A Breath Of Fresh Air Breakfast

Jo McGarry
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Friday - April 22, 2005
| Del.icio.us | podcast Podcast | WineAndDineHawaii.com

The Longhi’s staff featured here are, from left:
Christopher Nicolas, Crystal Tackett, Russell Martine,
Nicole Barnes, Ian Wetzel, Anthony Federico and
Eddie Park

If you’re an average American, breakfast most weekdays is a rushed affair as you try to get yourself (and most likely several of your family members) out of the door to work and school. Maybe you pop some of those little cardboard thingies into the toaster, or perhaps you join the growing number of adults who eat in their car, grabbing a breakfast sandwich and a cup of scalding coffee as you go.

That’s why there’s something so luxuriously wonderful about a weekend breakfast spent with someone else doing the cooking and the cleaning up. If you can throw in a glorious view to remind you why you live in Hawaii and some of the best breakfast food around, then why wouldn’t you make it a regular family treat?

Longhi’s has all of the ingredients necessary for a fabulous breakfast. First, they’re on the bright and spacious second floor at Ala Moana Center, with a view across the ocean and palm trees swaying in full view. Second, they have a good attitude toward food. Bob Longhi is a man of strong opinions, and whether the topic is basketball or breakfast dishes he is unswerving in his search for perfection — or something approaching it.

Open at 8 a.m., Longhi’s serves breakfast items that are delicious with a touch of decadence. The Crab Cake Benedict ($16) is a sumptuous plate of perfectly poached eggs on freshly made crab cakes atop a toasted, handmade baguette. It’s a divine breakfast dish — the hollandaise sauce light enough to let the flavor of the crab (Maryland blue) come through. Lobster Benedict ($20) gives Maine lobster the same treatment and the result is a dish that is as tastefully presented as it is tasty. Breads and pastries are all baked in house and the freshly baked cinnamon rolls, pastries selections and toasted baguettes are all delicious.

Other offerings include eggs with bacon, Italian sausage or ham ($8.50), eggs with an 8- ounce New York steak ($17.50) or eggs with fresh island fish of the day ($15.50)

Fruit bowls are packed with an assortment of berries and seasonal fruits ($10) and fruit smoothies are made to order.

The Ala Moana location follows the Longhi’s style of décor — wide open spaces, spectacular ocean views and its trademark black-and-white flooring. There’s a distinctly Mediterranean feel to the room, with ceiling fans and passing tradewinds adding a tropical touch.

This is a restaurant that invites you to linger, to take time over your freshly prepared dishes and to enjoy the marriage of fine food and excellent conversation. Bob Longhi has been in the restaurant business for almost 30 years, and one of the secrets of his success is that he insists on several key ingredients in each of his restaurants. A great view, an enthusiastic staff and the freshest, best ingredients he can get his hands on. He’s also passionate about letting people feel fresh air around them when they dine — and you’ll always find the windows of his restaurants flung open to embrace Hawaii’s pure air.

Now doesn’t that sound a whole lot better start to the morning than those toaster tots you were about to open?

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