• Amy Levy

Domingo's Italian Deli Introduces Delicious New Gluten-Free Menu Items!


The family-owned Domingo's Italian Deli has been at the same location at 17548 Ventura Blvd. in Encino since 1948. From the very beginning, it has been known, loved and cherished for providing quality food, generous portions and friendly service in a warm family atmosphere. Loyal clientele see Domingo's as a place to get a delicious sandwich, a high end specialty food store with the finest quality Italian products and a full service caterer that prepares the celebrated traditions of its Southern Italian kitchen. Domingo's is like having an uncle in the meatball business. While owner Carlo Ghailian serves as a preferred purveyor to renowned chefs and restaurants sourcing rare meats, cheeses, olives and truffles, it is the home chefs that he works hardest to impress. And when his customers inquired about gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian choices, he was delighted to accommodate them.

Each day begins as the sun rises in-sync with Carlo's rustic bread varieties. Ciabatta, Focaccia, rotini, pizze and his world-famous supremo and cheese breadsticks that were born to enchant your appetite. The store becomes engulfed in the aromas of old-style specialties as a huge pot of 8 hour classic marinara sauce simmers, meatballs sizzle and freshly-made sausages are sautéed with locally-grown onions and peppers. Dozens of antipasti are prepared fresh daily and include tempting grilled artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, fire-roasted peppers, brick-oven roasted Brussel sprouts with toasted pistachios and tempting eggplant caponata.

While you wait for your order, you can sit amongst other customers who will become fast friends. "This is the only place I would ever dine at alone," a woman says. "I always end up talking to somebody interesting," she shares. The grocery store shelves are filled with imported Italian specialties from first-cold press olive oils to 25-year aged Balsamic vinegars, organic San Marzano tomatoes and an impressive assortment of hard-to-find pasta cuts including the largest gluten-free pasta selection in the city. There are traditional Italian spices, grains and ingredients. Refrigerators display premium Ricotta cheese, mozzarella and mascarpone, specialty sauces and novelty charcuterie, as well as freshly-made tapenades and spreads. There are frozen selections that are meat based, vegetarian and gluten-free such as pumpkin ravioli, gnocchi, manicotti, stuffed shells and fresh-frozen packaged entrees like beef, eggplant or veggie lasagnas, chicken cacciatore, marsala or a luscious lemony chicken piccata that is sweetened with butter and bursting with tangy capers.

With new items being added daily that are as hearty as they are healthy, both new and longtime guests will love the huge meatballs even when they are served without cheese and prepared with gluten-free breadcrumbs. A new pear, gorgonzola and walnut salad and a minestrone soup chock full of beautiful vegetables (a new take on a secret family recipe but without grains and lower in salt) is perfect for those on the Paleo diet. The gorgonzola and walnut salad is made with farm-to-table regional ingredients including a homemade balsamic dressing that is low-calorie. Domingo's new eggplant parmesan is created using low-fat cheese and a gluten-free breading that's so full of flavor it's sure to please even the most discerning palate.

"I give my people what they want," says Carlo. "They want grilled chicken on a bed of tangy roasted vegetables, they can have it. A little house-made prosciutto with a salad instead of crispy bread? I understand," he says. Carlo aims to please and is excited to have expanded his deli to include dishes that are true to tradition but that offer a modern twist. "We'lll always be what we are - the best Italian deli in the valley - but we have savory and sweet surprises for those that are most health conscious."

Leave a little room for dessert and delve into Domingo's vast selection of fresh-made desserts, including crispy biscotti, crème puffs that are oozing with gorgeous crème and old world cookies with a cup of Lavazza espresso brewed to perfection.

Over the years, Domingo's has expanded, adding a large take-out counter and alfresco dining, preserving a commitment to the original quality and friendly service established by Carlo and his dedicated staff. Come by and meet the Domingo's family. Buon appetito.


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