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Donatella Arpaia Is Surprise Winner at Meatball Madness

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Everyone knows with these New York Wine & Food Festival events, you either come to play or don't bother coming at all. To win the people's choice award at events like Burger Bash (think of Katie Lee, Josh Capon, Spike Mendelsohn) or last night's 2nd Annual Meatball Madness, you better work that crowd, ask for votes—in this case wooden Eater chips!—and sure, yes, have a solid product.

Thus, last night Donatella Arpaia, in her red chef's coat and tight short dress beat out strong contenders from Locanda Verde, The Meatball Shop, Motorino, Pulino's, Peasant, and more with a mini version of the meatball sandwiches she serves in a cart outside her Midtown restaurant Mia Dona and a clincher, a coconut cupcake. She posed for pictures with her fans, handed out every single plate, straight up asked for votes, and of course, had a spread of her products, which included her cookbooks, some fliers for her new restaurant Donatella, and (!) a Donatella magazine! Click through above for photos of the event and pictures of the win and below for some hangover observations.

The most blatant vote begging. >>