For the last 5 years in New Orleans if you asked me what my favorite restaurant is I would immediately respond “Domenica”

My eating life revolves around cured meat and cooking with fire, two arenas that Domenica excels in.

Chef Alon Shaya’s charcuterie program is second to none in New Orleans and is one of the finest in all of USA.

If there’s a part of the pig that can be layered with salt and placed in a curing chamber then the good cook has  done just that, and as a matter of course, did so using only heritage breed pork.

Domenica is ground zero for Mangalitsa fetishists in Southeast Louisiana.

As for fire, Domenica builds roaring blazes every single day and trots out barbecue-esque dishes that transform the very notion of the word.

With the recent announcement of  a 2015 opening of “Shaya” on Magazine Street, the chef has set his sights on the foods of his native land: Israel. Expect boat loads of hummus, vast tureens of babaganoush, hot pita bread rolling out of a wood-fired oven and Lord knows what else.

No word on whether Shaya will offer foods forbidden to Kosher Jews. As many of my Jewish friends eat the Hell out of bacon, shrimp and other treif cuisine, I offer a prayer that Shaya will stand in the clearlight and serve an omni-cultural menu.

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