Holiday Glamour Girl: Wine & Dine Like Donatella Arpaia

My favorite part of the holidays is setting the table. I think it’s the most fun part, and it’s a time where your personality can come out. I never try to set the table the day of the event; I like to do it either early in the morning or the night before. It’s when we break out our best crystal and linens that were handed down from our mother or grandmother. As you can see, I love working with metallics. Gold is my favorite because I think it’s such an elegant, perfect, Christmas holiday color. It’s neutral but you can make it your own. I like to keep things simple beautiful and elegant – and of course a little glamorous. During the holidays our home is filled with lots of love and laughter, especially around the dinner table. Guest: Variety of fish. You have the shrimp, you have the calamari, you have the biancini, scallops. Guest: I chose two different wines; they are both white wines to go with the fish. One is Raymond. It’s a Chardonnay it will pair well with the shrimp. Donatella: Will you pour it while you’re telling me? Guest: Of course. Everyone: Salute Donatella: We are not eating meat tonight, so I made black truffle lasagna. Guest: Wow this is amazing Guest: Wow this is delicious. Donatella: Dino, so growing up we had Bacaloa all the time, so this is an updated version, let me know if it’s better than Mommy’s. Guest: Really exceptional. Donatella: Sharing a meal with family and friends is a special part of the holidays. The food, love and laughter create memories that last forever.

The tree isn’t complete until a gleaming star or glimmering angel crowns the top. The mantel isn’t perfect until it is swagged with evergreen and velvet ribbons. And the table isn’t dressed for the fête until it is set with the holiday’s best.

Donatella Arpaia, trendsetting celebrity chef, Iron Chef judge, and brilliant restaurateur, brings her 24K style to Frontgate with her own glamorous (and exclusive) collection of serving pieces, table decor, signature recipes and insider tips for entertaining. So go on a gilt trip.

That’s right. Glam things up with Donatella’s gleaming hammered golden serving and snack bowls, antler-inspired lazy susans, and sleek beverage tubs. Each piece melds glittering metallics with organic elements inspired by the natural world.

“...I love working with metallics. Gold is my favorite because I think it’s such an elegant, perfect, Christmas holiday color. It’s neutral, but you can make it your own. I like to keep things simple, beautiful and elegant - and of course a little glamorous. ”

Donatella’s Midas touch doesn’t end there. Her Frontgate designs include exquisite beaded placemats, napkin rings as pretty as jewelry, gold-embroidered table linens and gold-rimmed premium bone china. Here is her delicious Fritto Misto recipe:


Fritto Misto

2 lbs. calamari, bodies & tentacles cleaned & bodies cut into 1″ tubes

2 lbs. extra large shrimp, peeled & deveined, tail on

2 lbs. smelt, gutted, tail & head on

6–8 lemons, 3 cut into very thin rounds, the rest cut into wedges

1 bunch flat leaf parsley

4–6 cups all-purpose flour

1–2 gallons canola oil

salt & pepper, to taste

Place oil in a large pot fitted with an oil thermometer. Heat to 360°. Line a few sheet trays with paper towels, and place a wire rack over the toweling.

Place flour in a large, wide bowl, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Have a large wire sieve on hand.

Working in small batches, add seafood to flour and coat well. Shake off excess flour in the sieve, and drop a few pieces at a time in the hot oil, being careful not to splash. Do not overcrowd. Fry until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon to the towel lined trays, and season again with salt. Continue with the rest of the seafood, and finish by flouring the lemon slices and a few large sprigs of parsley and frying for garnish.

Arrange seafood on a platter, and top with the garnish. Serve with lemon wedges.

“Sharing a meal with family and friends is a special part of the holidays. The food, love and laughter create memories that last forever.”

It’s a match made in heaven. Read more about the collaboration between Donatella and Frontgate here.

Find more inspiration from Donatella on Pinterest.