February Food and Drink Events: Last-Minute Valentines, A Musical Pop-Up Dinner and More
The best food and drink events happening this month in Honolulu.
Clockwise from left: Chef Christopher Bailey; celebrate Valentine’s Day at Il Lupino; Top of Waikīkī’s roasted beef strip loin with red-wine-braised cabbage and charred broccoli puree; Mānoa chocolate-filled beignets at 12th Ave Grill.
If your Saturday plans are up in the air, there’s still time to make reservations. In addition to our Valentine’s Day roundup of where to eat and six fine-dining restaurants for vegetarians, here are a few more options:
Il Lupino Trattoria and Wine Bar
Go for either lunch or dinner at this Italian restaurant at Royal Hawaiian Center. From noon to 5 p.m., the lunch tasting menu includes an antipasti of meat and cheese, a house salad and sautéed jumbo shrimp on linguine for $38 (plus $14 for wine pairing). From 5 to 10:30 p.m., the salad is upgraded to include scallops, arugula, beets, candied almonds, Gorgonzola dolce and avocado, followed by a grilled veal rib chop with house-made spaghetti and, finally, a chocolate cheesecake with strawberries, for $80 (plus $13 for wine pairing). 922-3400, illupino.com
Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai
Celebrate Valentine’s Day early with the Recipe for Love menu at Roy’s, available now through Feb. 13. You’ll get kampachi krudo, steak and lobster and the renowned chocolate soufflé, accompanied by a glass of Prosecco for $59. 396-7697, royshawaii.com
Make your Valentine’s Day extra special by renewing your vows or participating in a promise ceremony—it is free, after all (just make sure to mention it when you make your dinner reservation). If that’s not your jam, try the key lime tarts or mango panna cotta in the buffet, along with various poke, steak, salmon, crab and shrimp cakes, prime rib and an assortment of salads. $47.95 adults, $23.95 ages 4–10, 952-9200, willowshawaii.com
Share a porterhouse for two with your love bug, in addition to a champagne toast, Wolfgang’s salad, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and a dessert sampler. On top of a mouthwatering menu, guests will be treated to a gift bag filled with special offers from Royal Hawaiian Center. $150 per couple, 922-3600, wolfgangssteakhouse.net
How does sound influence taste? That’s the question diners will explore at next Friday’s collaboration between supper club Thieves in the Night and local indie band Foreseeable Futures. Chef Christopher Bailey, a Waipahu native who’s been cooking across the country with pop-up restaurant company Dinner Lab, returns home with a five-course menu paired with FF songs to emphasize specific taste receptors. “I just think of it as dinner and a show, but on crack,” he says. If that’s not intriguing enough, check out the menu: black sesame and arugula; wild greens, almond espuma, sour cherry; sweet potato velouté, wildflower ramen; bird roasted whole, turmeric jus, turnip tinta de calamar; yam pot de crème, marshmallow fluff. 7:30 p.m., Kaka‘ako Agora, 441 Cooke St., $30, firstname.lastname@example.org, brownpapertickets.com
12th Ave Grill
There’s a lot happening at 12th Ave Grill this month, thanks to all the holidays. Plus, it’s never a bad time for a whisky tasting.
We already included 12th Ave Grill in our roundup, but the kitchen has added a hazelnut pain perdu for dessert, made with Kona orange syrup, Mānoa chocolate-caramel-bacon popcorn and house-made Big Island cinnamon gelato ($9), along with a “Careless Whispers” cocktail with gin, vanilla “P.O.P.” syrup, lemon, Mānoa honey and Prosecco ($10).
Go all out with Louisiana crawfish ($13) or blackened Hawaiian fish ($28), followed by the popular Mānoa chocolate-filled beignets with Café Du Monde dipping sauce and a special Vieux Carré cocktail.
Chinese New Year
Try 12th Ave’s take on Chinese: steamed, Szechuan-pepper Hawaiian moi with lup cheong garlic rice, sweet-and-sour mustard cabbage and a black bean sauce. For dessert, an almond-mango bread pudding comes with oolong tea Anglaise ($8). Kick it up a notch with the Kung Hei Fat Choy cocktail: Sheep Dip Scotch, Cynar, orange, star anise syrup and house-made five-spice bitters.
Diageo’s Master of Whisky Tom Turner pairs six selected whiskies with pūpū, including baby back pork ribs, Moroccan-spiced Niʻihau lamb, kiawe-smoked king salmon and more. $95, 6:30 p.m., 732-9469, eventbrite.com
Executive Vineyards Wine Tasting
Choose from hundreds of wines from Southern Europe and craft beers to pair with food from Hy’s Steak House, Morimoto Waikīkī, MW Restaurant, The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Honolulu Coffee Co. at this annual fundraiser for the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business. There will also be a silent auction in which you can win dining certificates, among other items. 6–9 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Monarch Room, $100 in advance, $125 at the door, 956-3263, shidler.hawaii.edu/executive-vineyards