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Dominic’s proves itself a tasty new pizzeria

Sheldon Dutes | Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Whoever invented the concept of serving triangular shapes of bread topped with marinara sauce and gooey mozzarella cheese is an innovative genius worthy of homage from all college students.

Because whether it’s eaten as a meal or late night snack, pizza has always been a classic staple item in college student diets.

From late night pizza binges at LaFortune to the gamut of pizza joints around town, students are all familiar with the food’s ubiquity in their own college experience. Now, there’s one more pizza restaurant to add to the list – Dominic’s Pizzeria.

With an ideal location near campus on the corner of Edison and State Road 23, the restaurant has student friendly prices and appetizing, quality pizza, Dominic’s Pizzeria has the potential to rise above its competitors and become a Notre Dame student favorite.

Dominic’s opened its doors to the public the same weekend Notre Dame defeated Penn State and is still ironing out a few of their debut kinks.

While pizza prices are reasonable ($14.95 for a large 18 inch cheese pizza plus an additional $2 student discount as well as NY slices for $2.50), Dominic’s is not going to be your stereotypical college pizza place. The restaurant closes at midnight and it doesn’t deliver, so don’t look to Dominic’s to satisfy any late night cravings.

However, don’t write the pizzeria off just yet. Even though it hasn’t actively advertised to students, Dominic, the head pizza chef, says that he is willing to run student special ads in campus publications.

In addition to the student friendly prices, the menu’s simplicity is particularly attractive. Traditional pizza, appetizers and drinks are the menu’s only featured items.

Dominic’s delicious pies range in sizes of small ($8.95), medium ($12.95) and large ($14.95) with traditional toppings for an extra $1.50.

While customers wait for their pizza they can sip on a Pepsi fountain drink for approximately $2. They can also munch on a small variety of appetizers, including breadsticks and mozzarella sticks, which cost about $6.

Dominic, the head chef and owner, really knows pizza. Dominic has been making pizzas since he was 11 years old and his pizza making expertise definitely shows in his pizza’s palatable quality. All of the ingredients and pizzas are fresh, made to order and baked in a traditional pizza oven.

The crust is thin and crisp, but not so fragile that it folds under the pressure of sauce, toppings and mozzarella cheese. As compared to other pizzas, Dominic’s sauce is definitely fresher.

The pizza is neither drenched with marinara, nor is the sauce sparsely spread. Dominic, instead, spreads just the right amount of sauce to accentuate the pizza’s overall flavor.

The mozzarella cheese is melted to a gooey perfection with just the right golden brown tint. Another distinguishing characteristic of his pizza is that any toppings are underneath the cheese, which blankets the toppings from sliding off of the pie.

There’s something missing in the restaurant’s ambiance – it’s not homey and welcoming. Decoration is at an austere minimum, leaving a few walls stark white and uninviting. There are approximately ten tables with four uncomfortable straight back chairs at each. These shortcomings, however, can all be resolved with time. It’s nothing a few framed ND posters, Irish head coach Charlie Weis’s endorsement and cushioned seats won’t solve.

While the ambiance and student appeal need some serious work, the pizza’s delicious quality definitely redeems the restaurant.

Dominic’s Pizzeria appears to be more of a relaxed place to grab a slice with friends and enjoy each other’s company. With the remedy of a few minor debut details, it could be well on its way to becoming a popular student choice for quality pizza.