Mon-Thu, noon-2:30pm and 5pm-11pm; Fri, noon-2:30pm and 5pm-11:30pm; Sat, 5pm-11:30pm; Sun, 4pm-10pm
N, Q, R at Lexington Ave.-59th St.; 4, 5, 6 at 59th St.
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In between writing cookbooks and taping segments of Lidia's Italian Table for PBS, Lidia Bastianich, the matriarch of the clan responsible in part for Lupa, Esca, and Becco, oversees this elegant bastion of Italian cooking. But chef Fortunato Nicotra deserves credit for a new breath of energy at the range. Sauces are lighter, pastas still wonderful, and entrees get deftly tweaked. The wine list always impresses, and olive oil connoisseurs can spring for a $7 comparative tasting.Prix-Fixe
Lunch, $29.50Recommended Dishes
Mediterranean bass, $39