Author Archive

Kalo crunch 'pie' hits market

By
September 14th, 2016



Adam Tabura's kalo crunch "square pie" will be sold in individual portions and 8-by-8-inch whole cakes.

Adam Tabura's Kalo Krunch "square pie" will be sold in individual portions and 8-by-8-inch whole cakes. Photo by Betty Shimabukuro.

When Adam Tabura was in his first year of culinary school, the students were given an assignment: "You had to make something you grew up with that you didn't know how to make."

Tabura, who grew up on Lanai largely under the watchful eye of his grandfather, decided on a sweet potato crunch cake that his grandparents made.

Years later that exercise has developed into a cake made with poi and sweet potato, with a crust of macadamia nuts and pecans, topped with coconut cream and more crunchy nuts. In a partnership with Hawaiian Pie Co. — they're calling it a "square pie" — Tabura now has his creation, the Kalo Krunch, on the market.

Chef Adam Tabura discusses food styling, dishes and backgrounds for his Filipino cookbook with photographer Kaz Tanabe and Mutual Publishing production director Jane Gillespie at The Pearl restaurant at Leeward Community College. on Tuesday March 15, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo by Kat Wade special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tabura has several projects in the works this year; the crunch cake is the first to be announced. Photo by Kat Wade.

Tabura, owner of the Spice Rack and a 20-year veteran of several island resort restaurants, shot to fame when he and his brother Lanai and friend Shaun Felipe won the Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race" in 2013. He says the crunch cake always sells out when he offers it on the truck, but "I only made it when I was in the mood."

It's a lot like a classic pumpkin crunch dessert but because of the taro blend is not nearly as sweet; the delicate cream plays well with the substantial heft of the cake.

It sells for $8.50 per 4-inch square (which can be cut into at least four portions) or $32 for a whole 8-inch "pie." A half-sheet is available for $80 by preorder.

Hawaiian Pie is at 508 Waiakamilo Road; call 988-7828. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Tabura's new Filipino cookbook launches next week. See Crave on Sept. 21.

 

 

Making the airport part of the vacation

By
September 7th, 2016



English breakfast at Gatwick airport in London.

English breakfast at Gatwick Airport in London.

Twenty hours of flying at the start of a vacation is made easier by the air of anticipation, but 20 hours at the end is pure drudgery. Curb the pain a little by treating layover time as an eating extension of your vacation.

I usually refuse to buy food in airports, as a captive audience often equals high prices and limited quality, but we were lucky enough to find a couple of exceptions as we returned Wednesday from a trip to Europe. It was a grueling airport-fly-airport-layover-repeat cycle.

When your layover is three or more hours long and the airline provides nothing but crackers even when the flight is 10 hours long, you may as well eat in the terminal. The act uses up time and provides sustenance. And as it is my job to eat food, I treated it as a learning experience.

At Gatwick Airport in London I had a version of an English breakfast fry-up with fried eggs, sausage and potatoes, plus grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers. On the side, an avocado and mango guacamole-type mix. Not sure how traditional that last item is, but it was delish.

HP Sauce, a version of ketchup.

HP Sauce, a version of ketchup.

Offered along with ketchup was HP Sauce, which I learned (by reading the bottle) is a "brown sauce" make in the Netherlands by Heinz (same as the ketchup). It's more tangy than ketchup, made with malt vinegar, tomatoes and various spices. Learn something new every day.

We also used up our last euros on two salads for the flight and a box of nuts.

A Canadian merlot with a portobello burger at the Vancouver airport.

A Canadian merlot with a portobello burger at the Vancouver airport.

At Vancouver International it was harder to find a traditional Canadian dish (besides poutine, which is not my favorite), although local salmon and beef were featured in the higher-end sit-down restaurants. A lot of Asian food is offered at the takeout stands here. Nothing wrong with that, but it didn't fulfill my quest to sample something local at each stop on my way home.

So I went with wine, a Jackson-Triggs merlot from British Columbia. Went well with a mushroom burger topped with local goat cheese.

 

 

5 foods Germany

By
September 5th, 2016



I’ve been on a low-carbohydrate diet for going on two years now, but all those good intentions evaporated when we hit Germany on vacation. From Munich, traveling on to Stuttgart and later to the German-speaking part of Switzerland, we were struck repeatedly by the quality of the breads.

