Domenica, a casual Italian spot in New Orleans’ Roosevelt Hotel, is John Besh’s newest creation. The name means “Sunday” in Italian, and the concept is designed to evoke the warmth and charm of a traditional Sunday supper in a rural Italian village.
The 150-seat restaurant is dominated by long central communal tables and a huge wood-burning pizza oven with a rotating stone deck, reportedly the first in the U.S.
Executive Chef Alon Shaya immersed himself in the culture by living and working with culinary artisan families in northern Italy, learning their methods and absorbing their traditions. Featured dishes include a range of delectable handmade pastas and risottos such as Fazzoletti with house-made guanciale from Berkshire Pigs, heirloom tomatoes and basil. Fish get the classic Old World treatment in dishes like Local Gulf Pompano grilled whole over wood with salsa verde, fennel and Anson Mills polenta. The Carne course includes tomato braised Guinea Hen that are raised in Slidell, LA, and served with rosemary roasted potatoes and garlic Swiss chard.