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“Dona-- CLOSED”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian Midtown Moderate Great

There’s something I should warn you about before you go to Dona. Something you should know before you sit down, and before they are served. They are rather small, the size of homemade muffins. They are warm and soft and buttery. You can smell the butter rising off of them. They come with a little tulip of sheep’s milk ricotta. They are pastry chef Nancy Olson’s homemade black olive brioche rolls, and I must tell you now: Stay away from them. If you don’t heed my warning, you may, as I did the other night, realize you have consumed enough brioche buns so that your entire rear area has actually been transformed into a giant brioche bun. Buns of steel are preferable, I know, but right now I have buns of brioche. As if my booty were not amply padded enough. Oh dear. But such is the state of affairs at Dona, the Greece-meets-Italy “Southern European” showcase owned Donatella Arpaia (David Burke and Donatella) with an ambitious menu by chef Michael Psilakis, the self taught chef and owner of Onera on the Upper West Side.The brioche rolls were just the beginning of the sort of excess that would become the hallmark of our evening. Just after we were seated and the rolls came along (vanishing in moments), Julie could not decide what to drink. The list of Martini garnishes included spiced almond stuffed dried apricots, or fat green olives stuffed with either Gorgonzola, Pouligny St. Pierre, or Idiazabel. She was all about the gorgonzola-stuffed olive (which was large enough to share, so I had a bite, it was fabulous), but also wanted a glass of one her favorite sparkling wine, a Franciacorta from the eastern part of Italy’s Lombardy region. Rather than choose, she decided to have both. So as Kathy and I drank our (single) glasses of sparkling Rosé, Julie sat double fisted, a Martini in one hand, a glass of Franciacorta in the other. Hilarious.

Dona, gift in Italian, is a restaurant that encourages such indulgence in dining as much as drinking.

As I looked over the expansive menu, trying to figure out what not to order (it all sounded great), the room filled. Soon, it was wall-to-wall boys (well, I suppose they are technically men) in suits. It seemed everyone was at a table of six or more, for a closing dinner of one sort or another. I just hoped I would not run into any former S&S partners. (They didn’t like me so much. Luckily the coast was clear.) But Dona doesn’t feel stuffy, ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Midtown :
+ Lever House   + Aquavit   + RM   + Joseph's (formerly Citarella The Restaurant)   + Town   + Artisanal   + The Oyster Bar   + Geisha   + David Burke and Donatella Restaurant   + Riingo   + Amma   + Cafe Sabarsky   + The Stone Rose Lounge   + BLT Steak   + V, The Steakhouse-- Closed   + Bar Masa   + Cafe Gray   + The Bar Room at The Modern   + The Cafe at Aquavit   + The Cafe at Aquavit   + Bistro du Vent-- Closed   + Shaburi   + Xing   + The Modern   + Bar Americain   + Alto   + Park Blue   + Mainland-- Closed   + Nobu 57   + Quality Meats   + Dona-- CLOSED   + Daisy May's   + 7Square-- CLOSED   + Amalia   + Fireside   + Anthos   + Patroon   + BLT Market   + Toloache   + Mia Dona   + Park Avenue Summer   + Convivio   + The Oak Room by guest reviewer Julie Besonen   + At Vermilion by guest reviewer Elaine Weiner   + Lunching at Inakaya, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Marea, by Guest Reviewer Susan Kane Walkush   + Le Bernardin   + New York Central -- A Reason To Eat at the Grand Hyatt Again   + Pampano Botaneria by Dara Pollak   

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