Domenica – to Soothe a Frazzled Traveler
Wow! It was quite a week I spent in New Orleans. Because of an icy rain storm, most of the bridges into the city were closed, as was most of the Interstate, the main artery into, through and out of the city. There was only one little bar and grill open on Algiers Point, site of my new home. Fortunately, as I was just finishing up dinner at the end of the first day of the freeze, two N.O. cops came in and let me know the bridge would be open the next day, so I confidently set out on my merry way, to make some phone calls from a cousin’s house. The cable guy had bravely shown up the day before, to keep my set up appointment, but was thwarted by a faulty modem, and his back office was MIA and shut down.
I was able to get into the city (only the exits into the CBD, French Quarter and mid-city area were open), but the exit I used to get into the city, along with all the others I tried, was closed when I tried to get back out. After frantically searching for a way to go back across the Mississippi River bridge, I called my cousin, Raoul, who knows where absolutely everything is in and around New Orleans, and he gave me the low down on how to get back out (the very last entrance before the bridge was still open).
By that time I was a bit frazzled, and very hungry. Raoul also happens to know about many of the great places to eat around town (you know what’s coming- many of the restaurants were closed, too). Fortunately, I had heard the night before, that Domenica, the rustic Italian eatery that’s the brain child of Chef Alon Shaya, along with his partner John Besh, was one of the restaurants that was remaining open, thankfully. I was pretty tired of the local bar and grill on the Point
“Yeah, they’ll stay open” Raoul said, “they’re in a hotel.” So off I went with help from Raoul on directions.
Thankfully, Domenica seemed to be operating as if nothing abnormal was happening outside its doors.
“I need a menu right away” I told the manager. “I’m a frazzled traveler.” The wonderful Porchetta Panini with Rapini and Aged Provolone caught my eye right away, and to soothe the nerves, there was a glass of a lip-smacking Sangiovese/Merlot blend.
After ordering, I had a chance to peruse the menu a bit more, and look around at what others were ordering. A beautiful whole char-roasted head of cauliflower, served with a whipped goat Feta, from the antipasti menu, was served at the table next to me – and a Maine lobster with burrata, also from the antipasti menu – a great way to order.
Meanwhile, my sandwich arrived, along with a shredded Brussels sprout salad dressed with a horseradish mustard spiked dressing and toasted almond slices. Okay, the frantic wandering around faded into the past, and I made a note to myself to come back with a group next time, to check out those antipasti items. Ah, and Raoul tells me they have great pizza and cocktail happy hour specials, too.
Domenica 123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112 504.648.6020