Iconic Pizza Maker Donatella Arpaia Expands Footprint Into South Florida
The migration of New Yorkers to South Florida is nothing new. But while many top chefs have opened outposts of successful Manhattan operations, very few have made the move full time to Miami.
With the combination of the Pandemic and a heart surgeon husband with a great career opportunity, Donatella Arpaia is writing the next chapter of her storied career in South Florida. Arpaia, has taken over operations at two Coral Gables restaurants, Redfish and Forte.
When Arpaia relocated to Miami from New York City with her husband and their young son in 2018, she was pregnant with twins. Two years later, when the pandemic hit, she took advantage of the downtime to explore Miami’s neighborhoods to determine what she could create from a unique culinary perspective. She found that opportunity with Redfish and Forte.
The former Redfish Grill has opened again as Noma Beach at Redfish with the Celebrity Chef and Food Network Star Donatella Arpaia putting her special touches on her menu. “This is really about a lifestyle with the beach right here,” Arpaia explained. “We have an opportunity to provide a full menu of options from a simple pizza to a full celebration dinner. Whether dining outside under the Palms at the edge of Biscayne Bay or in the historic coral stone dining room, this restaurant is like nowhere else. It’s a slice of Florida that disappeared long ago in most parts of Miami.”
Noma Beach at Redfish is a one-of-a-kind waterfront property that highlights Donatella Coastal Italian cuisine with an emphasis on local fish and fresh ingredients. An expansive raw crude selection of appetizers, along with Donatella Famous award-winning meatballs are a must. The restaurant also serves a variety of house made pastas and desserts. A wood burning pizza oven for Neapolitan style pizza and porterhouse steak.
Arpaia is a popular American entrepreneur, restaurateur, and television personality. She was born in 1971 and grew up in Long Island, New York. When Donatella was a child, her father, Italian immigrant Lello Arpaia, was a hardworking restaurateur raising a family. He told his little girl that she could be anything she wanted to be when she grew up—just stay out of the restaurant business. It’s a good thing she didn’t listen. Arpaia has made a career of finding restaurant opportunities. She went to college, studied law and even became an attorney. Early in her career, Arpaia worked as an assistant food editor for Bon Appétit Magazine as well as a food stylist for Martha Stewart Living.
In 1994, at the age of twenty-three, Arpaia opened her first restaurant, Bellini, in Manhattan. The restaurant was a success and Arpaia opened two additional venues: Dona and davidburke & Donatella. The restaurants often feature classic Italian foods, ranging from fish and shellfish to pastas, risottos, and veal dishes. Her signature pizza had become a staple at her restaurants. Her last venture in New York City prior to relocating was to debut The Prova Pizzabar in Grand Central Station for high-traffic areas with quick transition times.
Once again, with her sights set on South Florida, Donatella Arpaia is set to write another chapter in what has become an iconic career.
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