Jason Hall Doesn’t Want to Ever Leave Michael PsilakisName: Jason Hall
Restaurants: Anthos and Mia Dona
Background: Hall Worked at San Francisco’s Aqua and One Market, followed by a long period as a line cook under George Morrone, at the four-star restaurant the Fifth Floor. Hall then spent five formative years at Craft, first under Marco Canora and then Damon Wise, before joining with Michael Psilakis and eventually becoming executive chef at his restaurants.
Get the Best of West Coast Charcuterie at Mia Dona
If you’re not going to the Astor Center’s Head-to-Tail dinner with Chris Cosentino on Tuesday, you can also find his food at Mia Dona, the only New York restaurant serving Cosentino’s charcuterie. Cosentino met Mia Dona owner Donatella Arpaia when shooting The Next Iron Chef, on which he was a contestant, and goes way back with the restaurant’s executive chef, Jason Hall. “We use their lonza (pork loin). It’s amazing. The fat cap is like the finest lardo. And the meat itself expresses the purity of pork — it’s perfectly seasoned and cured, ” he enthuses. Mia Dona serves the lonza on two crostini — one with sheep’s-milk ricotta and Sicilian oregano, and the other with winter-citrus mostarda — but Hall would like to use even more: “I want to use a lot of Chris’s stuff, but we can’t overwhelm the menu all at once.” Cosentino, whom we think of as California’s answer to David Chang, also sells his charcuterie online. Visit Boccalone to order for yourself.
Related: Back-to-Back Feasts Will Break the Bank, Blow Your Mind
Video: Inside Mia Dona’s Kitchen
The Other Critics
Bar Blanc Draws Its Deuce; Mia Dona Welcomed by RichmanFrank Bruni finds Bar Blanc fussy, mannered, overly fastidious — and very, very good. The two stars should take the sting out of his review for the place’s owners. [NYT]
Related: Raising the Bar
Restaurant Girl hits Williamsburg’s Zenkichi and, between the room, the food, and the sake selection, seems to have a real find on her hands. [NYDN]
Randall Lane joins in the general enthusiasm for Dovetail , but now he seems unwilling to go back to his five-star-granting ways and so ends up giving them only four — the equivalent, in traditional star terms, to a two-star review, which is not what this reads as. [TONY]
Back of the House
What to Order at Mia Dona Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s new restaurant is open and busy, though still BYOB. We previewed the food in our video, but the menu turns out to be larger and significantly cheaper than expected. The gnudi with truffle-butter sauce, mushrooms, and crispy speck that was so popular at the old Dona is back, one of only two survivors from the old menu. Mia Dona skews Italian more than the old Dona did, but there are a number of Greco-Psilakisian numbers on it, as well, especially a grilled octopus with olives, Feta, and anchovy vinaigrette. The bar menu, meanwhile, is completely separate and includes a burger (as seen on our video), a pork belly BLT, and crispy baccalà that is the only other Dona holdover. Check out the dinner menu, part of our ever-expanding database, for yourself.
Mia Dona Dinner Menu
Related: Video: Inside Mia Dona’s Kitchen
Red Hook Vendors Face Mystery Opponents; Pies-N-Thighs Scores New LocationThe Red Hook ball field vendors are in a bidding war with two anonymous groups for control of the weekend food market. [Brooklyn Paper]
Dylan Lauren, founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar, used to have a diet consisting of “almost entirely of candy, frozen yogurt and vegetables,” but these days she’s paying hundreds of dollars per hour for personal training sessions that keep her slim. [WSJ]
You only have until the end of the month to snag yourself an invite to the secret makeshift nightclub operating in a boutique on Sullivan Street. [Villager]
Soul Food Comes to Bed-Stuy!; 2nd Avenue Deli’s Not Really KosherBedford-Stuyvesant: A “family-run seafood/soul food take-out spot” called 71.Ate has opened at 417 Nostrand Avenue, and while the fried whiting is tasty, the house-made banana pudding will definitely make you want to come back. [Eat for Victory/VV]
East Village: Ruhlman’s hosting a nose-to-tail dinner with “gut man” Chris Cosentino on Tuesday, March 4, at Astor Center. [Ruhlman]
Murray Hill/Kips Bay: Can the 2nd Avenue Deli really be called kosher if it’s open on the Sabbath? Many observant Jews, whom Frank Bruni has chatted with, say no. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Tribeca: Bouley has been denied a liquor license for his proposed Japanese restaurant and cooking school, Brushstrokes, “based on the history of the owner, having problems with the community in the past, and the way he runs his establishments.” [Eater]
Upper East Side: Mia Dona is currently BYOB until the liquor license comes through next week. [Eater]
Video: Inside Mia Dona’s Kitchen
What will you be eating next month at Mia Dona, the new midtown restaurant from chef Michael Psilakis and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia? We suggest the meat loaf roasted to order with an egg tucked inside. Or the hamburger with the salsa verde and garlic confit. And what will the dining room look like? Too soon to tell with all the plywoodTM, but Psilakis points out the construction highlights. See what other treats are coming by watching Grub Street’s video preview of Mia Dona.
Video Openings: Mia Dona [NYM Video]
Danny Meyer Might Fix Up Union Square Park; Welcome to ‘Mexhattan’Danny Meyer and the Union Square Partnership are planning to renovate the north end of Union Square Park, including a transformation of the decaying pavilion into a windowless restaurant space. [NYO]
Mia Dona, Donatella Arpaia and Michael Psilakis’s newest baby, will start serving up rustic Italian with Greek influences in midtown next month. Marc Forgione, most recently the corporate chef for the BLT Restaurant Group, is planning an American restaurant for a spring opening. [NYT]
Forget about bringing your junior gastronomes to the finest restaurant Disney World has to offer: Victoria & Albert’s has banned all kids under the age of 10. [NYP]