In 2009 The Saints were well on their way to win their first ever Superbowl. That same year, inside the newly re-opened Roosevelt Hotel, Domenica opened it's doors and changed the downtown restaurant landscape forever. Back then, I distinctly remember reading about the partnership between John Besh and Alon Shaya that eventually led to the opening of Domenica. During the interview portion, I read that Alon spent a year traveling Italy learning and mastering the art of not only pizza, but all things Italian. That speaks volumes to how dedicated Chef Besh and Shaya on providing an authentic experience. What a dream right? In the 5 years Domenica has been open, Alon and his team have cemented their spot as one of the best restaurants in town.
Pizza at Domenica was one of the major reasons why I fell in love with the spot. Inventive and traditional, it ranks right up there with Lombardi's in NYC. Seriously. When I started to hear rumors about the opening of the off-shoot Pizza Domenica (4933 magazine st. New Orleans, la, 70115 / PH 504.301.4978) Uptown, my jowls instantly began to flood with excitement. The rumors eventually became a reality and Alon began to post pics of the progress, teasing everyone over social media. A few months back, Pizza Domenica officially opened.
Here's more info about from Pizza Domenica...
"Local ingredients, traditional Italian appetizers and, of course, wood-fired pizzas are paired with a stylish, vibrant atmosphere. Stay twenty minutes or two hours, knowing you will experience our trademark genuine hospitality."
In Nola, until recently, pizza has been sort of an after thought. No real identity could be found. Not a bad thing, but Pizza Domenica is doing their best to change that. All of the points they make above are true to life. The dishes I had were super fresh and well prepared. The redfish I had was prepared in a way I've never experienced. The pizza was well covered will super contrasty flavors and had a crust that was crispy and dense without being too doughy. Each piece was easily bent in half and fit perfectly into my pie hole. Their specially designed pizza oven constantly rotates to evenly cook the pizza at super high temperatures.
I intentionally left out the one item you should never leave without devouring, the garlic knots. The pictures above do a certain amount of justice, but when it comes to the knots there's no turning back.
In a city that is entrenched in tradition, New Orleans is transforming it's foodie landscape at an incredible pace. Transplants and locals alike always complained about the lack of substantial pizza options in the city. Domenica downtown and now Pizza Domenica are at the forefront of that changing landscape.
WHAT I HAD
Garlic Knots — This is by far one of the best appetizers I've ever had anywhere. The knots are truly magical and the aged provolone fonduta that comes with every order is like taking a skinny dip into wonderland.
Fish — Redfish "on the half shell" which was super flakey and fresh comes with local greens, and a roasted pepper vinaigrette. Such a great presentation.
Pizza — Smoked Pork pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, red onion, anaheim chili & salsa verde.