Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s new restaurant is open and busy, though still BYOB. We previewed the food in our video, but the menu turns out to be larger and significantly cheaper than expected. The gnudi with truffle-butter sauce, mushrooms, and crispy speck that was so popular at the old Dona is back, one of only two survivors from the old menu. Mia Dona skews Italian more than the old Dona did, but there are a number of Greco-Psilakisian numbers on it, as well, especially a grilled octopus with olives, Feta, and anchovy vinaigrette. The bar menu, meanwhile, is completely separate and includes a burger (as seen on our video), a pork belly BLT, and crispy baccalà that is the only other Dona holdover. Check out the dinner menu, part of our ever-expanding database, for yourself.
Mia Dona Dinner MenuRelated:Video: Inside Mia Dona’s Kitchen
What will you be eating next month at Mia Dona, the new midtown restaurant from chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia? We suggest the meat loaf roasted to order with an egg tucked inside. Or the hamburger with the salsa verde and garlic confit. And what will the dining room look like? Too soon to tell with all the plywoodTM, but Psilakis points out the construction highlights. See what other treats are coming by watching Grub Street’s video preview of Mia Dona.
Video Openings: Mia Dona [NYM Video]
According to a new class-action suit being brought against Keith McNally, servers at Pastis and Balthazar were forced to foot the bill for customers who walked out on their checks, in addition to being denied minimum wage. [NYP]
Frank Bruni, like many other critics, believes a restaurant’s chicken dishes speak volumes about its overall quality. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
E-mails sent by Starbucks Corp. managers reveal their efforts to prevent unionizing among their employees, although labor experts say the activity is not illegal. [WSJ]
Danny Meyer and the Union Square Partnership are planning to renovate the north end of Union Square Park, including a transformation of the decaying pavilion into a windowless restaurant space. [NYO]
Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s newest baby, will start serving up rustic Italian with Greek influences in midtown next month. Marc Forgione, most recently the corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, is planning an American restaurant for a spring opening. [NYT]
Forget about bringing your junior gastronomes to the finest restaurant Disney World has to offer: Victoria & Albert’s has banned all kids under the age of 10. [NYP]
Judges Andrew Knowlton and Donatella Arpaia think John Besh obliterated Michael Symon in the Next Iron Chef finale and that he deserved the title; the latter even accused Ruhlman of casting his “swing” vote for Symon because the chef is his Cleveland comrade. [Ruhlman]
Thomas Keller’s Bouchon has been snubbed by the new Las Vegas Michelin Guide with a whopping zero stars, while Robuchon scored three. [Bloomberg]
Related: Michelin's Madness Drives Ed Levine (and Us) Up a Wall
The owners of the twenty-year-old Italian joint restaurant Baraonda were told they lost their lease, so they took over a new space only to find out they could keep the old one. What to do? Plan a second restaurant. [NYP]
Dona, long departed and much missed, is on its way back. But while the last incarnation was a fairly refined, plutocratic concern, this one will be more casual. With a working title of Dona Café and a short list of possible locations (we’re hearing East 58th Street tops it), Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis should soon be in a position to complete what sounded, less than a year ago, like an impossibility: to create Kefi, Anthos, and a new Dona, all one right after the other. Although owner Arpaia cautions that “it’s all just in the planning stage,” we’ve heard things are pretty far along. For anyone who ever got hooked on the Greek-Italian fusion that was Dona’s special achievement, that’s good news.
Brooklyn Heights: Henry Street has become a dining destination. [Brooklyn Paper]
Midtown East: Donatella Arpaia’s father, Lello, will open an “elegant Italian place, which has fabric walls and flattering lighting” called Fiorini at 209 East 56th Street this Saturday. [NYT]
Tribeca: The co-owner of Murray’s Bagels plans to open his own shop called Original Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish on Chambers at West Broadway by October. [Grub Street]
West Village: Paris Commune is trying to woo its detractors by offering weekday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. [NYS]
Williamsburg: DuMont Burger is expanding into a space next door in order to separate its takeout business from sit-down dining. [Eater]
Carly Skinner was a server at Houston’s before she came to Upper East Side foodie fixture davidburke & donatella. The change was not a small one. “I had to learn a new food vocabulary,” she says. “I was working with servers who had been at places like Le Cirque for twenty years.” Nine months later, she’s now a captain at the restaurant and training to be a sommelier. We asked her to enlighten us about fussy diners, angry lobsters, and smelly smokers.
Astoria: Arcos Portuguese restaurant has opened at 33-05 Broadway; porco à alentejana reported to be tasty, if not properly diced. [Joey in Astoria]
Dumbo: Down Danish vodka cocktails to celebrate spring tonight at Scandinavian design shop Tivoli Home. [Dumbo NYC]
East Village: Our own Gillian Duffy joins François Payard and Donatella Arpaia at Broadway Panhandler on April 11 to talk table settings and Champagne cocktails. [Gothamist]
Fort Greene: The former T.G.I. Friday's on Fulton Street waits to fulfill an aspiring restaurateur’s dreams. [Brooklyn Record]
Harlem: One fancy-pants eatery signified the end of the neighborhood that used to sell cooked chickens out restaurant windows. Damn you, gentrification! [Uptown Flavor]
Murray Hill: Les Halles closed by Department of Health until flood recedes, should reopen tomorrow. [Eater]
Times Square: Boozed-up karaoke fiends need to eat, too. Spotlight Live: Check out the menu. [Grub Street]
Tribeca: 66 will close April 15 for “renovations” — or is this finally our predicted deep-sixing of 66? [Eater]
Here we thought that Michael Psilakis was on top of the world, with a critically acclaimed restaurant on the Upper West Side in Onera, an even more critically acclaimed restaurant with Donatella Arpaia on the East Side in Dona, and a jump on A-list celebrity-chef status. (Psilakis is going to Yale to speak on Greek food Wednesday.) But his biggest plan, apparently, is still in the works.
There's no other restaurateur quite like Donatella Arpaia of Dona and davidburke & donatella: She was the first to zip around town on a Vespa ("Everyone else copied me") and, leaving aside her discerning palate, we're quite certain she's the only one food writers have characterized as "comely." Between Friday, September 29, and Wednesday, October 4, she indulged in a singular combination of sea urchin, fat-free yogurt, and black-and-white cookies.