Monday, October 20, 2008

What a steal! (Mia Dona, New York)

This was our third night in New York and luckily we were able to dine at Donatella Arpaia's newer restaurants Mia Dona. And luckily we were in New York for Restaurant Week, so dining here was practically a steal. If you ever have a chance to eat during Restaurant Week don't pass it up! 3 course dinners for only $35 (at top restaurants) ....What a steal. Living in the Los Angeles area we weren't too familiar with this restaurant other than that it was owned by Donatella. I've become familiar with Donatella because of numerous stints as a judge on Iron Chef America.

Earlier in the day, I wasn't feeling too good. My stomach was not cooperating with me and I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to go to dinner. I toughed it out and managed to make it to Mia Dona. When we first arrived it had a nice welcoming feel to the restaurant. It definitely did not have that stuffy feeling of other "celebrity owned" restaurants. When I first made the reservations at Mia Dona, I was able to have my pick of problems. Which got me to worry a little. I was thinking why was it so easy to get any time I wanted especially being Restaurant Week? Could the food be that bad? Soon after being seated I was amazed that I was even able to secure a reservation at all. The place was packed! Even Donatella was there greeting and mingling with some of her patrons. All my reservations were gone especially after the food came out!

Local Corn Risotto
After perusing the menu we all agreed that we would order the local corn risotto and share. It just sounded sooo good. I guess we should of figured that we were in Manhattan and not in Nebraska. This dish was a disappointment. It lacked the proper seasoning and was not executed very well :(

The minestrone was part of the three course meal and boy was it good! The soup was delicious and hearty. Every spoonful was full of wonderful flavor and was one of the best I've ever had!

Grilled Chicken Paillard
I know it's hard to see under all the greens, but the chicken was truly one of the best dishes of the night. The chicken was nicely grilled and served with peaches. Chicken often tends to be a sort of after thought at fine dining establishments, but at Mia Dona, the chicken could have been one of the main stars.

Grilled Hangar Steak
Everyone that knows me, knows that I love eating red meat, but surprisingly I did not order this one. My sister of all people (the one person that doesn't eat red meat that often) ordered this dish. Although the hangar steak was very good, it was not one of the top dishes that night.

Baked Tubetti
I am just wondering.....How many different types of pasta do the Italians have? I wonder if anyone has ever counted. Just a thought. Seems like every Italian restaurant I go to I discover another type of pasta. The tubetti was perfectly cooked and it had a nice texture to it as well. The smoked mozzarella and tomato sauce complimented this pasta nicely!

Housemade Cavatelli
Anything that states housemade has got to be good right? Well, this was no exception. This dish was definitely a keeper. The cavatelli pasta was served with Tuscan kale and white beans. The one thing about this dish that I did not care for was the white beans. I am not a big fan of beans.

This was the surprise of the night for me personally. First of all, this was yet another pasta that I have never had the pleasure of experiencing until dining at Mia Dona. The gnudi were shaped into these little cubes and had a soft yet firm texture to them. It was served with a truffle butter sauce, mushrooms, and crispy prosciutto. Every bite was just exquisite!

Giaduja Semifreddo
The semifreddo is an Italian dessert that typically refers to some sort of half frozen mousse or even can refer to a type of ice cream sandwich. The semifreddo was served with a homemade nutella (hazelnut spread) and amaretti (Italian macaroons).

The tiramisu itself was slightly above average, but the real star of this dessert had to be the espresso gelato. There was not enough for everyone. We could have just ordered that and we would have all been happy.

Maple Panna Cotta
This by far was the surprise dessert of the night. The only down side to this dessert was that they forgot to put the order in for this dessert so it took a while for them to bring it to our table, but it was worth the wait. The silkiness of the panna cotta was fabulous and the maple sauce perfectly complimented the dessert. The maple walnut ice cream was also fabulous. This dessert is not to be missed!

Mia Dona
206 East 58th Street
New York, NY. 10022

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