Restaurateur and major front of the house presence Donatella Arpaia reavels in a Times piece today that she's opening a Neopolitan pizza place on 8th Ave. near 19th Street—spitting distance from Jim Lahey's Co.—this July and a lounge next door in June called DBar. Glen Collins writes, "...the new place will be not only be a celebration of her father’s Neapolitan roots but also a throw-down in New York’s pizza wars." Donatella will get chef credits.
The piece also touches upon Arpaia's other new projects (a cookbook! a tv show! olive oil!) as well as her crumbling partnerships and a possible lawsuit over the ownership of Kefi, the restaurant she currently owns with chef Michael Psilakis. Some may call the article a love letter, and they do devote a lot of column inches to Arpaia, but it sometimes seems like Collins wants to paint her as an attention whore.
Only in a piece about a woman would they interview her hair stylist, make a reference to Sex and the City, and write, "After all, her universe is about not only brand extensions but also hair extensions." And then there's this: "An irrepressible scene stealer, Ms. Arpaia seems effortlessly able to consume all news media oxygen with a blink of her big brown eyes."
Meanwhile her former partner David Burke implies that she doesn't have enough experience to be the head chef at her new restaurants and likens himself to the neglected child in their relationship. Psilakis pretty much keeps his mouth shut.
· Donatella Arpaia Is Putting Chef’s Whites Over Her Prada [NYT]