4 Fleur
Average check per person $35-$45
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Domenica

CBD: 123 Baronne (Roosevelt Hotel). 504-648-6020. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Domenica is the maximum current attempt to duplicate certain culinary practices very common in Italy but rarely seen here. There are three major specialties. The best is pizza, baked in a five-ton, wood-fired oven made of stone. The chef makes a showy array of salumi, curing meats for months in house. The remainder of the menu uses pasta, meats and seafood in about three dozen small and large dishes, most of them rustic in style. A large portion of the menu will be familiar to anyone who has been to Italy.

WHAT’S GOOD
The pizza here is the best of all time locally. The thin crust is charred here and there by the hot fire, topped with an offbeat selection of ingredients. The salumi is extraordinary. It may even be too good. A little of it goes a long way. The remainder of the menu is widely variable, with some dishes tasting much better than they sound, and a few (the pasta with chicken livers and oxtail ragu, for example) giving the opposite effect. This is a great restaurant for culinary explorers, and less good for those whose definition of “authentic” Italian food is what their grandmothers cooked.

BACKSTORY
After over a year of planning (during which Chef Alon Shaya spent many months in Italy) Dominica opened in the fall of 2009, as nearly the last piece of the renewed Roosevelt Hotel. The restaurant’s name is Italian for “Sunday,” when in the glory days of the Roosevelt Hotel many local people went there for dinner. The hotel had a restaurant in this space for almost a hundred years–most recently Bailey’s, the hotel’s all-day restaurant.

DINING ROOM
The tall, wide room gets further spaciousness from a wall of windows looking to the rococo facade of Jesuit Church. Unclothed, rustic tables built of wood planks, topped with jars of long breadsticks, stand a bit too close to one another throughout the room, which is divided by massive square columns and split levels. What looks like the bar is actually the salumi station, where chefs work meat slicers on the cured meats in the glass-fronted walk-in cooler behind them.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Antipasto And Salads
»Affettati misti (salumi, cheeses, olives, roasted vegetables)
Prosciutto
»Coppa (cured pork shoulder)
Bresaola (air-dried beef)
Soppressata di Toscana
»House made salami
»Lardo (cured pork fat)
Speck (smoked and cured ham)
Cheeses (many imported varieties)
Herb roasted pork ribs
Chicken liver crostini
»Wild mushroom soup, truffle bruschetta
»Octopus carpaccio
Fresh ricotta, date-pecan pesto, grilled country bread
»Arugula, beets, gorgonzola and pistachios
Baby green salad, apples, goat cheese, crispy prosciutto
»Burrata mozzarella, pesto, tomatoes, focaccia
»Roasted cauliflower, goat feta
Primi
»Tagliatelle with rabbit and porcini
»White truffle risotto, pancetta croutons
Stracci, oxtail and fried chicken livers
Garganelli pasta, pork ragu, garlic and rapini
»Squid ink tagliolini, blue crab and herbs
»Anolini (ring pasta), pork, tomato and basil
Tortelloni, sweet potatoes, hazelnut brown butter
Lasagne bolognese
Pizzoccheri (buckwheat noodles), sausage, onions, cabbage
Fusilli, shrimp sauce, celery and lemon
Pizza
»Margherita (tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella)
»Calabrese (tomato, salami, mozzarella, capers, olives)
Prosciutto, tomato, fresh mozzarella and arugula
Cotechino sausage, scallions and tomatoes
»Spicy lamb meatballs, tomato, ricotta, rapini, mint
»Wild mushroom, tomato, fontina, bacon, yard egg
»Pizza Enzo (anchovies, tomatoes, garlic, mortadella)
»Gorgonzola, apples, speck, pecans
Clams, oregano, calabrese pepper, garlic and olive oil
»Bolzano (roast pork shoulder, fennel, bacon, sweet onions)
Quattro formaggi
»Pizza bianca (fennel, mozzarella, lardo)
»White anchovies, oregano, garlic, Calabrese pepper, tomatoes
Tutto carne (fennel sausage, bacon, salami, cotechino)
Entrees
»Whole grilled fish, lemon and herbs
»Redfish, celery root puree, warm olive vinaigrette
»Wood roasted goat, yard egg and tomato sauce
Panneed veal, arugula, olive oil roasted tomatoes
Mangalitsa pork shank, white beans, pickled root vegetables
Sides
Fried tuscan kale, lemon and parmigiano reggiano
»Sweet potatoes, rosemary butter, cane syrup
»Brussels sprouts with guanciale
Rapini, garlic, pecorino
Soft polenta, olive oil, roasted tomatoes
Desserts
»Banana zuppa inglese
Dark chocolate torta
»Gianduja budino (chocolate and hazelnut pudding)
»Sweet ricotta kataifi
»Panna cotta, chocolate and almond torta
»Gelato affogato
Seasonal sorbetti and gelati

FOR BEST RESULTS
Start with pizza, no matter what else you get. Then a little of the house-made salumi. The cheeses (other than burrata) are less impressive. Every afternoon from three until six, pizzas, cocktails, and wine by the glass is half-price. Israel-born Chef Alon Shaya creates special menus for the major Jewish holidays. They’re not kosher–the restaurant has too much prosciutto hanging around for that–but otherwise very traditional and worth ordering, even if you’re not Jewish.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The lack of tablecloths and the use of smallish china with no underliners of any kind makes for a glaring comfort deficiency–at least to my sensitivities.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar +1
  • Hipness +2
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Romantic
  • Good view
  • Good for business meetings
  • Many private rooms
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all holidays
  • Open after 10 p.m.
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Reservations recommended

1 Readers Commented

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  1. Becky on July 21, 2015

    This restaurant, Domenica, used to be our favorite restaurant in New Orleans. Every time we visited NO for the last several years we would make sure to eat there at least once, often twice. But since Chef Alon Shaya has been working on his new restaurant, and pared back on the Domenica menu, we rarely go there at all. Many of my favorites were eliminated from the menu a couple years ago and most of the meat dishes are gone except for the $25 or more entrees. There are no lunch menu, no sandwiches and none of their wonderful soups. I emailed the Chef about the items I wanted that were removed from the menu, and he said he could make them for me with advance notice that I was coming. I let him know 2 days before our reservation and he came out to the table to talk to us and said he had everything to make my Bolzano Pizza. But when the pizza came out, it was not the old recipe, rather an adaptation of what they were then serving. Maybe the cooks no longer knew how to make my pizza??? I was extremely disappointed and have not been back since.

    Also, the nomenu.com review contains many of the old standard menu items that have been gone from the menu for a long time.

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