Opening on Tuesday, Jan. 25 will be a new restaurant specializing in small shareable plates and craft cocktails. Doma has probably been one of the most anticipated spots to arrive and its been worth the wait. The restaurant, located at 7703 E. Douglas, just outside of Towne East Square, has completely renovated the former Carlos O’Kelly’s space. We dropped by over the weekend to get a sneak peek at what diners can expect from the hip, swanky eatery who intends to offer an experience unlike any other.
7703 E. Douglas Ave. Wichita, KS 67207
Tuesday – Thursday: 4pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 4pm – 11pm
Closed on Sunday and Monday
Doma can be best explained in three different sections: the atmosphere, the food and the drinks.
Inside Doma, the atmosphere has a big city type feel to it. It’s like you aren’t eating in a Wichita restaurant. The main dining room seats about a 100 people and is filled with tables and chairs that are spaced out so you don’t feel so crowded. The walls are painted in shades of red and black, and murals cover many of the walls. The lighting is set perfectly where it’s not too dark, but also not too bright. String lights and greenery hang down from the ceiling in one of the dining rooms. A U-shaped bar is one of the first things you see as you enter in, with plenty of seating and a couple of TV’s towards the back.
The whole time while you’re dining, music plays that really set the mood of the evening. It’s also done at the right volume to where you can easily enjoy the music while carrying on a conversation with no problems.
A separate dining room and patio is still under construction but could very well seat 200+ people once all is said and done. Outdoor couches, televisions, and heaters will soon fill the dining room, which will also have easy access to the bar thanks to a retractable glass window.
The outdoor patio is expected to open once more furniture and warm weather arrives. Diners will have access to fire pits, yard games and a dog-friendly area for their pets. Doma wants it to be the destination spot for nearby neighborhoods in the summer.
The heart and soul of Doma lies in the food. The theme of the restaurant is small plates. It’s something that other restaurants have tried in town, but couldn’t quite nail down the concept. Small plates, in case you aren’t aware, are dishes meant to be shared with others at your table. It’s not a traditional meal where you order your main entree and eat it by yourself. The idea is to order multiple small plates of food that you can eat similar to a family-style. It’s all part of the concept to create an experience that is shared with others.
While we have plans to return during their official opening with friends to get a feel for the entire menu, it was just the two of us for a sneak peek event. We shared four small plates that were very different from each other. The food was truly wonderful. I’ve done the small plates experience in other cities and love the whole concept behind it. It really encourages conversation. Put your phone away aside from taking pictures, and discuss the food.
Out of the four small plates we had, the Hamachi Avocado Tartare was an absolute home run with our taste buds. The avocado paired well to give the fish a milder flavor, but the addition of the sambal added a nice subtle kick of heat. Using the rice paper as a scoop of sorts was brilliant as it kept the dish light and didn’t take away from the meal.
While the other small plates were great, our second favorite was probably the pork belly bao buns. Seriously, can you EVER go wrong with pork belly?
To complete the meals and get a true feel for Doma, one has to order at least one, two, maybe three cocktails…. four to be on the safe side.
We shared a variety of them and they were tasty down to the last sip. Kudos to the bartending team, who put a lot of care and love into the drinks.
The best of the bunch was the Carajillo. It was a dessert cocktail that tasted like an espresso, which we very rarely ever order. Seriously, the best night cap to our meal. So good, it was the only cocktail we ordered multiple of. Don’t get me wrong, though, the other cocktails were fantastic. I’ve been on a huge kick of cocktails that include Una Vida tequila, so those are highly recommended.
Between the atmosphere, the food, the cocktails, it was beautifully put together. Each one played its role perfectly in creating the experience, which was what the night was all about. And on these little sneak peek nights, we’ve come to find the service is always at its best because they are all in training and trying to impress. This was probably one of the best sneak peek nights we’ve been to, the servers were on their A-game and I hope that can continue into their opening week. Literally zero issues took place, and that’s rare for these type of evenings. Our server that night was Alejandro who did an incredible job. We will definitely be asking for him when we return.
I think, by all accounts, the expectations and hype for Doma are pretty high. And for this one night, they certainly lived up to it. When they officially open, that’ll be the true test to see if they can sustain it. Rest assured, though, we’ll be back sooner than later to find out.
Here’s the menu:
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