Germany's beer, wine, sausage, schnitzel and cheese are also worthy of applause but on my list of favorite things, 3 out of 5 involve starch.

I'm not pretending to be any kind of German food expert, this is just a  list of foods that made the greatest impression on a traveler.

A selection of pretzels on display at a train station kiosk in Munich.

A selection of pretzels on display at a train station kiosk in Munich.

Soft pretzels: The bretzel is a food group unto itself here — flavorful and chewy (but not at all hard to chew). These pretzels are substantial in size — I saw some that were more than a foot across — and sold everywhere, including as part of a traditional Bavarian breakfast of pretzel, sausage and wheat beer. I had them with toppings including a heavy dose of pumpkin seeds, in forms such as rolls and croissants, and split to make sandwiches.

All manner of fillings in a variety of breads can be found at take-out stands all over German cities.

All manner of fillings in a variety of breads can be found at take-out stands all over German cities.

Super sandwiches: It’s possible to eat in a cafe in many parts of Germany for 10 euro ($11) or less per person (until you add beer, which it would be shame to do without). This is not bad, but given that airfare, train tickets and hotel fees have already sucked the life out of your wallet, you may want to go easy on dining. Supplement the  occasional sit-down meal with grab-and-go sandwiches, freshly prepared and tastily displayed in little stands everywhere. Train stations are loaded with them, so if you’re hopping from city to city, you’ll find them to be a great convenience, with sandwiches at 3 to 5 euro for all kinds. A popular type is a take on Italian caprese salad — mozzarella and tomatoes with pesto in place of the basil leaves.

Flammentachen, or German pizza, with ham, cheese, onions and garlic, in a cafe in Tumingen, Germany.

Flammkuchen, or German pizza, with ham, cheese, onions and garlic, in a cafe in Tumingen, Germany.

Pizza is a universal language: A game I sometimes played would be to try to decipher a menu before the server arrived to shame me with his/her perfect English (me being a typical dumb single-language American). Google told me that flammkuchen was a tart, so I ordered it expecting a tiny quiche of some kind, only to be rewarded with a footwide pizza, with a thin crust perfectly scorched in a wood-burning oven. Turns out to be a specialty of southern German and parts of France (where it is called tarte flambe). This one -- the classic -- is spread with creme fraiche and comes topped with ham and onions — speck and zweibel, words I was able to translate off the menu. So you could say I got the details right, anyway. It  was a great happy accident.

A venison and wild boar sausage served with bread and horseradish.

A venison and wild boar sausage served with bread and horseradish.

Sausage (with bread): Always easy to spot on a menu — just look for something-wurst, and don’t worry about the something part, just order and take your chances. You can also get sausage made into a salad (wurstsalat) My favorite was venison and wild boar, a fairly dry combo ordered with a red wine from a Stuttgard-area vineyard. Slept well that night. Sausage normally comes with sauerkraut or potato salad, American versions of which you’ve probably had. I’d make these side dishes top choices on their own, but I’m trying to keep this list to five.

In the average market, sausages in jars.

In the average market, sausages in jars.

 

Poha, or gooseberry, sold by the carton in a grocery store in Stuttgart.

Poha, or gooseberry, sold by the carton in a grocery store in Stuttgart.

Tropical tartness: I was so surprised to see this fruit on a breakfast buffet in Munich that I exclaimed, “Hey, that’s poha!,” words that no one around me understood. I always thought of this tart, golden berry with its parchment shroud as a rare tropical fruit. You’ll find poha jelly in Hawaii, but seldom can you find the fresh fruit. In Germany it's a called physalis (in English, gooseberry) and it's easy to find in regular supermarkets for cheap. Ate my fill.

5 foods Montreal

By
August 28th, 2016



From the delicacy of foie gras to the hot mess that is poutine, this town can eat. Favorite foods here are as cosmopolitan as the population, reflecting an amalgam of immigrant heritages. It's -- hey! -- a melting pot. I imagine that the loco moco would be quite happy here.

I spent just a few days in Montreal, and make no claims to being an expert, but I did ask consult several natives about the iconic foods of this city, and some of them were indeed quite expert. Then I made it my mission to taste them all.

Bagels are dumped into these baskets straight from the oven at St-Viateur Bagel in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood.

Bagels are sorted into these baskets straight from the oven at St-Viateur Bagel in Montreal's Mile End neighborhood. You can see them pulled from the oven as you stand in line to order.

