Hale ‘Aina Happenings in April

Meet chef Nobu Matsuhisa, pau hana at 40 Carrots and find out what’s really going into that old Rijō space in Downtown’s Harbor Court.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, left, will be in the kitchen at Nobu Honolulu next week for the first time, serving a special, eight-course omakase menu that includes his popular black cod.
Photos: (left) Evan Sung, (right) Steven Freeman


Meet—and eat with—chef Nobu Matsuhisa, pau hana at 40 Carrots and find out what’s really going into that old Rijō space in Downtown’s Harbor Court.


Chef Nobu Serves Special Omakase Menu

Acclaimed chef Nobu Matsuhisa will be in the kitchen at Nobu Honolulu next week for the first time, serving a special, eight-course omakase menu featuring such imaginative dishes as botan ebi kimizu ceviche with caviar and hatsu katsuo (first of the season) sashimi with crispy quinoa, along with his popular black cod and wagyu steak. There will be dessert, too! The omakase menu is only available from April 18 to 20, so make reservations soon. Cost is $180 per person.


Nobu Honolulu, 1118 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 237-6999, noburestaurants.com  


40 Carrots Starting Happy Hour

Just in time for tax season to end, 40 Carrots at Bloomingdale’s is launching a happy hour menu tomorrow (April 15) from 3 to 6 p.m. every day. The discounted menu includes kālua pig sliders ($6), grilled garlic shrimp ($6) and guacamole with house-made chicharrónes and taro chips ($5). Five cocktails, including a liliko‘i mimosa and Manhattan, are $7. There’s $6 wine, $7 sangria ($20 for a pitcher) and $4.50 beers. Or take advantage of the happy hour sake flight ($20), which should pair nicely with that frozen yogurt you’re bound to order.


Bloomingdale’s, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 800-3638


One Last Parisian Night at Chef Mavro

Coq au vin, a classic French dish that will be served on Chef Mavro’s Paris in April menu through Saturday.
Photo: Courtesy of Chef Mavro


Every year chef George Mavrothalassitis spends two weeks in France, where he still finds inspiration for his dinners. He launched a Paris in April menu earlier this month that was so popular, he’s extended it for few more days. This four-course menu features the classic coq au vin (pictured), braised free-range Hilo chicken that’s marinated in red wine and cognac overnight and cooked with button mushrooms. Cost is $105 per person, with an additional $49 for wine pairings.


Chef Mavro, 1969 S. King St., (808) 944-4714, chefmavro.com


Still Time To Try Stage’s James Beard Dinner

It’s not every day you can feast on the same dinner served at the prestigious James Beard House. Just in time for its 10th anniversary, Stage Restaurant is serving the same menu executive chef Ron de Guzman prepared at the Beard House in New York City now through April 22. The five-course tasting menu includes a fun grilled-cheese toast with house-made kim chee, kiawe-smoked Jidori chicken pâté, a roasted beet salad with smoked goat cheese, Big Island Kona lobster with a scallion hollandaise sauce and cauliflower-lemon purée, and a cremeaux for dessert that showcases Kona coffee and Waialua chocolate. Cost is $80 per person, with an additional $40 for beverage pairings. Dinner runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Some seatings are already booked!


Stage Restaurant, Honolulu Design Center, 1250 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 237-5429, stagerestauranthawaii.com


MW Restaurant NOT Expanding to Harbor Court

Long story short: MW Restaurant is not taking over the space in Downtown, vacated by Rijō in Harbor Court.


Instead, chef/owners Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka are training a culinary team from Japan’s Watabe Wedding Corp., which has leased the enormous 13,000-square-foot in Downtown, to prepare dishes created by the duo.


When the couple first opened MW Restaurant more than three years ago, a group from Watabe Wedding had come to dine there, Ueoka says. They loved the food and inquired about working with them on a new project.


That new project was this venture at Harbor Court, where Watabe will have four private reception rooms for weddings. The menu is designed by the husband-and-wife team, with dishes including a lobster chawanmushi, Big Island beef tenderloin, Kaua‘i shrimp with an uni sauce and a Meyer lemon mousse that’s exclusive for Watabe clients. Watabe’s chef, Shuji Oda, had trained for weeks in the kitchen at MW Restaurant.


As of right now, the banquet hall will not be open to the public, unless it’s booked for private events. Or you hire Watabe to do your wedding.


Taste the Wines of Piedmont at Vino

This growing region of northwest Italy produces wines made from indigenous grape varieties. Taste them side-by-side at a special dinner with master sommelier Chuck Furuya at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 20 at Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar. Cost is $27 per person and you must make reservations. If you miss that, you may still be able to sign up for the restaurant’s popular wine workshop at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. It’s back to basics at this hourlong class, with a tasting of wines to determine the differences between fruit-driven, oak-driven and mineral-driven notes. Cost is $25 per person.


SEE ALSO: Learning Wine from the Master at Vino 


Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar, Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., #6F, (808) 524-8466, vinohawaii.com


New Chefs Take the Helms at Hale ‘Aina Restaurants

Chef Edmond Kwok, left, is now the chef de cuisine at MAC 24/7, and chef Fred DeAngelo is now at BLT Steak Waikīkī.
Photos: Courtesy of MAC 24/7, left, and BLT Steak Waikīkī, right


Just a month after opening Ravish Honolulu at The Modern Honolulu, chef Fred DeAngelo, right, has moved to BLT Steak Waikīkī  as its chef de cuisine. He will be responsible for the training and management of the restaurant’s culinary team and overseeing the ever-changing Blackboard Menu. DeAngelo is best known for his 10 years as executive chef and co-owner of the former—and award-winning—Ola restaurant at Turtle Bay Resort.


Chef Edmond Kwok, left, was promoted from sous chef to chef de cuisine at MAC 24/7 at the Hilton Waikīkī Beach Hotel, overseeing menu development at the popular 24-hour restaurant. Kwok, who has a strong Chinese-influenced style of cooking, has worked at Nobu Waikīkī, Sarento’s Top of the ‘Ilikai and The Trump International Hotel Waikīkī.


Merriman’s Partners with Watershed Preserve on Maui

The boardwalk through the unique bog environment in the Pu‘u Kukui Watershed Preserve on Maui.
Photo: Courtesy of Pu‘u Kukui Watershed Preserve


Merriman’s has partnered with the Pu‘u Kukui Watershed Preserve to help protect the pristine native forest located in Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui Mountains). Diners are invited to participate in the restaurant’s “Adopt a Tree & Preserve Our ‘Āina” program, where they can buy a native tree—$50 for an a‘ali‘i shrub, $100 for a koa tree, $200 for an ʻōhiʻa tree—to be planted in the rainforest. Merriman’s will donate $1 from each caesar salad sold to Friends of the Pu‘u Kukui, a nonprofit dedicated to the conservation and maintenance of this sacred place that’s home to rare native plants, birds and snails. “At Merriman’s we have always believed in leaving the world a better place,” says chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman. “Helping conserve the Pu‘u Kukui watershed is just one way we can do our part and give back.”


Learn ore about the Pu‘u Kukui Watershed Preserve here.