HONOLULU Small Bites: 8 Happenings Worth Buzzing About

Here’s a quick-bite guide to the latest foodie news around the Islands.
The secret, pop-up picnic Le Dîner en Blanc returns this August.
Photo: Courtesy of Le Dîner en Blanc


The all-white secret dinner is back next month, Eat the Street returns to ‘Ewa Beach, new Mainland eateries open in Honolulu and Il Gelato can now be delivered to your home. Here is some of the buzziest food news this week:


1. Secret Dinner Returns to Honolulu


Last year’s Le Dîner en Blanc was held at Ko Olina at sunset. This year’s location is—as always—a secret.
Photo: Courtesy of Shibby Stylee


For the third year, Honolulu will host Le Dîner en Blanc, an elegant pop-up picnic dinner that takes places in cities around the world, on Aug. 27 at an undisclosed public location. (That’s part of the fun.)


Tickets will be sold in phases: Phase 1 for members who have attended the previous year (July 26), Phase 2 for new members who are referred by Phase 1 attendees (Aug. 2) and Phase 3 for people who have signed up on the waiting list on the official website. Cost is $45, including transportation to the secret location.


Last summer, more than 1,000 people attended the secret dinner at Ko Olina. The year before that, guests were shuttled to ‘Iolani Palace for the dinner.


Le Dîner en Blanc (“Dinner in White”) started more than 25 years ago in—where else?—Paris, when hosts at a picnic in the Bois de Boulogne asked their guests to wear white so they could be easily spotted and assembled. It has since turned into a global foodie phenomenon, with locales including Milan, Barcelona, New York City, Singapore, Jamaica, Brazil, the Ivory Coast and, of course, Honolulu hosting their own private picnics. More than 70 cities have participated in Dîner en Blanc in more than 25 countries.


Here’s how it works: Guests are expected to wear all white and bring a table, two white chairs and a white tablecloth. They must also provide their own picnic basket of food—or pre-order one in advance, this time a three-course dinner designed by consulting chef Zach Sato of Hotel Wailea, that can be picked up on-site. Guests can only bring wine or champagne; beer or hard liquor is not allowed.


Guests meet at a public location where they are transported to the secret location.


For more details or to get on the waiting list, visit honolulu.dinerenblanc.info.


2. Eat the Street Returns to ‘Ewa Beach


The popular food truck rally Eat the Street pops up in ‘Ewa Beach from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 at the Kapilina Beach Homes.


The monthly event, which is free and open to the public, will feature more than 40 food vendors, family-friendly activities including face-painting and a waterslide, and live entertainment by Maunalua, Paul Izak, Tavana and Ponchoman.


Food vendors include Beyond Burgers, Flour and Scones, Hawaiian Fresh Farms, Milk Tea Hawai‘i, OnoPops, Shaka Shrimp, Deustchland808, Il Gelato, The Girls Who Bake, Waimānalo Country Farms, Hawaiian Twisted Tater and Wow Wow Lemonade.


RSVP to the Facebook Event here.


3. New Sweet Arrivals at Pierre Marcolini


New to Pierre Marcolini at Ala Moana Center, these mini macarons are flown in from Belgium and come in 10 different flavors.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox


For the first time, Pierre Marcolini, the luxury Belgian chocolatier in the ‘Ewa Wing at Ala Moana Center, is bringing in decadent traditional macarons straight from Belgium.


This delicate French confectionery come in shimmering colors and 10 intense flavors including white chocolate ganache flavored with liliko‘i, caramel ganache with dark chocolate infused with Tahitian vanilla, butter cream with a hint with rose water from Morocco and a milk-and-bitter chocolate ganache infused with Bergamot oil and lemon zest. These mini meringue-based sweets are flown in from Belgium and sold as single pieces ($3.80 each) or in boxes of four ($17) or eight ($32).


Also new to the chocolatier’s offerings are financiers, mini butter-and-almond cakes in three flavors ($27 for six pieces); heart-shaped les coeurs in six flavors ($17 for four pieces, $28 for eight), and the Saveurs du Monde ($26), a box of chocolate tablettes sourced from single varietal cacao from around the world.


4. Get Italian Gelato Delivered to Your Home


Aloha 2 Go is now delivering pints of Italian-style gelato from Il Gelato Hawai‘i, crafted by owner Dirk Koeppenkastrop.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino


Thought home delivery couldn’t get any sweeter?


Hawai‘i-based food-delivery service Aloha 2 Go has partnered with Il Gelato Hawai‘i to deliver Italian-style ice cream to homes and offices across the Islands as part of its network of more than 100 different restaurants including 3660 on the Rise, Highway Inn, Square Barrels, Sansei Seafood & Sushi, Himalayan Kitchen and Big City Diner.


You can find Il Gelato’s offerings under the heading, “Alcohol and Beverages,” for now. Available are pints of Tahitian vanilla, dark chocolate, Kona coffee and mango sorbetto for $8.99 each. The gelato is kept in a very cold freezer and put in a cold bag for delivery.


