Fusion and sushi may have eclipsed it of late, but Italian food is back. Witness these three tasty newcomers:

BOSTON: Via Matta, 79 Park Plaza, (617) 422-0008
Chef Michael Schlow and restaurateur Christopher Myers, mates behind the highly lauded Radius, have teamed up again to open Via Matta in Boston’s Back Bay. But it’s a Radius redux in casting only. The hearty Italian fare and wood-accented interiors ditch minimalist cool for extroverted warmth. Dine on Florentine steak or pepper-topped halibut in the dining room or order up casual chow including pizzas, pastas, and panini in the adjacent cafe.

CHICAGO: Fortunato, 2005 W. Division St., (773) 645-7200
Chef Jennifer Newbury upscales rustic Italian in Chicago’s arty Wicker Park neighborhood. Modernist accents, including chrome chandeliers and Eames dining chairs, underscore the 80-seater’s contemporary cooking. A glassed-in exhibition kitchen offers peeks at the back of the house, where seasonal ingredients determine the day’s fare. Expect elegant handmade pastas and savories like Spanish mackerel and herbed pork loin from the wood-fired grill.

LONDON: Locanda Locatelli, 8 Seymour St., 011-44-207-935-9088
After earning a Michelin star and citywide raves at Zafferano, chef Giorgio Locatelli goes solo, opening this spot at the Churchill Inter-Continental hotel in central London. Celebs from Tony Blair to Madonna have already supped at the amber-toned dining room, where simple, in-season ingredients prepared with sophistication urbanize the Italian regional fare in dishes like walnut-and-caper-sauced monkfish. Buon appetito! —