When I have just a few days in New Orleans, I don't usually spend them eating pizza. (Can't bring myself to neglect all those beignets and po' boys.) But on NOLA foodman Pableaux Johnson's recommendation, we checked out the pizza at Domenica last weekend, and I have to say I'm glad I did.
John Besh's Italian restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel, with chef Alon Shaya running the kitchen, has an extensive pizza menu, of the sort where each sounds more enticing than the last: Let's get gorgonzola, apples, speck, and pecans. No—toasted fennel, mozzarella, and house cured lardo!
But I couldn't pass up "The Enzo" ($13), anchovies and mortadella (!) with tomatoes and garlic. A base of mozzarella and a few torn leaves of fresh basil is strewn with chopped heirloom tomatoes, splashed with garlic and chili oils, topped with fresh anchovies, drizzled with tomato sauce, and sprinkled with Parmesan before it's fired in the oven for about two minutes. After that? A full blanket of thinly sliced mortadella.
The surprise, on first bite, was the pie's pronounced sweetness, which paired beautifully with the nutmeg-flecked, pistachio-studded meat; the fresh anchovies brought a bright oceanic brininess, rather than just being dominantly salty. The crust has a crisp chew and an airy interior, with good char and a few puffed-up bubbles, good enough to eat on its own; no pizza bones left on the plate here.
The best way to get it? Every day from 3pm–6pm, Domenica has a pizza-and-drinks happy hour—beer, wine, well cocktails, and all pizza half price. Which means you can score this guy plus a beer for under $10.
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