7 Mad Good Reasons to Eat at Mad Bene in Kapolei
(Sponsored) Dreamy pizza pies, Crispy Garlic Guys and crushable cocktails are just some of the ways to my heart.
In New York, everything is mad. The buildings? Mad tall. The streets. Mad busy. And the food? Mad good, duh! I haven’t been to the City in a hot minute but with a short jaunt out to Kapolei, I can get my fix at Mad Bene. I love that it’s not your average red sauce joint either. Chef Bao Tran and his team kick it up a notch with handmade pasta, killer cocktails and entrees large enough to share with the whole famiglia.
Here are seven mad good reasons to eat at Kapolei’s Mad Bene.
No. 7: Parties and gifting
Whether you’re taking the crew out for a pizza and pasta date or you’re treating them from afar, Mad Bene has it covered with a large outdoor patio, a private dining room and gift cards in any denomination. Treat me with excellent pizzas and pastas and I’ll be your bestie forever!
No. 6: My table near the kitchen
My favorite table in the whole restaurant is tucked away in the far corner near the bar, just below the large picture windows overlooking the action of the kitchen. It’s right at the pass so you’ll see everything from tomahawk steaks to bowls of spaghetti and meatballs sliding through. And depending on what seat you take, you’re also treated to vignettes of the dining room or the bartenders preparing cocktails at the bar.
No. 5: The Kings Wings cocktail
Using KōHana Rum’s Kea, a spot of Aperol and li hing pineapple, this one’s got all the right notes of a proper cocktail. The sweetness from the grassy rhum agricole and pineapple balances with the dry zestiness of the bright aperitif. It’s just as easy to crush when you’re feelin’ the pau hana jitters as it is to sip throughout your meal.
No. 4: The Supremo pizza
I used to be all about the NYC pizza with its crust-to-crust layer of Ezzo pepperoni and the nostalgic caddy of seasonings, but it has moved to second place behind the Supremo. This earthy creation has savory Pono Pork sausage, delicate maitake mushrooms and fennel that makes this pie a warm aromatic sensation I have a hard time sharing. The chewy crust is perfectly foldable, like a New Yorker would, and funnels all the flavor into your mouth. In other words, I legit dream about this pizza.
No. 3: The Pork Chop Marsala
When the hogs are as happy as those that are born and raised range free in Wai‘anae Valley, the product speaks for itself. Not much more than a trip through the domed brick oven is required to turn this double chop into a tender piece of meat. It’s basted with a marsala wine sauce and served with whole roasted mushrooms for the extra boost of umami. This one’s good for the whole table to tuck into.
No. 2: Crispy Garlic Guy
This unassuming side is truly a show-stealer. Whenever I make someone try these crispy, garlicky potatoes laced with Calabrian chili oil, their eyes roll back and they practically steal the dish away from me. I mean, potatoes done up with garlic and spice are everyone’s guilty pleasure, right? Warning: you’ll probably order multiples of these.
No. 1: Pappardelle Bolognese
As a pasta boi at heart, I will travel far and wide for a bowl of sultry noodles. Prepared fresh in-house daily, these silky ribbons of pappardelle are coated in a meaty 12-hour bolognese ragu that tastes like a recipe that’s been handed down for generations. A creamy dollop of ricotta cheese tames the acidity from the tomatoes and turns the sauce velvety smooth.