Since early childhood, Donatella Arpaia has spent her summers in the small town of Torrito, Puglia, the "heel" of Italy's boot." She learned traditional Pugliese cuisine through her aunts and great aunts teaching along with local pasta making techniques and harvesting figs, olives, and tomatoes on the family farm. This past summer, Arapia returned, as is her custom, to Puglia. While eating in restaurants and cooking at home, Arapia felt that this rustic style of Cucina Povera would be perfect for a relaxed, quality dining experience in New York City. The new Mia Dona transports guests to a Puglian trattoria, offering traditional fare in a relaxed atmosphere. Donatella wrote the menu, and she, her mother and aunts trained the kitchen cooks themselves, offering a direct experience of true Puglian cuisine. The menu relies heavily on the ingredients and flavorsfound throughout Puglia. Arpaia states that "the goal is to offer the rusticity of the cuisine, but adding a level of discipline that is needed to be New York restaurant quality."
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