Full disclosure: I worked at Domenica for a few months in 2010, so if you think that is a conflict of interest, read no further.
First and foremost, Domenica has one of the best happy hours in town. Not many places can match 50% off of pizza, beer and wine (by the glass). You can get a lot of food and drinks for a great price.
Aside from that, the menu rotates very frequently to keep things seasonal. If it’s on the menu, the main must-have is the fried squash blossoms. They’re addictive.
Other top favorites of mine include:
- Squid Ink Tagliolini — Topped with delicious blue crab and loaded with fresh herbs, it’s light and refreshing and doesn’t fall into the heavy pasta dish category.
- Gnocchi (changes seasonally) — Domenica has the best gnocchi in town, you can’t go wrong ordering any variety. The best I’ve had to date was the Spinach Gnocchi with Bacon and Brown Butter.
- Roasted Cauliflower — You order will consist of an entire head of cauliflower that is roasted. What really sends this dish over the top is the whipped goat feta. It has the consistency of hummus, but the pungent taste of goat cheese.
- Tagliatelle — The rabbit and porcini mushrooms blend very well with this pasta to create a deliciously gamey dish.
- Affettati Misti — Start with this. It’s basically the deluxe meat and cheese plate with accoutrements. The meats and cheese are awesome as is the bread that accompanies everything. And make sure you get Panna Forte.
- Spicy Lamb Meatball Pizza — All the pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven that makes them taste authentically Italian. You can’t really go wrong with any of the pizzas, but my recommendation has the best balance of cheesy, meaty, fresh, tomatoey.
- White Truffle Risotto — The main reason to order it is for the pancetta croutons. The gnocchi is good, too.
- Crema Fritta — I’m not sure what this creamy cheese is breaded with, but it gives it a texture unique to any fried cheese I’ve had. The bacon and onion marmellata is also stellar.
If it sounds like I’m suggesting you order a large percentage of the menu, I am. Domenica has consistently improved every time I’ve visited. Head chef Alon Shaya really has a great understanding of this type of Italian cuisine — and that comes through 100% in all of the dishes.
After you’ve indulged in the savory courses, don’t pass up a dessert. Domenica has a very talented pastry chef, Lisa, who puts together unique dishes. In a visit this summer, I had the warm peach cake with salted caramel, blueberries and blueberry-basil sorbetto.Now, while I like all of those ingredients separately, I was curious to see how they worked in the same dish. The result: a heavenly dessert that had just the right amount of salty and sweet.
The Banana Zuppa Inglese is also worth raising your spoon form. The banana cake is extremely moist and the butterscotch mousse make a topping. It’s kind of like a bread pudding/banana pudding mash-up.
Domenica is not a place to miss and is my second favorite Besh restaurant behind the flagship restaurant of August. My only tip would be to skip the lunch menu and go for happy hour and/or dinner. The dinner menu is exponentially better than the lunch menu, but you really can’t go wrong.
Domenica is located in the Roosevelt Hotel at 123 Baronne Street.