Photo: Seth Browarnik / WorldRedEye.com
Donatella Arpaia's win at the Meatball Madness event last week (part of the New York City Wine & Food Festival) featured a couple of "minis." The first, a mini version of the meatball sandwich she serves streetside at her restaurant Mia Dona (which were here accompanied by a coconut cupcake). The second mini was a little more form-fitting -- a red mini dress with a matching chef's coat that vied with Arpaia's meatball sandwich for attention.
The attractive brunette -- who bested the competition that included Felidia, Locanda Verde, Pulino's and Tarallucci e Vino -- worked the crowd, cheerfully posing for photos, personally handing out hundreds of little plates, and soliciting votes like an eager sixth grader running for class president.
The biggest star of the evening, though, was Meatball Madness host Giada De Laurentis, who, next to Arpaia and her red mini, looked downright conservative. Giada, who also had her own station, circuited the cavernous space sampling the competition, trailed by a crowd of picture-snapping fans and a hulking bodyguard.
In case you were wondering, our personal fave was Locanda Verde's lamb meatball slider with caprino (goat's-milk cheese) and pickled cucumber. Nothing mini about that one.