Raising The Bar On Service

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - August 06, 2008
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Longtime Chart House Waikiki bartender Guy Maynard
Longtime Chart House Waikiki bartender Guy Maynard

I wrote last week about terrible service and the effect it can have an on evening out, and was swamped with e-mails from readers. I’ve never been in any doubt that what we all want from restaurants is an element of respect, and I’ve said many times before that people are more forgiving of bad food than they ever will be of poor service. My inbox now has more proof ...

It doesn’t feel like summer to me unless I’ve spent a sunset or two at Chart House in Waikiki. We rarely have time to go for dinner (which is fabulous), but when we can, Bobby and I head for happy hour and some of the city’s best pupu. One of the reasons I enjoy the bar at Chart House so much is because of the incredibly professional bartenders who do much more than pour drinks.

Guy Maynard is one of his profession’s best. The bar service at Chart House is as good as any fine-dining restaurant and, if they gave out accolades to bars Chart House would have the equivalent of a AAA 5-Diamond award.

We barely sat down last week before water, a Guy Tai (the house award-winning Mai Tai) and signature appetizer, Kumi’s Firecracker Roll, appeared before us. It’s obvious that Maynard and his crew take enormous pride in doing the best job possible, and I know for a fact that other bartenders around town head to Chart House when they can, to be treated to excellent service themselves. Go during happy hour ( 5-7 p.m.) to experience great value, fabulous live music and an atmosphere unlike any other ...

The recession, which is hitting many restaurants hard, is no deterrent to entrepreneurs, and there are still plenty of people willing to open new restaurants and nightclubs. Aria will open later this month in the spot formerly occupied by The Bistro at Century Center. Aria owner is nightclub mogul Chip Jewitt, who seems to have much-needed magic touch when it comes to creating a hot spot. ...

And at Harbor Court this past weekend, Elizabeth Watanabe opened up the beautiful dining room formerly occupied by Palomino and then Cassis. I have lots admiration for those in the industry who believe they can succeed where other before them have not, and I wish the new owners lots of good luck ...

If you’re a Pinot Noir fan, you might want to head to the fine wine stores this weekend and grab a case or two of Drew Pinot Noir. Jason Drew has just been named Wine and Spirits Magazine

2008 Winemaker of the Year. Jason and his wife Molly run Drew Wines and have a passion for creating beautifully crafted, remarkably elegant Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Jason has visited the Islands in recent years and his wines are available here largely due to the enthusiasm of master sommelier Chuck Furuya, whose passion for bringing relatively unknown winemakers to town is well known. Other wineries of the year include Selene, and Patz and Hall - both put on the map in Hawaii by Chuck. “This is great for Jason Drew,” says Chuck, “but it does mean that the wines will be more scarce. We can still get Selene, and Patz and Hall, but they have way higher production levels than Drew.”

One thing’s probably for sure, even if Drew Pinot Noir becomes completely allocated, you’ll still be able to find it at Vino.

Happy eating!

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