One of the most ambitious restaurants of the year has opened downtown, and diners are sure to be wowed by the views, the space and, hopefully, the food. Tre Dita, the massive new Italian spot in the St. Regis Chicago, has a nearly 9,000 square foot dining room, a soaring two-story open space, and a specially designed “pasta lab” intended to turn out the best noodles in town. Oh, and it’s officially certified by Vetrina Toscana authorities in Tuscany. Let’s dig in.

Chef Evan Funke, has been consulting for Lettuce Entertain You (the group behind the restaurant) since 2015, but this is his first venture into the Chicago scene. Based in Los Angeles, Funke has received accolades for his work at Mother Wolf and the eponymous Funke, including two James Beard Award nominations. He’s excited to make his jump to Chicago, which he labels one of the “most diverse places to eat in the country.” He also has a long relationship with LEYE boss Rich Melman. “Lettuce are master operators with an understanding of both the art and the science,” explains Funke. “I make a point of surrounding myself with people that are way better than me at the thing I’m trying to learn.”

Tre Dita’s focus is on Tuscan cuisine. Part of the attraction is sure to be the Pasta Lab, a space that is temperature and humidity controlled to produce the perfect pastas. As any home cook who has tried making pasta knows, there are a zillion variables that can turn pasta from ideal to inedible, and Tre Dita is doing its best to control all of them. “Pasta is an animal; it lives and breathes and sweats,” says Funke. “Pasta, much like bread, is directly affected by its immediate environment.”

Because of this, the lab monitors the complete environment of dough-making. The best part is that it’s all visible to the guests, who can watch the pasta being made through huge windows. Funke thinks that this helps the guests connect to and appreciate the process. “A guest looks through the glass and sees a pasta maker producing trofie, each piece weighing only a gram. Later that same guest realizes the pasta maker repped out 120 trofie just for their portion, that guest will never look at that shape the same way.” But watch out; lest any chefs become trepidatious about this intense drive to perfection, their pasta will likely fail. “The dough senses fear.”

Pastas aren’t the only focus of the Tre Dita menu; the restaurant also is on trend with a wood-fired, open flame grill in the kitchen turning out on-the-bone swordfish with capers and lemon, garlic roasted chicken, and pork spare ribs with fennel and porcini. Next door, Bar Tre Dita serves Italian spirits (and not only amari), a menu of small bites, and a vermouth list, perfect for sipping and snacking.

Tre Dita is open seven days a week, but this is definitely a spot you’ll want to make reservations for early; I have a feeling it’s going to fill up fast. Funke thinks that Tuscan cuisine, which is one of the few varieties of Italian food that celebrates beef in particular, will be a natural fit for Chicago diners. I suspect he’s likely correct.