The partnership launched last week and all 40 pints of gelato in Aloha 2 Go’s inventory sold out over the weekend.


Il Gelato has two retail locations—one in Kāhala Mall and the other in the North Shore Market Place in Hale‘iwa. Earlier this year, the owner, Dirk Koeppenkastrop, headed Team USA in the prestigious Gelato World Cup in Italy.

SEE ALSO: Quote Unquote: Hawai‘i Chemist Wins Big in Italy’s Gelato World Cup with Local Flavors


5. California’s Boiling Crab Opening in Honolulu


The Boiling Crab, a casual California-based seafood restaurant, will be opening its first Hawai‘i location in Salt at Our Kaka‘ako as early as this year.


In a press release, the company announced the opening of four new locations, including one in Honolulu and four more in California starting this fall through early 2017.


The restaurant, which specializes in Louisiana-style Cajun seafood, will join the ranks of other crab-themed restaurants—Raging Crab, Karai Crab—in Honolulu.


Its California menus feature various seafood including blue crab, oysters, lobster, shrimp, clams and crawfish, either steamed or boiled in a Cajun-style blend of spices, then tossed with one of its signature seasonings and served in a bag. You can also get fried catfish, shrimp, chicken tenders, calamari and oysters, each hand-tossed in a house-made batter and fried. The restaurant also serves gumbo, Cajun chowder and Cajun fries.


Other food tenants signed at Salt include Moku, a new restaurant concept by chef Peter Merriman; Mr. Tea Café; Hank’s Haute Dogs; Juic’d Life; 9Bar HNL; and J’s Grill. They will join Cocina, Highway Inn, Lanikai Juice, Bevy, Insomnia, Paiko + Brue Bar and Starbucks.


6. Pressed Juicery Opens its First Hawai‘i Location


Pressed Juicery opened its first location in Hawai‘i at Ala Moana Center this summer with its popular cold-pressed juices.
Photo: Courtesy of Pressed Juicery


The popular cold-pressed juice chain Pressed Juicery, with locations in California, New York, Nevada and New Jersey, opened its first store in Hawai‘i in the ‘Ewa Wing at Ala Moana Center in June.


It offers the chain’s signature cold-pressed juices made from 100-percent fruits and vegetables, grab-and-go snacks and a full coffee menu.


Its popular soft-serve Freeze is also on the menu here. This is the chain’s popular vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free frozen soft-serve treat made from the ingredients found in its juices. Freezes can be topped with almond butter, chia seeds, fruits and cacao drizzle.


The Hawai‘i location also launched two seasonal juices—one with dandelion greens, spinach, basil, cucumber, pineapple, pear and lemon ($6.50), and another with lemon, pineapple, ginger, aloe vera and water ($6.50)—refreshing on these humid summer days.


Pressed Juicery was started in 2010 in West Los Angeles by childhood friends Hayden Slater, Hedi Gores and Carly de Castro and has expanded to more than 35 retail locations.


7. 36 Hawai‘i Restaurants Make Wine Spectator’s List


Each year, Wine Spectator awards restaurants with the best wine selections in every state and 72 countries.


Earlier this month, 36 Hawai‘i restaurants were honored by the lifestyle magazine.


The restaurants were judged in three categories; the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence, and—the highest and most coveted title—the Grand Award. No Hawai‘i restaurant earned the top distinction this year, but a slew got the Best of Award of Excellence nod, including La Mer, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Longhi’s Lahaina and Merriman’s Kapalua.


The list will be in the August issue of Wine Spectator.


Beachhouse at the Moana
BLT Steak
​Chart House Waikīkī
D.K. Steak House
Fresco Italian Restaurant
Il Lupino Trattoria and Wine Bar
La Mer
Morton’s The Steakhouse
Teppanyaki Ginza Onodera
Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse


The Fish Hopper
Jackie Rey’s ‘Ohana Grill
Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar
Merriman’s Restaurant, Waimea
Ray’s on the Bay


Fleetwood’s on Front St.
Gannon’s Restaurant
Gerard’s Maui
Hali‘imaile General Store
Honu Seafood & Pizza
Lahaina Grill
Longhi’s Lahaina
Longhi’s Wailea
Mala Ocean Tavern
Merriman’s Kapalua
Morimoto Maui
Nick’s Fishmarket
Pūlehu, an Italian Grill
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Beach House Restaurant
Gaylord’s at Kilohana
Merriman’s Fish House


8. Summer Fruit Pâté at The Kāhala Hotel


The Kāhala Hotel & Resort is selling handmade pâté de fruit jellies for summer.
Photo: Courtesy of The Kāhala Hotel & Resort 


To celebrate summer, The Kāhala Hotel & Resort is offering handmade pâté de fruit colorful jellies in liliko‘i, mango and guava.


These chewy French confections are rolled in sanding sugar to give them a summery shimmer. A box of 16 is $38 and available at the Plumeria Beach House, Hōkū’s and The Veranda through Aug. 20.


To pre-order call 739-8760 or email restaurants.kahalaresort.com.