Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Celebrate V-Day your way, with oysters to chocolates to pizza

Nadine Kam photos
What looks like a sculpture is the San Valentino dessert at Arancino at the Kahala, a special five-course menu being offered Feb. 12 through 14. Torta al Cioccolato is housemade chocolate mousse topped with raspberry sorbetto.


Whether you’re a traditionalist or independent, you’ll find plenty of edibles to suit your Valentine’s Day style. Celebrate with the love of your life, or just say bah, humbug, and indulge in a solo tin of chocolates or heart-shaped pizza. Here’s a little roundup.

Papa John’s Hawaii: The pizza specialist is bringing back its heart-shaped pizza through Monday, or while supplies last. The one-topping pizza is being paired with an 8-inch pan of fudge brownies and a bouquet of a dozen roses for $60, or a single long-stemmed rose for $25. Pre-orders beginning tomorrow are recommended. Call 979-PAPA (7272) or visit papajohnshawaii.com. For every online order made with the promo code MAWROSES, Papa John’s will also donate $5 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Pierre Marcolini: A tin containing seven of the chocolatier’s Coeurs Framboise raspberry hearts is $27. Three words about this isle newcomer: Best. Chocolates. Ever. Look for the shop on the third level of Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa Wing.
Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach: The hotel at 175 Paoakalani Ave. will host a Valentine’s Day popup featuring special guest Miller Royer of Wing Shave Ice & Ice Cream, who will be serving scoops and sundaes, from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the lobby. Ice cream selections available will be Rose, Mayan Xocolātl (chocolate with cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper), and 100 percent Kona coffee (made with award-winning Aikane Kona Coffee). A strawberry and champagne sorbet will also be available. Single scoops will be $4.71, while double scoops will cost $6.81. For those seeking something sweet to share, Royer will offer sundaes with a choice of homemade sauces, including hot fudge, strawberry sauce, or Hawaiian sea-salt caramel. The single scoop sundae will go for $6.28, with double scoop sundaes are $8.38. All prices are tax inclusive. Call (808) 922-3861 or visit waikiki.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html for more information.

Kahala Hotel & Resort: Pick up a box of the resort’s special hand-dipped truffles in flavors of Kula lavender milk chocolate, roasted mac-nut blonde chocolate, mango yuzu white chocolate and guava strawberry dark chocolate, to share or indulge on your own. The 16-piece box of truffles, with four of each flavor, sells for $38 at Hoku’s, Plumeria Beach House and The Veranda. Call 739-8760 or email restaurants@kahalaresort.com to reserve for pick up through Monday.

Also at the hotel, Arancino at The Kahala is offering a five-course San Valentino prix fixe dinner at $89 per person, with $30 per person wine pairings, from Friday through Sunday. Reserve at 380-4400.

Here is what’s on the menu:

The meal starts with an appropriately aphrodisiacal stuzzichino, or appetizer, of Goose Point oyster and finger lime, with Sevruga caviar, ocean water gelée, and spicy olive oil presented in a pipette. Wine pairing: Taltarni "tache," Victoria, Tasmania, Australia.
Another view of the oyster with olive oil and pearls of finger lime added, plus succulent.

A fondue of imported Italian fontina is presented as the antipasti course with locally grown sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and baked pane. It is tempting to finish all the fondue, and we asked for some extra veggies, but you don't want to be too full to enjoy dessert or any post-meal recreation. Wine pairing: Pinot noir, Dog Point, Marlborough, New Zealand.

For the primi course, you will have a choice of linguine with Saltspring Island, B.C., mussels in a garlic pomodoro sauce, or the risotto below. This linguine is the lighter choice and I love the texture of the housemade pasta. Pairing: Vermentino, Poggio al Tesoro, Toscana, Italy.

Gold leaf-topped saffron risotto was luxurious, but braised oxtail was a little tricky to eat gracefully. Maybe not the perfect date-night option. Pairing: Amarone della Valpolicella, Bolla, Veneto, Italy.

The secondo course is a sous vide and grille local Shinsato center-cut pork loin, served over fried leeks and lotus root. Pairing: Chardonnay, Sonona "The Cutrer," Sonoma Coast, Calif.

As for The Kahala’s restaurants, from Feb. 12 to 14, Plumeria Beach House will be offering an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet, at $80 per adult and $40 for children. Favorites such as prime rib and crab legs will be available, along with such special dishes as baked oysters with lehua honey butter and roasted duck breast with a raspberry gastrique. If fine dining is more your style, a lover’s four-course dinner ($120 per person) will be available at Hoku’s, or enjoy a $75 per person prix fixe menu at The Veranda, with main course choices of grilled beef tenderloin and sautéed foie gras, or roasted Maine lobster with scallops. For reservations, call (808) 739-8760 or email restaurants@kahalaresort.com.

The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong:
Valentine’s dinner, with reservations from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, starts with a choice of Kula tomato biqsue of roasted beet and Waipoli greens salad, followed by a choice of grilled ahi or steamed crab and shrimp appetizer. Then pick one of three entrée choices from petit filet mignon, Okinawan awamori pork belly rafute, or seared mahi with Bhutanese red rice with lup cheong. Dessert is a matcha opera cake with green tea buttercream, azuki mousse and Waialua chocolate. The cost is $65 per person. Call (808) 945-6573. The restaurant is on the third floor at Macy’s, Ala Moana Center.

Bali Steak & Seafood: The restaurant at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa is offering a Pre-Valentine’s Day dinner Feb. 12 and 13, at $89 per person, starting with an amuse bouche of Kona kampachi tartare with jicama, watermelon radish, cilantro and finger lime. Then take your pick of first course of island beet and Surfing Goat cheese salad; or poached Kauai prawn with Nalo Farms baby mizuna, Big Island oranges, toasted walnuts and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Then choose from main course of Kona coffee and cocoa-dusted beef filet; pan-roasted fresh catch; or roasted Kona lobster tail. Dessert is burnt honey Pots de Crème with strawberry medallions and ganache.

Then on Valentine’s Day the $89 per person menu starts with the same amuse bouche followed by one of three first course choices of the beet-and-goat cheese salad; hamachi and strawberry carpaccio; or seared diver scallops. Then choose one of four entrées, starting with the three above, or Maui sugar-glazed duck breast. Dessert is the same as the pre-Valentine menu. A Valentine’s Day limited a la carte menu will also feature steaks and such aphrodisiac selections as blue crab cakes with mustard sauce and sambal ($21), abalone and Parmesan gnocchi ($20), market price King crab legs or a Bali Seafood Platter for two, that for $95 includes ahi poke, King crab, jumbo shrimp, abalone, Kona Kampachi Crudo, and more. Reservations: (808) 941-2254.

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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