It’s difficult to think about Italian food in New York without thoughts quickly turning to Lidia Bastianich. 
 Since 1971, when she opened her first restaurant in Queens, N.Y., Bastianich has been instrumental in shaping a kind of quiet empire that has altered the face of Italian food both in New York and across the nation. The seemingly tireless culinarian works with a set of illustrious partners to oversee a stable of popular restaurants and a new 50,000-square-foot culinary ...

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