  1. A Montreal bagel -- as opposed to a New York bagel -- is thinner, crunchier on the outside, softer on the inside, and sweeter. Among bagel connoisseurs, the relative superiority of either city's bagel is subject to often impassioned debate. I stand firmly on the Canadian side on this one. Both types are boiled, then baked, but the Montreal version is boiled in sweetened water and baked in a wood-fired oven. No salt is used in the dough, which is always hand-rolled (no machines). All this adds up to major differences in taste and texture. Bagels can be found everywhere in the city, but the most acclaimed are from St-Viateur Bagel or Fairmont Bagel, both in the Mile End neighborhood. The favorite flavor, by the way: sesame.
A smoked meat sandwich from a stall in the Jean Talon market.

A smoked meat sandwich from a stall in the Jean Talon market.

2. They call it smoked meat, but it will likely remind you of pastrami. You can get it at food stands, delis and sit-down restaurants in this city, served simply on bread with mustard and a pickle -- although you could skip the carbs and just eat a pile of it plain. Smoked meat is beef brisket that is brined, marinated in a spice blend, smoked and then steamed to tenderness. In preparation it is much like pastrami. Differences in flavoring, smoking methods and time taken for each step, as well as the exact cut of meat, account for the taste variation. Like bagels, smoked meat is a delicious tradition that grew out of Montreal's Jewish heritage.

Portuguese chicken from Piri-Piri.

Portuguese chicken from Piri Piri restaurant.

3. Portuguese chicken a la Montreal is first marinated in a blend of paprika and other spices, then brushed with a spicy sauce made with piri piri, or bird's eye peppers, and, finally, turned on a rotisserie over a coal fire. More piri piri sauce goes on top, if you like. The usual companion is french fries. It's like an extra-extra special rotisserie chicken, with the flavor cooked deep into the meat. Delicious hot or cold.

A foie gras mousse atop toast with pickles is served at Maison Publique, a pub in the Plateau neighborhood.

A foie gras mousse atop toast with pickles is served at Maison Publique, a pub in the Plateau neighborhood.

4. This town is exceptionally big on the French classic of foie gras, with some restaurants that make it a specialty, offering several preparations a night. Especially famous for it: Joe Beef, which offers a Double Down "sandwich" of two deep-fried slabs of foie gras with bacon, cheese and chicken-skin mayonnaise between; and Au Pied de Cochon, where the menu lists 10 foie gras dishes, including "Fg" on burgers, in croquettes and over fries (see poutine, next). In some restaurants it's even merged with desserts.

Fries + gravy + cheese curds = poutine.

Fries + gravy + cheese curds = poutine.

5. Last and by all means least -- poutine. The word is Quebec slang for "mess"; the dish is french fries with cheese curds and brown gravy. Not all poutine is created equal. The cheese is basic -- mild, fresh, unaged cheddar -- but the rest is only as good as the gravy and the quality of the fries.  You can get a basic version like this one from food stands or fast-food restaurants. Fancy restaurants dress it up with special sauces, even foie gras. Take it or leave it, depending on of the depth of your personal culinary mission to pursue the iconic foods of Quebec.

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Super-fresh salad

By
July 27th, 2016



A Snip and Serve Salad is the ultimate in freshness. PHOTO BY BRUCE ASATO refreshingly dePapaya Seed Dressing - paired with Champalou Vouvray, Loire, France, Poseidon Chardonnay, USA. (Diners were asked to snip hydroponically grown greens in a container). Danny Matsushita, sommelier with the West Side Wine Club, meeting at the Poke Stop in Mililani Mauka where the diners enjoy a 3-course dinner prepared by chef Elmer Guzman and Matsushita pouring wine, Thursday, July 21, 2016.

Guests snip away at the greens for their salads. Photo by Bruce Asato, Star-Advertiser. 

Farm-to-table freshness? So yesterday. Farm-on-the-table freshness is what you get with a Snip and Serve Salad, as served by chef Elmer Guzman at a dinner last week.

Manoa lettuce from Mari's Garden was brought to the table as whole heads, roots still attached, in pots of water. Clusters of Okinawan spinach also filled the pots, adding splashes of purple.

Accompanying the pots were scissors, and for each guest a plate dotted with feta cheese, taro bread croutons and pickled radishes and okra.

