30th Anniversary Celebration at @AlonShaya's @Domenica!

27 Jun 2012

Domenica (Roosevelt Hotel) on Urbanspoon

www.domenicarestaurant.com

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last week, with an overnight stay at The Roosevelt Hotel and dinner at Domenica, the hotel's restaurant. Domenica, a John Besh restaurant run by Chef Alon Shaya, is an edgy Italian pizza/pasta place that serves some very creative food.


Bubbles! We started with some sparkling wine to properly kick off the fesitve nature of the meal. I'd tell you what I ordered, but the wines aren't listed as part of the online menu. oops.

Perusing the menu was a challenge, mainly because so many things sounded interesting. Antipasti choices such as Grilled Calamari, Coal Roasted Eggplant, and Chicken Liver Crostini, all sounded delightful. Keeping the mains in the back of my mind, fish, goat, veal, and chicken, I wanted to exercise caution in terms of eating too much to start. But the pastas are also attractive! And everyone's been raving about the pizza for ages, particularly because of the occasional happy hour half-off special the restaurant runs on them. Chef Alon does his Primi dishes in small and large portions, so we decided on two pasta plates and then we'd split a pizza.

While we were sipping the #bubbles, our server brought some bread to nibble on. We both poured some of the olive oil on the table for dipping, and found it to be quite spicy. Double-checking that the bread didn't have a peppery crust, I then noticed this huge pepper in the oil bottle. Beware, if you don't like spicy olive oil!

"Squid Ink Taglioni" - this is the small-sized plate. As fascinating as the dish sounded on the menu, I was well and truly afraid that Mrs. YatPundit wouldn't like the notion of "squid ink." She really liked it, though! The pasta has a very unusual taste. Coming in, I was prepared for a fishy-seafoody taste, but it was just...different. Very hard to explain, but also very good. The mixture of herbs, along with lovely lumps of crabmeat, made for a great taste when it hits the mouth.

Cavatelli, with roasted chicken, tomatoes, olives, and basil. Somewhat less adventuresome than the squid ink, but nonetheless delicious. This is the large-plate size portion; I knew we'd be splitting these back and forth, and I was also worried about how much of the tagloni would get eaten. That concern was obviously unfounded, but this was a good dish. In terms of "conservative" Italian dishes, I'd say this and the Paneed Veal are the top two on Domenica's menu.

Pizza! Prosciutto with tomato, fresh mozzarella & arugula, and me not fast enough to get a pic before the missus grabbed a piece! The choice of pizza was also difficult. Among the finalists we bandied back and forth were the "Tutto Carne," with fennel sausage, bacon, salami & cotechino, and the Roasted Eggplant, with tomato, tahini, red onion, goat cheese. The Prosciutto won out because we both love the ham, and because Mrs. YatPundit was thinking back to a pizza we shared in the food mall at Harrod's in London a couple of years ago, that was topped with rocked salad. Lots of greens on pizza is very much a European thing, and it just seemed right for this meal.

I'd love to tell you specifically which Montepulciano we drank with the pizza, but I didn't take a pic of the label, and the wine list is still not on the Domenica website. oops.

For dessert, we had the "Dark Chocolate Torta with black pepper fiore di latte gelato," and I had a cup of coffee. The torta was delicious, and the pepper on the gelato was interesting. I'm a big fan of savory ice cream, and this was a neat contrast.

After this lovely meal, we had a couple of drinks in the Sazerac Lounge, then retired for the night to this very-comfy room upstairs. What a great experience overall!