Sienna Restaurant Welcomes Chef Donatella Arpaia, Adds Cabaret

Sienna Restaurant's New Executive Chef Donatella Arpaia
Chef Donatella Arpaia

Sienna Restaurant & Ultralounge will re-open for the season this month with a new celebrity chef—and big plans for the summer.

Restaurateur Jonathan Rapillo took over the spot at 44 Three Mile Harbor Road in 2012 and opened Beaumarchais East Hampton under a licensing agreement with Beaumarchais, the Manhattan French restaurant. He took things in a different direction in 2013 when he rebranded the location Sienna Restaurant & Ultralounge, which serves dinner through 11 p.m. before turning over to become a nightclub at 11:30.

For 2014, celebrity chef and Food Network personality Donatella Arpaia helms the kitchen in her Hamptons debut. Arpaia has been the owner and operator of New York City restaurants Donatella, Kefi and Anthos, among others. Rapillo says he was fortunate to get Arpaia to lend her name and expertise to Sienna for the summer before her new St. Petersburg, Florida, restaurant opens in October. She is also planning a television show with another celebrity chef with a Hamptons restaurant, Tom Colicchio of Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, Rapillo says.

Among Arpaia’s plans for Sienna is Meatball Mondays, when the kitchen will serve her New York Wine & Food Festival Meatball Madness-winning Italian meatballs. Mondays will be a locals night of sorts, with a prix fixe menu.

Arpaia, whose husband is famed cardiologist Dr. Allan Stewart, will also design a number of heart-healthy dishes indicated on the menu with a heart icon. Dr. Stewart once performed surgery on former President Bill Clinton’s heart. Will Clinton, who is renting in Amagansett this August, drop in to Sienna this summer? If he doesn’t make it out for Meatball Mondays, Clinton can come on a weekend for Arpaia’s eggplant parmesan followed by sparkling watermelon dessert.

Sienna is working with local farms to grow the vegetables it will serve on its modern Italian menu in the coming months, and all of the restaurant’s fish will come from Montauk fisheries, Rapillo says.

After the kitchen closes for the night, Hamptons and New York City nightlife personality Artin Bey Archer steps in to manage the Sienna Ultralounge.

Rapillo says the lounge is in the same room as the restaurant with most of the same staff, plus the “most attractive cocktail girls in the Hamptons.”

Because the space was built years ago as a nightclub before it was eventually used as a restaurant, it has the high ceilings and great sightlines that make it the perfect space for a late-night lounge, according to Rapillo.

For this summer they plan to make Sienna a bit spicier, with cabaret acts Saturday nights at 12:30 a.m. Rapillo says Sienna had such great success in 2013 with two pop-up parties by Manhattan cabaret The Box, so he decided to bring cabaret acts every week. On a 40-square-foot stage, risqué—but tasteful—cabaret-style acts will perform, he says.

Rapillo says Siena’s nightlife is designed for affluential people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who have a house in the Hamptons but no place to go out.  He, himself, has a home in Sag Harbor that he visits every weekend, so he speaks from personal experience.

“My idea for the project was to create the space for a more mature crowd,” he says. He wants Sienna to be a one-stop-shop, where friends can go out for dinner, then stay out to enjoy themselves late into the night without having to go back to their cars and drive from place to place.

And if a group lacks a designated driver, Sienna offers a service in which a valet will drive them home in their own car. Another driver will follow in a second car to take the valet back to Sienna.

Sienna Restaurant & Ultralounge opens for the season May 17.

Sienna will be open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 6 to 11 p.m. The lounge will open Friday and Saturday nights from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.

On Sunday, May 25, during Memorial Day Weekend, the Animal Party—a traveling event with world-class DJs from San Francisco and animal costumes—is headed to Sienna.

Sienna Restaurant & Ultralounge, 44 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton. 631-604-6060.

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