The greens were snipped at the table by the guests. When tossed with the little pickles and a drizzle of papaya seed dressing, a salad was made.

Guzman said he wanted to showcase the fresh produce of Mari's Garden, a hydroponic farm in Mililani, the same neighborhood as his restaurant, Poke Stop. The act of assembling also added an engaging bit of interactivity to the salad course.

The dinner was not normal Poke Stop fare. It was one in a series of wine dinners that Guzman hosts in partnership with sommelier Danny Matsushita's West Oahu Wine Group. More on that in a future edition of Crave.

By the way, Matsushita paired the Snip and Serve Salad with Champalou Vouvray from Loire, France, and and American Poseidon Chardonnay.

 

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Luxury cars, luxury food

By
July 25th, 2016



Chefs Gianpaolo Raschi, front, and Roberti Maurizio familiarize themselves with one of the luxury Italian automobiles that will be part of the ambiance at their new restaurant.

Chefs Gianpaolo Raschi, front, and Maurizio Roberti familiarize themselves with one of the luxury Italian automobiles that will be part of the ambiance at their new restaurant.

On the one hand you have your exotic automobiles — a Lamborghini here, a Maserati there. On the other, some fine Italian food and wine. The twain shall meet at Velocity Honolulu, a high-concept retail-restaurant venture in the soon-to-open Symphony Honolulu condominium tower.

Now, that term — retail-restaurant — might not seem all that revolutionary, until you realize that by retail they're talking very high-end cars and motorcycles.

The JN Group, Honolulu's principal purveyor of fancy cars, plans to add a high-end Italian restaurant to the mix at Velocity, which is principally a vehicle showroom. The restaurant, as well as a more casual cafe and bar, and an enoteca, or wine shop, will join the auto showroom and other retail ventures in the bottom floors of the Symphony tower.

Chef Gianpaolo Raschi's squid in marinara.

Chef Gianpaolo Raschi's squid in marinara.

It takes some imagination to wrap your brain around the synergy here. But Brad Nicolai, JN president, says the idea is to capitalize on the artistic merits of both extreme autos and extremely authentic Italian food.

Chef Gianpaolo Raschi, of Guido Ristorante in Rimini, Italy, will be the "signature chef" of the as-yet-unnamed Honolulu restaurant. Guido has earned a Michelin star every year since 2008.

He will be assisted by Maurizio Roberti, an Italian master chef, who will be based in Honolulu while Raschi travels between Italy and Hawaii.

Sea bass with vinegar, celery and onions, served at Raschi's Guido Ristorante.

Sea bass with vinegar, celery and onions, served at Raschi's Guido Ristorante.

Their menu is in its earliest stages, but both chefs were in town last week scouting local produce and seafood. Guido, a beachside restaurant, centers on seafood and Raschi said his Honolulu menu would do the same.

The auto showroom at Velocity Honolulu is expected to open next month, with other retail components — including a men's shop — planned by the end of the year. The restaurant and cafe are set to open next spring.

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Mango love

By
July 17th, 2016



Michelle Karr-Ueoka's mango shave ice drew crowds to her station.

Michelle Karr-Ueoka's mango shave ice drew crowds to her station.

The lobby, courtyard and verandas at the Moana Surfrider were packed Saturday with devotees of Hawaii's favorite summer fruit. Mangoes at the Moana drew hundreds to taste mango many ways.

A crowd favorite was MW restaurant pastry chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka's mango shave ice with tapioca and sorbet, served with two mini cocktails. The dish won the Mango Throwdown, a friendly competition among six chefs.

Taormina chef Hiroyuki Mimura's mango risotto with scallops.

Taormina chef Hiroyuki Mimura's mango risotto with scallops.

Dishes were savory and sweet and reflected the many ways mango's — either naturally sweet or pickled and tart — can fit into with classic preparations such as risotto and crab cakes.

Chef Mark Noguchi used papio from the ancient fishponds at Paepae O He‘eia, served in a tasty morsel with a garnish of spicy pickled mango. Ronnie Nasuti of Tiki's paired a mango harissa (chili) sauce with a quinoa crab cake.

A mango meringue with mango semifreddo and pop rock topping from Carolyn Portuondo of the Royal Hawaiian.

A mango meringue with mango semifreddo and Pop Rock topping from Carolyn Portuondo of the Royal Hawaiian.

