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Review: Domenica

Affettati Misti

Affettati Misti

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) —
    Banana Zuppa Inglese

    Banana Zuppa Inglese

    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.
  • Squid Ink Tagliolini

    Squid Ink Tagliolini

  • 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.

Pizzoccheri

Pizzoccheri

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.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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Recipe: Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Lasagna is one of the best family-style meals out there. However, it’s loaded with carbs and calories so here’s a recipe that should cut down on both.

Instead of using pasta, thinly sliced eggplant serves as the layers. I also add some cauliflower to give this lasagna a little bit of a crunch.

  • 6 TBSP Olive oil
  • 3 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Broiling the Eggplant

    Broiling the Eggplant

  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise into thin sheets
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Mix the oil with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Then, brush eggplant sheets with oil and spices mixture.
  2. Lay the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet (you will have to do this more than once). Broil them 2 inches from the flame for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Turkey-Cauliflower Saute

    Turkey-Cauliflower Saute

  4. Remove from home and turn to the other side brushing with the oil mixture and broiling for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Repeat until all of eggplant is broiled then set oven to 350F.
  6. In the meantime, saute ground turkey, cauliflower, garlic, shallots and red onion in a medium-sized pan. Cook until turkey meat is browned then add in chopped hardboiled egg.
  7. Once all ingredients are cooked, place one-third of the eggplant sheets in a wide, shallow 2- or 3-quart casserole dish.
  8. Layer with mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, ground turkey mix and pasta sauce.
  9. Repeat the layering two additional times then top with mozzarella.
  10. Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes then serve.

This is recipe that will feed you and your family of 4 to 6. You won’t even notice that it’s not pasta, but eggplant that makes up most of the dish.

You can also substitute any ground meat of your choosing if you don’t want to use turkey. It may not be 100% authentic Italian, but it will do in a pinch and it’s sure to please most people’s palettes.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Cookin'

 

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