A Romantic Table For Two

Jo McGarry
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Wednesday - February 01, 2006
| Share Del.icio.us

Chef Mitrotti will impress your Valentine Italian style at Cafe Sistina
Chef Mitrotti will impress your Valentine Italian style at
Cafe Sistina

I’m always really thankful to have another Chinese New Year under my belt. Visiting more than my fair share of our best Chinese restaurants means that by the time the first week in February comes around I really couldn’t care less if I never saw another taro basket filled with shrimp again!

So moving along the food calendar - here comes Valentine’s Day.

Don’t even bother calling some of the city’s finest restaurants; they’ve been booked since last year and already have waiting lists for reservations in case people cancel. The good news is, as Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, you can use the weekend before to secure a romantic table at one of our top steakhouses or fine-dining restaurants, where they’ll be busy, but most shouldn’t be sold out.

Several restaurants are starting their Valentine Menu on Friday night and continuing through Tuesday (Feb. 14). Soon Valentine’s Day will be like Christmas - we’ll be starting to celebrate in the middle of January just to make sure we have enough time to enjoy the romance.

When it comes to romantic dining, there’s really nowhere like Hawaii. I just came back from a short trip to The Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai on the Big Island and was absolutely blown away by the beauty of their stunning restaurant, Pahui’a. The restaurant sits right on the beach and specializes in seafood and local produce, and it’s an absolutely perfect place for a romantic date. Be prepared for a hefty check, though. Dining this close to the ocean doesn’t come cheap. Another beachside romantic spot that is a favorite of mine is Sarento’s On The Beach, Maui. This is simply one of the best restaurants in Hawaii. The combination of view, food and service is outstanding, and I always look forward to trips to Maui just so I can make a reservation at this incredible restaurant.

On Oahu, beachside dining is somewhat limited. At The Kahala Mandarin Oriental you can dine in some elegance and in a very romantic beachside setting at the Cabanas Seaside Grill. The view of the Pacific Ocean almost under your feet is truly wonderful, and the menu reflects Wayne Hirabayashi’s excellent touch with seafood. Highlights include Grilled Hawaiian Chili Rubbed Jumbo Shrimp, Grilled Oysters and a Dungeness Crab Broil. The Cabanas are definitely one of the most romantic dining places on Oahu.

I’d give Diamond Head Grill a try, too, if you’re looking for somewhere within the ocean’s reach, with excellent food. The W. rules when it comes to cool décor, lighting and service, and the menu is now a match for any of our Island fine dining restaurants.

It’s Donato’s last night, so expect this wonderful Italian restaurant in Manoa Marketplace to be bursting at the seams for the whole week before Valentine’s Day.

If you’re looking for great food in a more casual, elegant and artistic atmosphere, then my recommendation for Italian food for Valentine’s Day has to be Café Sistina, where I think chef/owner/artist Sergio Mitrotti offers easily some of the best Italian food in town. With the closing of Donato’s, this might just be the best. I just recommended Café Sistina to a friend of mine who is an Italian food fanatic, and after tasting the veal piccata (which he pronounced the best he’d ever eaten), he commented that he couldn’t believe how many times he’d driven by the Interstate Building on South King Street not realizing what a gem of an Italian restaurant was inside. Call for Valentine’s Day and hope to get a reservation and I think you’ll be thrilled with the choice.

E-mail this story | Print this page | Comments (0) | Archive | RSS Comments (0) |

Most Recent Comment(s):

Posting a comment on MidWeek.com requires a free registration.



Auto Login

Forgot Password

Times Supermarket


Wine And Dine Hawaii



Tiare Asia and Alex Bing
were spotted at the Sugar Ray's Bar Lounge