Sweets included a mousse-like semifreddo that looked like a little marshmallow, with a surprising topping of Pop Rocks, from Carolyn Portuondo of the Royal Hawaiian, Ed Kenney's toasted mango bread topped with ricotta and olive oil, a deceptively simple dessert that was simply fabulous.

Several varieties of mangoes were offered for tasting.

Several varieties of mangoes were offered for tasting.

One of the purposes of the event was to showcase the many varieties of mangoes, offered in free tasting. The line for this tasting wrapped around the veranda. For people who only know the Haden this was an introduction to varieties such as Excel, Gouveia and Dot.

Executive pastry chef Nanako Perez-Nava went through the steps of making a mango cream pie.

Executive pastry chef Nanako Perez-Nava went through the steps of making a mango cream pie.

Then came cooking demonstrations by Moana chefs Nanako Perez-Nava and David Lukela. Perez-Nava made a luscious mango cream pie, while Lukela quickly ran through a day's worth of mango recipes – breakfast, lunch and dinner — in the form of oatmeal, wild rice salad and fish tacos.

David Lukela, chef de cuisine at Beachhouse at the Moana, demonstrates making mango fish tacos.

David Lukela, chef de cuisine at Beachhouse at the Moana, demonstrates making mango fish tacos.

Look for Perez-Nava's recipe for mango cream pie in Wednesday's Crave section.

 

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Building a dish from the bottom up

By
July 8th, 2016



The dish is called Soft Shell Crab Taco, but really it's chef David Lukela's take on shrimp and grits, minus the shrimp, adding crab, minus a taco shell but adding some taco-ness. And mango-ness.

The dish is among mango-centric dishes and drinks on the menu in July — Mango Month — at Beachhouse at the Moana, where Lukela is chef de cuisine. The Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa is also prepping for Mangoes at the Moana, a festival of all things mango on July 16.

As a preview, Lukela built his "taco" dish and explained why all the components work.

Photos by Bruce Asato, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Photos by Bruce Asato, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

At the bottom, cheesy grits, because he loves them so.

Layer 2

Layer 2

Next: Two deep-fried soft-shell crabs, a stand-in for the usual shrimp, with a crunchiness that stands in for a taco shell.

layer 3

Layer 3

Next: A drizzle of mango fraiche — mango puree stirred into creme fraiche — to add creamy richness.

laeyer 4

Layer 4

Next: Pickled fresh mango cubes (he uses a simple mix of vinegar, sugar and water) and avocado. The pickling adds acidity to balance the mango's sweetness, the avocado adds "good fat" to balance the acidity.

layer 5

Layer 5

Next: Cabbage and green onion, shredded, for a taco touch.

layer 6

Layer 6

Finally: Cilantro and thin slices of watermelon radish — more "taco elements."

See Crave on Wednesday for more from the Moana and Lukela's ideas on using mangoes in savory dishes.

 

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Cook Hawaiian style

By
July 5th, 2016



Chef James Aptakin's poke tacos with avocado mousse, island salsa and bubu arare.

Chef James Aptakin's poke tacos with avocado mousse, island salsa and bubu arare, prepared for an episode of "Cooking Hawaiian Style."

Lanai Tabura is back for a sixth season as host of "Cooking Hawaiian Style," the celebrity-driven show inspired by home cooking and family traditions.

The season opened Monday with actress Tia Carrere preparing her father's recipes for chicken adobo, cascaron and lumpia. If you missed it, no worries, the show repeats all week.

Tia Carrere wraps lumpia with host Lanai Tabura in the first episode of the new "Cooking Hawaiian Style" season. Photo by Ryan Sakamoto

Tia Carrere wraps lumpia with host Lanai Tabura in the first episode of the new season. Photo by Ryan Sakamoto

"Cooking Hawaiian Style," produced by Frank Abraham and filmed at on the beach at Ko Olina, airs on the Lifestyle network, channels 683 and 1683 (digital) on Time Warner Cable, and on OC16.

The shows air first at 7:30 p.m. Mondays, repeating daily at different times until a new show debuts the following Monday. New episodes air through Sept. 19, then start over with the Carrere show.

The rest of this season's lineup:

-- Monday: Four Seasons Ko Olina chefs Jobbie Domenden, Ray German and Martin Knaubert make some of the hotel's most popular dishes, Drunken Crab, chilled avocado and steamed hapuupuu.

