Last night, restaurateur Donatella Arpaia hosted a pizza tasting at her soon to open restaurant Donatella over in Chelsea to some friends, family, and a slew of media folk. Big takeaways: check out that gold oven! It is very...gold. And apparently very original. Stefano Ferrara , a big wig in the underworld of Naples pizza came over and built this puppy by hand. Meanwhile, another heavy hitter, Enzo Coccia—a man who has trained the folks behind Motorino and Keste—has been overseeing the whole concept as an on the scene consultant. He was onhand last night charming the crowd with his Italian (how adorable that he doesn't speak English!) and pushing out margherita pies, white mushroom pies, pies slathered with burrata after coming out of the oven, wonderful calzone-like pies filled with sausage and broccoli rabe.
It's obviously too early to judge what they're doing but let's say there is serious potential here and a lot of effort has gone into perfecting these pizzas and making them authentic as possible. Slice and Feast were also in attendance, so check those sites for pizza porn and video. Also on the scene: the one and only Flo Fab. But she didn't seem to have her video cam on her.
Look for it to open to the public—with a menu of both pies and other homemade Neopolitan specialties and a Neopolitan wine list—next week.
· All Coverage of Donatella [~ENY~]