Donatella Arpaia Is Putting Chef’s Whites Over Her Prada



CLICKETY-CLACK. Here was Donatella, coming through, charging into her new $2.5-million restaurant construction site. Donatella, nervelessly pushing past the yellow caution tape to traverse the splintery floor in nude-patent-leather four-inch Louboutins. Donatella, in short-short Prada silk. Donatella, pointing. Donatella, dishing. Donatella, certamente!

No, not that other Donatella, the Versace one. This is New York’s own Donatella Arpaia, the owner of Mia Dona and Anthos, both in Manhattan, and an owner, with Michael Psilakis, of Kefi in Manhattan and Eos in Miami. Her new 75-seat Neapolitan pizza restaurant — to open in July at 184 Eighth Avenue, near West 19th Street — is not just another of her partnerships with chefs like David Burke and Mr. Psilakis.

It will be the ninth restaurant she has opened, and this time she is the executive chef, since “the menu is developed, written and tested by me,” she said. The name of the place? Donatella.

She clicked through a secret passageway into yet another restaurant space fronting at 263 West 19th Street. “This will be DBar,” she said — the first Donatella lounge, to open in June. “You can see there is a lot going on here.”

And so much more going on in the whirl of Ms. Arpaia. Suddenly, many of her projects are landing in a cluster bomb of hype she calls “coincidental.” For starters, get some kiss-kiss as she celebrates her new book, “Donatella Cooks: Simple Food Made Glamorous” (Rodale Press). Tune in as she handles Meredith and Matt in a “Today” cooking segment. Anticipate a Food Network reality show on Donatella-the-restaurant-consultant, if the pilot clicks. Behold her cross-branding deal with Martini & Rossi to promote its prosecco and her book. Taste artisanal olive oil from the Donatella Food Collection.

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