Donatella Arpaia

Restaurateur, Chef, Author, TV Personality

New York

Donatella Arpaia ditched legal briefs for Italian recipes and hasn’t left the kitchen since then. Arpaia opened her first restaurant, Bellini, in 1998 and went on to open a string of successful eateries, including Mia Dona, Anthos and Kefi in New York City as well as EOS and bistro e in Miami. She opened her namesake restaurant, Donatella, and her first bar, Dbar, in 2010. Aside from the various food ventures, you may recognize her as a recurring guest judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef. She also debuted her first cookbook, Donatella Cooks: Simple Food Made Glamorous, in 2010.

  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    When does Donatella Arpaia think is best to visit New York City?

    I do love fall, but for me, Christmas in <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/new-york-city">New York</a> is the most magical time of year. I tell all my relatives to come at Christmastime. I don’t think anyone does it better than New York in terms of making the city beautiful no matter where you are. Everyone does it right — from the stores to the windows — you just get a feeling of the holidays. And all the great parties and openings are happening. New restaurants are happening. Shows are going on. It’s just an exciting time of year.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia’s favorite things to do in New York City?

    When I met my husband, he lived on the West Side and we’d go down the Hudson River Pathway — a protected road path — and we’d either bike or walk. With my restaurant in Chelsea now, I’m so close to the High Line, which is really pretty. They’re doing more and more stuff there — creating things and attractions — which is lovely.
     
    I love to stroll through the West Village at night and see the restaurants and shops because it reminds me of old New York. I guess because I’m European I love to walk, and I think New York is best when you do a lot of walking. Now Times Square has that whole pedestrian area, which can be fun and a great New York experience.
     
    I have a yellow Lamborghini, and on a beautiful night I just drive through downtown and through the tunnels, which are beautiful. Just driving through New York in a convertible at nighttime is spectacular.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia’s favorite things to do in New York City?

    When I met my husband, he lived on the West Side and we’d go down the Hudson River Pathway — a protected road path — and we’d either bike or walk. With my restaurant in Chelsea now, I’m so close to the High Line, which is really pretty. They’re doing more and more stuff there — creating things and attractions — which is lovely.
     
    I love to stroll through the West Village at night and see the restaurants and shops because it reminds me of old <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/new-york-city">New York</a>. I guess because I’m European I love to walk, and I think New York is best when you do a lot of walking. Now Times Square has that whole pedestrian area, which can be fun and a great New York experience.
     
    I have a yellow Lamborghini, and on a beautiful night I just drive through downtown and through the tunnels, which are beautiful. Just driving through New York in a convertible at nighttime is spectacular.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What does Donatella Arpaia love about Naples?

    I spent all my summers growing up in Naples, and I just think it’s a magical city. I don’t think people go there enough. They stop there and they feel like it’s a crime-filled city; but it’s really petty crime. As long as you’re smart about it, you can really eat some of the best food and see some of the best sights. In the city of Naples, there’s a whole street that’s dedicated to the crèche at Christmastime and people make Nativity scenes. They’re really artisans, and I collect these porcelain sculptures from this particular area every time I go there.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What does Donatella Arpaia love about Naples?

    I spent all my summers growing up in Naples, and I just think it’s a magical city. I don’t think people go there enough. They stop there and they feel like it’s a crime-filled city; but it’s really petty crime. As long as you’re smart about it, you can really eat some of the best food and see some of the best sights. In the city of Naples, there’s a whole street that’s dedicated to the crèche at Christmastime and people make Nativity scenes. They’re really artisans, and I collect these porcelain sculptures from this particular area every time I go there.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What does Donatella Arpaia love about Naples?

    I spent all my summers growing up in <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/naples">Naples</a>, and I just think it’s a magical city. I don’t think people go there enough. They stop there and they feel like it’s a crime-filled city; but it’s really petty crime. As long as you’re smart about it, you can really eat some of the best food and see some of the best sights. In the city of <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/naples">Naples</a>, there’s a whole street that’s dedicated to the crèche at Christmastime and people make Nativity scenes. They’re really artisans, and I collect these porcelain sculptures from this particular area every time I go there.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia's favorite places to visit?

    Italy. It is just because it’s where I’m from, so I’m always there. One of my favorite cities — and I always feel like I have to defend it — is Naples. People come to the airport in Naples and then they head to Capri, but they don’t realize how stunning Naples is. There’s so much beauty, art and culture. You just have to know a few people and places to go. I wish it was more tourist-friendly because once you get into it, it’s spectacular. There’s the main street — Spaccanapoli — that divides Naples’ historic center. It’s teeming with museums, churches, shops and history. I usually stay [in Naples] then I drive to Ravello, which is on the Amalfi Coast. I used to go to Positano and Capri, but they are so filled with tourists now. Ravello is the same scene, the same view, but it’s much more private.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia's favorite places to visit?

