At the front of Il Lupino, melon slices were being wrapped in prosciutto.
After a monthlong soft opening, Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar celebrated its grand opening Jan. 25 at Royal Hawaiian Center.
After a Hawaiian blessing performed by Kahu Cordell Kekoa, about 300 guests, including a who's who from the diverse business, entertainment and dining worlds, were treated to an evening of drink and finger foods, mostly various pizzas and crostini.
The restaurant is the second in Hawaii by Wolfgang Zwiener, who's followed up on the success of his Wolfgang's Steakhouse with a space devoted to Italian fare. The restaurant also marks the return of executive chef Nic Sayada.
Some Italians in the room took issue with the restaurant's name, saying "lupetto" is the true word for "wolf cub" or "little wolf" that inspsired the restaurant's name. I've seen both online and I'm not a linguist so I'm staying out of this!
Mushroom-topped crostini. Other selections were topped with tomatoes and basil, and red and yellow beets with goat cheese.
Pizza was also on the grand opening menu, along with deep fried orbs of risotto.