-- July 18: Entertainer Al Harrington and his wife, Rosa, prepare refrigerator oatmeal, chia seed pudding and shoyu gohan.

Fred Lum, left, and Carissa Moore film an episode of "Cooking Hawaiian Style" with host Lanai Tabura. Kino Carrillo

Fred Lum, left, and Carissa Moore film an episode on the beach at Ko Olina with Tabura.

-- July 25: Professional surfer Carissa Moore and her grandfather, Fred Lum, serve baked salmon and a fresh ginger sauce for poke and sashimi.

- Aug. 1: Fashion designer Kini Zamora shares his mother's recipes for hamburger steak and gravy, potato-macaroni salad and strawberry sorbet martini.

-- Aug. 8: Musician Sean Robbins uses Portuguese sausage in an omelette, fried rice and pasta carbonara.

-- Aug. 15: Chef James Aptakin of Mac 24/7 Bar & Restaurant makes ahi poke tacos and togarashi-seared hamachi with a popcorn-lilikoi-wasabi glaze.

-- Aug.  22: Musician Kawika Kahiapo makes a char siu sauce and applies it to pork and chicken, then makes kalo poke.

Chef Kino Carrillo's mini tostadas with crispy pork, black beans and pico de gallo.

Chef Kino Carrillo's mini tostadas with crispy pork, black beans and pico de gallo.

-- Aug. 29: Chef Kino Carrillo prepares crispy pork tacos with plantain poi tortillas and a watercress bok choy salad.

-- Sept. 5: The Wolfgang Steak House crew explains the preparation of different cuts of beef, lobster macaroni and cheese and the restaurant's Seafood Tower.

-- Sept. 12: Momi Ernestburg and daughter Ann of Hapa Haole Kitchen restaurant in Kaneohe demonstrate their pastele stew, bacalau salad and peanut butter and banana lumpia.

-- Sept. 19: Veterans Thomas Lee and Tony Holland of the Wounded Warrior program prepare beef fajitas, guacamole and pico de gallo.

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Wine and fellowship at Plantation Tavern

By
June 30th, 2016



Charred Hamakua tomato bisque

Charred Hamakua tomato bisque with crab ravioli and cilantro pesto, served with Triennes Rose 2015 and Chateau d'Esclan Whispering Angel, both from Provence, France.

 

Once a month Adam Gilbert sets up the patio of his Plantation Tavern restaurant in Kapolei for a dozen or so guests primed to appreciate a good pairing of food and wine.

June's dinner was held Wednesday night, a three-course meal of tomato bisque, duck confit and creme brulee.

Plantation Tavern is not a fancy-pants restaurant. It's an unpretentious, family-friendly place set in a strip mall between a bead shop and a Chinese restaurant. Gilbert says he designed it to be affordable and comfortable, "so you can come in here in a construction outfit or on a date."

The menu is plantation-inspired, with traditional Korean, Chinese, Hawaiian and Filipino dishes all prepared in today's farm-to-table spirit. He's fascinated, Gilbert says, "by how Hawaii came to be," but also believes strongly in sustainable food production and sources his ingredients from Kahumana Organic Farms, Honolulu's fishmarket and Big Island cattle ranches.

Duck confit with raspberry hoisin sauce and baby carrots, served with Botromango Primitivo from Puglia, Italy, and Margerum M5, a Rhone blend from California.

Duck confit with raspberry hoisin sauce and baby carrots, served with Botromango Primitivo from Puglia, Italy, and Margerum M5, a Rhone blend from California.

The wine dinners allow him to build on that philosophy and stretch the chefs chops developed in a long career that included stints in the kitchens of Indigo, 3660 on the Rise and Padovani's Bistro & Wine Bar. Just before opening Plantation Tavern he was executive chef for the Star of Honolulu cruise ship.

Gilbert's partner in these wine dinners is Danny Matsushita, a wine expert who selected two wines for each dish, then happily refilled glasses of whichever the diner liked best, or both in many cases.

Ginger cream brulee with creme Anglaise, berries and spun sugar.

Ginger cream brulee with creme Anglaise, berries and spun sugar.

Wine dinners at Plantation Tavern take place at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month (June's was later than usual). Cost varies; this week's was $68. Call 888-4299. The restaurant's regular hours are 11 a.m. to midnight.

 

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