The owner of Dominique's, known for its exotic menus and jet-set clientele, yesterday sold a controlling interest in the restaurant for an undisclosed price.

Dominique D'Ermo said he has formed a partnership with Washington restaurateur and 20-year friend Henry Prati and Frederick Lacey of Alexandria, a real estate investor. D'Ermo will remain president of the restaurant that he opened in 1974 but will transfer the daily management responsibilities to Prati, who will become vice president.

Prati said he and Lacey each bought about a 30 percent interest in the restaurant. Lacey said he has agreed to pay less than $1 million in cash plus an undisclosed amount in loans for his share.

D'Ermo said the restaurant had revenue of $4.3 million last year and described it as "very profitable."

Prati has owned and operated several Washington area restaurants with his brother Al Prati, including Aldo's (named after their father), the Rotunda and Channel House.

"It's just a change of command. He {Prati} will have to work a little harder; I will work a little less," said D'Ermo. "I've got to go fishing."

D'Ermo's plans don't appear to leave much time for fishing, however. He said he plans to work on several ventures, including two Dominique's in Annapolis and Miami Beach. He recently opened a farm in Chestertown, Md., to raise Dominique's Golden Musical Chickens on feed and classical music, which keeps them awake so they eat more.

Dominique's will continue to serve such dishes as lion, ostrich and hippo. "When you have a success like Dominique's you don't make any change. I know Mr. Prati agrees," he said.