Entries in Dominic (3)



Note: My enthusiasm for Dominic was evidently not widely shared. It closed in mid-2007. Truth to tell, I was always surprised it lasted as long as it did, as it was never crowded, and it was always offering happy-hour and holiday specials. As of September 2007, the space was still vacant.


dominic.jpgLast week, I had to arrange dinner for 31 people in TriBeCa. I wanted something memorable, but not ridiculously expensive. Dominic was the low bidder, at $55 per head, beating out places like Devin Tavern and City Hall by a considerable margin. The price included a half-hour open bar with hors d’oeuvres.

I knew from past experience that the restaurant would do a solid job with the food, and the crowd would enjoy Dominic’s sleek interior and Latin ambiance.

The set menu offered a choice of three appetizers, three mains and three desserts, as follows:

Seared Beef Carpaccio (truffle cheese, sweet and sour onions, Manodori balsamico)
Classic Caesar Salad (prepared tableside)
Risotto Farm Style (sautéed shrimp, basil and truffle oil)

Spinach, Ricotta and Corn Ravioli (balsamic brown butter)
Grilled Salmon (olive tapenade, slow roasted fennel, red wine)
Grilled Hangar Steak (grilled trevisano and asparagus sald, wild mushrooms, bone marrow gremolata)

Molten Chocolate Cake (raspberry chocolate sauce)
Apple Crepes Tart (vanilla tuile and caramel sauce)
Our Famous Sognos “Beautiful little dreams” (cinammon sugar puffs, raspberry & chocolate dipping sauces)

At this type of meal, one just says a prayer that courses will be served together, without significant delays, and without tasting like it was catered for a VFW convention. Dominic did a whole lot better than that, and indeed everyone was pleased. I would add that they extended the open bar to a full hour at no extra charge, and had custom-printed menus for the occasion. The maitre d’ also selected a very respectable Syrah at $32 a bottle, which is a good $8–10 less than what one might have paid for the same bottle elsewhere in town.

With tax and tip, the bill came out to around $91 a person. Every other place I checked was at least $20 a head more. The three dishes I had (the risotto, the salmon, and the cinammon sugar puffs) were all competently prepared. Actually, I’m going to remember those cinammon puffs for a long time.

Dominic (349 Greenwich Street between Harrison & Jay Streets, TriBeCa)

Food: *½
Service: *½
Ambiance: *½
Overall: *½


Return to Dominic

Note: Dominic closed in 2007. I did have one more visit, and it was again positive: see here.

It took me nineteen months to get back to Dominic, which I finally did last night. (An account of my earlier visit is here.) My enthusiasm for the restaurant is undimmed—some minor glitches aside.

It’s not often that the Zagat review tells you precisely what dish to order, but it does for Dominic: “all can agree the roast suckling pig, a holdover from its old Portuguese incarnation, is ‘a must.’” So, that’s what I had last night.

The menu describes the dish as a 10-Hour Pig Roast ($24). It’s slow roasted with Tuscan seasonings, crispy skin, wildflower honey and sautéed greens. The dull sautéed greens added nothing, but the pig was terrific, including the crunchy skin and a brick of tender, flavorful meat.

Coincidentally, I had Cookshop’s version of this dish on Monday night, and found it bland. The folks at Cookshop need to high-tail it over to Dominic, to see how it’s done.

Dominic’s current winter menu lists five pasta dishes, and it was most peculiar to be informed that three of them were unavailable last night. I wasn’t looking to order pasta anyway, but it’s strange for a purportedly Italian restaurant to be out of so many items.

When I sat down, I was not presented with a wine list. When I asked for red wine by the glass, the server told me that my choices were chianti classico, pinot noir, or merlot, apparently on the view that it is unnecessary for me to be told which chianti, pinot, or merlot it is. I could have insisted, but I just ordered the chianti and ignored the lapse. It was nothing special, but at $7 I didn’t feel cheated.

The restaurant seemed to be a little over half full, which isn’t bad on a Wednesday night, in a neighborhood where there are so many dining options. It might help if they knew their own web address. It says “www.DominicRestaurant.com” on their business card, but the correct address is “www.dominicnyc.com”.

Dominic (349 Greenwich Street between Harrison & Jay Streets, TriBeCa)

Food: *
Service: Satisfactory
Ambiance: *
Overall: *



Note: Dominic has since closed. For later visits, see reports here and here.

I dined at Dominic last night. It opened last summer under the name “Dominic Restaurant & Social Club,” but the mildly odd “Social Club” seems to have been dropped. Dominic replaced a Portugese restaurant called Pico, which I never visited, but I recognize the same high-backed chairs that I always used to see when I passed by. I believe it is still under the same owners.

Chilled spring pea soup with spiced shrimp was a lively start. I hadn’t read the menu too carefully, so I would have been happy with just a solid pea soup, which this was. The unexpected spiced shrimp offered a flavor explosion, making me regret there was just one of them in the bowl.

Onto a main course of crispy Atlantic skate with endive marmelada and pink peppercorn vinaigrette, on a bed of stewed cherry tomatoes. Yes, the fish was delightfully crisp on the outside, with just a hint of the marmelade flavor suggested in the description. I couldn’t perceive the pink peppercorn vinaigrette, but the palate here seems to lean towards the subtle. The fish came with warmed greens and a three of a large vegetable I couldn’t recognize — shaped like sausages, but tasting like onions.

Appetizers are $9-12, pastas $8-12 for starter portions, $16-20 as mains. Other main courses (a mixture of meat and fish) are $19-26. Side dishes are $5. The prix fixe is $38 for any three dishes on the menu, or $52 with wine pairings. My meal of appetizer, main course, and a glass of the house wine was $46 with tax and tip.

Dominic’s décor is mostly unchanged from its Pico days. It’s comfortable, spacious, and friendly to the eye. Service was smart and attentive. I will definitely be visiting Dominic again.

Dominic (349 Greenwich Street, TriBeCa)

Food: *½
Service: **
Ambiance: **
Overall: *½