Whenever Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich team up for a new venture, we take note. Over the past decade, the pair have given us plenty of great restaurants in New York – Babbo, Lupa, Esca, Otto, and Casa Mono. At grand West Chelsea stand-out Del Posto, Bastianich’s mother, TV chef and Felidia proprietor Lidia Bastianich adds her celebrity heft to the mix, and the results are groundbreaking. The owners’ mission: to test and push the limits of regional Italian food preparations, giving diners an experience that rivals that of the top French restaurants. Whether that is even possible remains to be seen, yet New York’s high-minded diners are glad to lend their appetites to the quest. (Reserve well in advance.) Expect clever antipasti (roasted autumn veggies dotted with truffled hazelnuts; shallot and vinegar-kissed scallop carpaccio), spot-on orechiette or gnocchi (try the family-style tastings), and ambitious main dishes – ender venison with walnuts and sour plums, Romanesca braised orata, and several dishes to share, such as the hulking veal chop and fresh misto di mare.