|"Cotechino" - click any pic to enlarge|
Domenica is at 123 Baronne Street, near but not in the French Quarter, and adjacent to the Roosevelt Hotel. The exterior is stately and the interior is a hip, airy, modern space with high ceilings. There is a full Italian menu, but other than one member of our party who chose risotto, our only non-pizza order was a shared appetizer. We chose the "Affettati Misti" - chef’s selection of assorted salumi, imported cheeses, marinated olives, roasted vegetables, and candied fruits. It was wonderful and served with superb Italian bread.
Three in our party ordered pizza. I had a very difficult time deciding on which personal-size Neapolitan style pizza (thin, puffy, charred crust) to choose, finally opting for the Cotechino, with pork sausage, scallions & tomatoes. Tony customized his white pie with soppressata, and Arthur selected the Smoked Pork pizza with mozzarella, red onion, Anaheim chili & salsa verde. I'd love to go back and try the Pizza Enzo, featuring anchovies, tomatoes, garlic & post-bake mortadella, reviewed HERE by Carey Jones of Slice - Seriouseats.
|My dining companions|
I had the luxury of eating my chosen pie, but also slice-swapping so that I could try the other two. In general, the Neapolitan crust was well executed - tasty enough to eat alone - and marred (properly) with just a tiny few incinerated edges. My pie had wonderful flavors, but it was the least balanced of the three. In the center, a few slices became soggy and sloppy due to excess moisture from the red sauce; also, the sausage was applied to only one half of the pie. These are minor quibbles, because the pie was satisfactory and a great bargain at $13 in a pricey tourist town.
Still, I can't say it threatened the best Neapolitan pies I've had, such as at Pane Bianco (reviewed HERE) in Phoenix and 2Amy's (reviewed HERE) in Washington DC.
|Smoked Pork pie|
The white pie was better than my pizza, owing to a better balance of toppings to crust. This crust was thus crisper and better able to support the tasty cheese and cured meat on top.
Best of all, though, was the more-experimental smoked pork pizza. The pie also enjoyed a wonderful balance. The pork was rich and savory without dominating the other flavors, while the Anaheim chilies added just a nip of spice. At home, I've been swimming in tomatillos and hence was skeptical about salsa verde on a pizza, but it was delicious here and applied judiciously. This pie was the clear winner.
|Tomatillos, the source for salsa verde|
New Orleans, to my experience, is a town where it's tough to get a bad meal. The service, the ambiance, and the food here were all delightful - just enough so that this very good Neapolitan pie qualifies as destination pizza.
The crust gets an 8, the various toppings get a 9.5, service and ambiance a 10. Overall a "9" pizza and surely worth a visit.