Pizza Domenica: New restaurants in New Orleans / by BRG Hospitality


May 05, 2014, updated May 07, 2014

The Pizza Domenica staff was working like air traffic controllers on recent weekday night. At the Uptown offshoot of Domenica, orders for salumi, arugla and pickled beet salad or one of the nearly 20 wood-fired pizzas were made at the front counter. Customers were then entrusted to eager servers, who directed them to a table and then delivered food and took orders for more rounds of drinks, pizza-crust dipping sauces or desserts.

But even at an early hour, the staff struggled to find open tables among the multitude of families, neighbors, college students and even a group of 20-somethings with tiny birthday hats strapped to their heads.

Domenica, which Alon Shaya opened five years ago with John Besh in the Roosevelt Hotel, ranks as both one of New Orleans most celebrated and popular restaurants.

The second location, which chiseled the original menu down to just pizzas and antipasti, was bound to attract early attention from the city's culinary curious. But even a week after opening, it was clear that Shaya had anticipated this neighborhood's need.

"It's pretty much been all locals," said Shaya about the 500 to 700 customers he'd seen each night in Pizza Domenica's first week. "A lot of people from the neighborhood."

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