#24 Domenica, New Orleans (Margherita)
Would you expect a Mississippi-born, Louisiana-bred, former Marine Corps reservist to be serving one of America’s best pizzas? Probably not, but chef John Besh does just that at his New Orleans restaurant Domenica (Italian for "Sunday") in the renovated and historic Roosevelt Hotel. You’ll have a hard time choosing between the 17 pizzas made in the Pavesi pecan-wood-fired oven. Just look at the photos — the slightly imperfect circles ringed with light, puffy, and black-blistered crusts, the center of the pie sauce-speckled and beautifully topped with stellar (and fun) ingredients like cotechino (sausage made from pork, fatback, and pork rind), bacon and eggs, apple and pecans, mortadella, spicy lamb meatball, roast pork shoulder, and duck with sweet potato — ordering just one pizza is a tough call. So don’t. Order Domenica’s most popular pie, the Margherita (tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella), then wild-card your second and third choices with the Tutto Carne (fennel sausage, bacon, salami, and cotechino), the Roasted Carrot (with goat cheese, red onion, Brussels sprouts, beets, and hazelnuts — wow!), or give the clam pie a shot. It may not beat Pepe’s, but whose does?