After the Saints season opener this past Sunday, we went to Domenica, John Besh’s casual, contemporary restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel. This was my second visit to Domenica and it surely won’t be my last. On my first visit, my birthday dinner, we ordered the Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Feta appetizer, and I got the Squid Ink Tagliolini with Blue Crab as an entrée. The cauliflower was amazing, so much so that I’ve tried recreating it at home a couple of times. (That’s a post for another day.) The squid ink pasta with crab was beautiful, an ethereal looking black pasta with contrasting chunks of white crab meat. And it was every bit as yummy as it was pretty.
On Sunday, we arrived during Domenica’s happy hour, when pizzas and drinks are half price. (A pizza costs $6.50 during happy hour, an incredible bargain.) We ordered two pizzas, Clam and Garlic and Pizza Enzo, with anchovies, garlic, tomatoes and mortadella. (We like garlic. A lot.) I tried the Enzo first. The pizza was good, nicely balanced without too much anchovy, which can be overpowering. Then came the Clam and Garlic. I think I’ve found my soul pizza. No sauce, no cheese. Clams, roasted garlic, lots of olive oil, oregano, and just a tiny bit of heat from some sort of hot pepper. Pizza Heaven. I’m sorry to say, I ditched Enzo after that. He went home with my partner in a brown bag.
Our waitress was very good, and kept our drinks filled. Unfortunately, I don’t recall her name. I have one tiny complaint about Domenica: it’s very loud. I know it’s a current trend in the restaurant business to have these noisy spaces with lots of hard surfaces, but it can be a bit difficult to carry on a conversation. Noise or no noise, however, I highly recommend Domenica and I plan to return there soon.