Hello, my name is Donna D’Agostino and this is my story.
I’m a native New Yorker and if you can’t tell by my name, an Italian-American. As long as I can remember, my life has been centered around family, food + bottles of delicious Italian wine. It all began at my grandparents’ restaurant. The “Isle of Capri”, still located at the exact same spot for sixty plus years – 1028 Third Avenue, corner of East 61st street. It’s off the N or the R. Pop by and say hello, I’m there daily.
In 1912, Vincenzo Lamanna, my grandfather, was born in New York City on East 60th down the block from where I live now. When he was only six months old, his mother, my great-grandmother, Gloria, passed away. My grandfather, just a baby, was taken back to Europe to a speck of a town called Pentone, found deep in the boot of Italy. So, as life would have it, instead of growing up on the streets of Manhattan, he grew up in an Italian country town surrounded by familia + Italy’s deeply rooted ancient traditions.
He married my grandmother and returned to America at the age of 25. It was 1937 + Vincenzo & Maria (“Mamma” to all who knew her) returned New York City into their life’s adventure, opening “Lamanna Importers”, a gourmet delicatessen on East 59th Street. Together, with their children Gloria & Jane, they worked “immigrant hard” and took tremendous pride in selling imported Italian speciality foods. In 1955, with a restaurateur partner who hailed from Capri, they together launched “Isle of Capri”. But it was only a few months before Vincenzo assumed sole ownership of the restaurant and customers were treated like extended family. Over the years celebrities and politicians from the 1940’s movie star heartthrob Montgomery Clift to the Kennedy clan have dined with us. The Isle of Capri, is second home to a lot of people.
Since my grandparents passing in the early 1990’s, my mother and aunt formally took over, but as the time passes it’s becoming my generation’s responsibility to take care of the family business. I, alongside with my sister help run the place. I spend much of my free time at wine tastings and my friends say I must have vino coursing through my veins. Exploring my passion for great wine has lead me to launch “Click to Sip” (clicktosip.com) an online wine shopping portal where I curate a tight list of Italian wines. With an eye for style, I present BRINA insulated wine sleeves. Made in Italy, these wine sleeves will stylishly keep your favorite bottles cold for hours. My family uses them for our formal events + casual festivities. We gift them to our friends and business colleagues. And we keep one on our own dining room table knowing that our wine will be the perfect temperature.
So much has changed from the time my grandfather first opened his doors till now, but so much has stayed the same. No matter what decade, the tables are always filled with happy people sharing food, drinking wine and creating memories. For generations my family has shared a passion for delicious food & great wine.
The only difference is now I present my wine in a BRINA.