With Michael Psilakis out of the picture, Donatella Arpaia has relaunched Mia Dona as a restaurant that will concentrate on the “cucina povera” of her mother’s native Puglia, a region she first explored when she was involved with Ama (for a primer on that restaurant and Pugliese cooking, refer to the Underground Gourmet’s favorable review). There are no boldface names in the kitchen, which is now turning out lunch and dinner. In fact, her mother and aunts trained the staff, and some of the dishes, such as the orechiette with Sunday ragu, are prepared in the tradition of the Arpaia household.
The emphasis will be on simplicity and authenticity: Durum-wheat pasta dishes, for instance, will be light and brothy in the Puglian tradition, and made without butter, flour, or egg. And with simplicity comes a lower price point. Take a look at the menu and you’ll see that all appetizers are priced under $10 (appetizers used to be $9 and up), and all entrées are below $20 (entrées used to be $19 and up).
Mia Dona Menu [PDF]
Mia Dona, 206 E. 58th St., at Third Ave.; 212-750-8170