Digging In: Sous chef’s experiment becomes menu sensation _lowres

Photo by Ian McNulty - The roasted carrot pizza at Pizza Domenica can resemble a salad more than a pizza .


Roasted Carrot Pizza

Domenica and Pizza Domenica

4933 Magazine St.

(504) 301-4978, pizzadomenica.com

With the wood-fired oven blazing away and arms-reach access to ingredients, the kitchen staff at Dominica and its newer Uptown spinoff Pizza Domenica frequently play around with pizza recipes. Some don’t work out so well. Others make fine staff meals but aren’t destined for the menu. But then there’s the roasted carrot pizza ($13), which was created by Dominica sous chef Allison Birdsall in this manner but has become a sensation as a menu fixture at both restaurants. Carrots are roasted down to activate their golden sweetness, mixed with mascarpone and used as a sauce. Joined by a colorful tumble of yellow beets, chopped Brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, dabs of goat cheese and fresh mint, it could stand in for a salad. But spread over the char-pocked dough that started the whole experiment, it does just fine as a light, particularly beautiful pizza.


White Beans and Catfish

Sal’s Seafood

1512 Barataria Blvd., (504) 341-8112

Order your red beans at countless New Orleans eateries and then you pick your meat — hot sausage, pork chops, maybe fried chicken. Order the white beans ($7.50) at Sal’s Seafood, an essential West Bank spot for boiled seafood, po-boys and plate lunches, and you should pick the fried catfish. The white beans are meaty enough anyway.


BBQ Goat

Toups’ Meatery

845 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 252-4999


The BBQ goat ($23) is new to the menu, but it follows a style that will be familiar to fans of chef Isaac Toups’ way of coaxing maximum flavor from meat. Charred in the barbecue pit, then braised long and slow until falling apart, the goat gives whiffs of paprika and árbol chile but tastes intensely of itself, thanks to a deeply reduced stock — a goat glace, essentially — the chef works back into it. A trace of vinegary barbecue sauce, a crown of pickled peppers and citrus slaw and a small loaf of cornbread finish off this barbecue plate of pulled goat.

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.