Try Authentic Italian Cuisine at a Luxury Car Dealership
Honolulu’s newest Italian eatery, Le Radici, is now open in Velocity Honolulu at the Symphony.
Photo: James Charisma
Velocity Honolulu, the luxury car dealership located on the ground floor of Symphony Honolulu on Ward Avenue, is home to high-quality cars, the Italica coffee shop and panini bar, and now an Italian restaurant: Le Radici.
Velocity’s new fine-dining concept celebrated a packed private grand opening last week with Champagne cocktails and pūpū from Italica. DJ Jem spun turntables as guests, including former Hawai‘i governor Neil Abercrombie, mingled and explored Velocity’s vehicle showroom and the new restaurant.
Located on the second floor of the Symphony, Le Radici has a sleek main dining room overlooking Ward Avenue and bar seating where patrons can view the open kitchen through frosted glass windows. A VIP dining room is also available at the back of the restaurant for private parties and events.
PHOTOs: COURTESY OF LE RADICI
Le Radici means “the root” in Italian, referring to the heritage that Michelin-starred chef Gianpaolo Raschi and Le Radici general manager and chef Maurizio Roberti bring from their respective Italian hometowns, Rimini and Rome, as well as the proverbial roots they’re hoping to set down in the Islands.
The menu is straightforward with 17 dishes (including four appetizers and three desserts) but isn’t lacking in culinary diversity. Dishes include beef tongue carpaccio in a light tuna sauce with parsley pesto ($18); pappardelle alla Genovese, wide ribbon pasta with short rib and onion ragu ($23); house-made tortellini filled with ricotta and fresh clams ($24); and Roman-style slow-roasted pork belly with sautéed broccolini ($29). Roberti intends to change the menu on a seasonal basis if not more often, depending on when new ingredients become available. The restaurant is currently only open for dinner, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but Roberti says that’ll change soon, too.
Le Radici also boasts signature cocktails such as Le Radichee, made with Malfy gin, Cynar, house-made pickled white kim chee and orange blossom water; and Rosso Fiore, with hibiscus-infused Camarena tequila, amaretto, lime, grapefruit and egg white. All are $14.
CHEF MAURIZIO ROBERTI
Roberti has served as an executive chef on four continents and president of numerous culinary associations in Italy and Australia; he also holds accreditations in a wide variety of restaurant industries. Raschi is a third-generation chef whose grandfather opened a beach eatery, Guido, in 1946. Under Raschi’s culinary prowess, the 70-plus-year-old Rimini restaurant won a Michelin star in 2008.
Roberti hopes Le Radici will serve as a sort of “ambassador of Italy” in terms of cuisine and culture. “With Le Radici, our goal is to create as authentic an Italian experience as possible outside of Italy,” says Roberti, “while also embracing Hawai‘i seafood and produce offerings to create a menu that infuses local culture.”
888 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 592-8881, le-radici.com
Bring the family down to the Best of Honolulu Festival July 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Honolulu Hale civic grounds. Eat at ‘ono food booths, shop local designers in the marketplace, bring the family to the keiki zone for face painting, balloon animals, rides, games and more. For more information visit honolulumagazine.com/bestofhonolulu.
READ MORE STORIES BY JAMES CHARISMA