    Italy. It is just because it’s where I’m from, so I’m always there. One of my favorite cities — and I always feel like I have to defend it — is Naples. People come to the airport in Naples and then they head to Capri, but they don’t realize how stunning Naples is. There’s so much beauty, art and culture. You just have to know a few people and places to go. I wish it was more tourist-friendly because once you get into it, it’s spectacular. There’s the main street — Spaccanapoli — that divides Naples’ historic center. It’s teeming with museums, churches, shops and history. I usually stay [in Naples] then I drive to Ravello, which is on the Amalfi Coast. I used to go to Positano and <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/capri">Capri</a>, but they are so filled with tourists now. Ravello is the same scene, the same view, but it’s much more private.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia's favorite places to visit?

    Italy. It is just because it’s where I’m from, so I’m always there. One of my favorite cities — and I always feel like I have to defend it — is Naples. People come to the airport in Naples and then they head to Capri, but they don’t realize how stunning Naples is. There’s so much beauty, art and culture. You just have to know a few people and places to go. I wish it was more tourist-friendly because once you get into it, it’s spectacular. There’s the main street — Spaccanapoli — that divides Naples’ historic center. It’s teeming with museums, churches, shops and history. I usually stay [in Naples] then I drive to Ravello, which is on the Amalfi Coast. I used to go to Positano and Capri, but they are so filled with tourists now. Ravello is the same scene, the same view, but it’s much more private.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia's favorite places to visit?

    Italy. It is just because it’s where I’m from, so I’m always there. One of my favorite cities — and I always feel like I have to defend it — is <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/naples">Naples</a>. People come to the airport in Naples and then they head to Capri, but they don’t realize how stunning Naples is. There’s so much beauty, art and culture. You just have to know a few people and places to go. I wish it was more tourist-friendly because once you get into it, it’s spectacular. There’s the main street — Spaccanapoli — that divides Naples’ historic center. It’s teeming with museums, churches, shops and history. I usually stay [in Naples] then I drive to Ravello, which is on the <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/amalfi-coast">Amalfi Coast</a>. I used to go to <a href="http://www.forbestravelguide.com/destination/positano">Positano</a> and Capri, but they are so filled with tourists now. Ravello is the same scene, the same view, but it’s much more private.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What is Donatella Arpaia’s favorite New York bar?

    Apothecary is fun. I used to hide out and go to the bar for drinks at PDT. I think the best bar/lounge is at The Bowery Hotel. I think it’s so chic.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What is Donatella Arpaia’s favorite New York hotel?

    I do love Four Seasons [Hotel New York]. It’s always a go-to place for me. The service is impeccable, and service is a big thing for me. I think also, though, if you want to do something downtown, The Bryant Park Hotel — that’s fun too. You know, it depends on your mood sometimes and what you’re looking for. I’m more of a sharpshooter. I got married at The Plaza, and I hadn’t been there in a while. You know, as a New Yorker, you don’t go to these places. The work that they did to redo that place is just stunning. I think for old New York, it’s fun to go there, if that’s your style.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    When does Donatella Arpaia think is best to visit New York City?

    I do love fall, but for me, Christmas in New York is the most magical time of year. I tell all my relatives to come at Christmastime. I don’t think anyone does it better than New York in terms of making the city beautiful no matter where you are. Everyone does it right — from the stores to the windows — you just get a feeling of the holidays. And all the great parties and openings are happening. New restaurants are happening. Shows are going on. It’s just an exciting time of year.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What are Donatella Arpaia’s favorite things to do in New York City?

    When I met my husband, he lived on the West Side and we’d go down the Hudson River Pathway — a protected road path — and we’d either bike or walk. With my restaurant in Chelsea now, I’m so close to the High Line, which is really pretty. They’re doing more and more stuff there — creating things and attractions — which is lovely.
     
    I love to stroll through the West Village at night and see the restaurants and shops because it reminds me of old New York. I guess because I’m European I love to walk, and I think New York is best when you do a lot of walking. Now Times Square has that whole pedestrian area, which can be fun and a great New York experience.
     
    I have a yellow Lamborghini, and on a beautiful night I just drive through downtown and through the tunnels, which are beautiful. Just driving through New York in a convertible at nighttime is spectacular.
  • On October 29, 2012
    Donatella Arpaia answered the question: Donatella Arpaia

    What is Donatella Arpaia’s favorite airline?

    Virgin, Singapore Airlines. Those airlines are the most incredible. I do travel American Airlines a lot. What I do now whenever I do travel is ask what kind of airplane it is. It’s really about getting one of the newer planes within the airline that you have to travel. I’m really particular about that because first class or business class means different things depending on the airplane that you’re getting, too. Sometimes you’re restricted to a certain airline that you have to take. Do the extra research of finding what airplane it is and looking at your seat.