Only the foolish could walk by this casual and informal restaurant and assume it’s just another pizza joint. While his name doesn’t appear on the menu, Domenica in the Roosevelt Hotel is a part of John Besh‘s restaurant empire (in partnership with Alon Shaya who is also Executive Chef). Our shared Besh dining experiences at August and La Provence and Paul’s visit to Lüke raised expectations. We saw tasty pizzas delivered to tables around us, but Paul and I were drawn to other offerings on the menu.
I ordered the Roasted Cauliflower served with a side of whipped feta (blended with goat cheese and mascarpone) drizzled with olive oil and ground chili pepper. The cauliflower was a golden brown on the outside and tender inside. We dredged sliced florets in the tangy and creamy goodness of the whipped feta. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Our server recommended and Paul ordered the Fried Tuscan Kale, a deep-fried crunchy salad tossed in pine nuts, grape tomatoes, and parmigiano reggiano. I’ve tasted some really terrible fried kale in the past, but this preparation all but erased those memories. We both agreed that Paul won this course. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
We ordered pasta next from the Primi section of the menu. Paul ordered the Bucatini All’ Amatriciana with house-cured guanciale (pork jowl) and crushed tomato. The rich flavor of the guanciale and the fresh, sweet tomato of the sauce seemed to be missing something to tie the two together. ⭐️⭐️1/2
Because it’s common on menus in New Orleans, I try to order a dish with rabbit at least once during my visits. The Tagliatelle with slow cooked rabbit and a porcini mushroom ragu drew my attention immediately. Our server recommended this dish and the Squid Ink Tagliolini, so I chose rabbit. Paul and I switched plates mid meal to taste each other’s pasta, but I reminded him that I ordered the Tagliatelle and he savored a few bites. I love my husband, but . . . . let’s just say I won this course and rescued the plate back. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
We had hoped to have room for a dish from the Secondi section of the menu, but we were feeling full. We finished with dessert: Gianduja Budino, a chocolate hazelnut pudding with blonde chocolate rocher. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
We recommend adding Domenica to your New Orleans dining list.