The Food And Wine News

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - September 20, 2006
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Chef Mavro
Chef Mavro

There’s a whole lot of restaurant activity taking place in the next month or so, with new restaurants scheduled to open in Waikiki and at Ala Moana Center. The highest food ticket in town is for a fundraiser, and a very cool new wine bar is set to shake up Downtown.

Here’s a quick look at the food and wine news in Honolulu.

Du Vin, Dave Stewart’s much-anticipated wine bar, should be open as this goes to press, despite a delay of a couple of weeks. Stewart, who owns the trendy Nuuanu restaurant Indigo and the extremely popular Bar 35, has taken over a spot directly opposite Hawaii Theatre on Bethel Street.

“It’s a brasserie,” says Stewart. “We’re aiming for something that’s a homely, neighborhood bar.”

Du Vin will serve tapas (small plate) style food and eventually about 300 wines.

“Right now our only problem with serving that many wines is storage,” says Stewart. “We’ll be open from 11 in the morning and serve coffee and food, and then stay open throughout the day until late in the evening. I think it’s something different and something that Honolulu needs,” he says.

I couldn’t agree more. There’s an eclectic mix of furniture, gathered from antique stores and auction, and the ambience is that of a 1950s-style European bistro - a place for coffee, reading the paper, writing a blog, enjoying a glass of wine and watching the world walk by. Stewart has a knack for knowing what people want, and he certainly has the style and business savvy to pull off a wine bar in this flourishing area of town. Look to Du Vin to be the trendiest spot in Honolulu for the next few months, at least ...

Restaurant openings this month include the up-market Chinese restaurant P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. This prolific restaurant chain has locations in so many states that it’s just easier to mention where they’re not. The mission at P.F. Chang’s is to serve fresh, contemporary and consistently outstanding food. Certainly expectations are high in Honolulu and there’s a huge buzz about the opening. I’ll be there when the initial rush is over ...

Fred Livingstone (former owner of several restaurants including Sunset Grill, Trattoria and Matteo’s) opened his new American Bistro last week at Aloha Tower Marketplace, on the site that was previously Big Island Steak House. Open, breezy and decorated in Hawaiiana style, the restaurant has great ocean views and a wrap-around lanai.

Menu items will include much-loved eggs Benedict and house-made muffins from recipes originating at the old Tahitian Lanai. Should be a fine place to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Executive Chef Robert Miller is the guy who created the award-winning ribs over at Sunset Grill, so expect some tasty dishes ...

And the highest-priced dining ticket in town this month is one to the Hale Aina Ohana’s celebration honoring the 160th birthday of the father of modern French cuisine Auguste Escoffier. It’s being held at Chef Mavro Sept. 22 and will feature wines paired with a six-course menu that Chef Mavro will explain to guests in his own unmatchable passionate way. Dishes featured include Hudson Valley foie gras, hamachi, Keahole lobster, lamb and a Big Island goat cheese tatin. The event is a Hale Aina Ohana fundraiser in support of local culinary students. The price? A cool $375. Ticket sales are brisk apparently!

Happy eating!

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