter arrived with a basket of freshly sliced bread and individual butters.

Our dinners taught us a number of lessons. First, the waiter can communicate with the diners and in turn see that their orders are properly executed in the kitchen.He translated our son's request for plain spaghetti with butter and some sauce into a large platter of buttered spaghetti ($4.25) with a separate bowl filled with a hearty tomato sauce.

In this restaurant, the salad bar is a lifesaver for the busy waiter: he can be doing somethingelse while diners are making selections from lettuce and condiments, applesauce, cole slaw and potato salad.

Our daughter selected petti de pollo alla parmiagana ($7.95), which the waiter had praised. Rightfully so, for the pounded chicken breast had been lightly breaded and topped with generous amounts of cheese and tomato sauce. A faint lemon flavor even escaped from the chicken. A wonderful surprise.

A generous helping of spaghetti with tomato sauce filled the rest of the plate.

With the waiter's guidance, my husband chose the veal marsala ($7.95), which demonstrated the kitchen's careful timing and successful preparation. Three pieces of veal topped with a respectable marsala were served with a separate bowl of spaghetti.

I needed no assistance. Too many tables were sharing pizza to steer my selection elsewhere. The freshly rolled, light buttery crust with thick cheese and sauce layers made the salami topping almost redundant ($3.85). And the prices are reasonable: two people can easily share a pizza, have a salad bar and beer and receive change from a $10 bill.

Desserts are limited to spumoni or rum cake and require little attention unless those are your cravings.

G and G is not for everyone. If you're interested in a dinner without frills where you can go and relax, then G and G will fit the bill. It's a restaurant that cares about its customers.

With beers, sodas, tax, tip and an abundance of food, our bill totaled $41.20.