“This Week” at Vino and Hiroshi

VINO HAPPY HOUR ”at the bar seats only”…

Starting Wednesday, January 6th, we will be offering a 50% discount on VINO food for those sitting at the VINO bar from 5:30 to 6:30pm. ALL orders must be in by 6:30PM. This Special will be good for the month of January & only when VINO is open for regular business.

It is a great opportunity to have a bite to eat instead of fighting the traffic.

“Locally Grown” Menu… @ Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas

Chef Hiroshi Fukui will feature a new “locally grown” menu each month

Sundays & Mondays (only) $35 per person (not including tax & gratuity)

For Month of January …

First Course

Sous Vide of Big Island Baby Abalone “Poke” Sushi

konbu rice, chili pepper water aioli, shiso & white truffle oil

Second Course

Kona Cold Lobster Tail “Newburg”

baked with haricot verts, parmesan cheese, scallops & calamari, forbidden black rice

Main Course

Brie Cheese Torched Maui Cattle Meatloaf

mashed potato, seasonal vegetables & shiitake mushroom sauce

Sweet Course

Ice Cream Sandwich

peanut butter cookie with Bubbie’s chocolate ice cream & mint foam

Call now for reservations and be sure to mention that you are having the

Locally Grown Menu to ensure we don’t run out!

“Communal Table” Wednesday January 20th 6 pm

Our very first “Communal Table” of 2010!!!!

It is a great opportunity to share good food & meet new friends….VINO style.

These communal tables are without a doubt some of the most fun occasions we have at VINO.

Here is the menu for this one……

Homemade Pizza

with wild mushrooms, caramelized fennel, roasted red bell peppers & fresh Nalo Farms arugula

Ligurian Stuffed Calamari

with house made marinara

Red Wine Braised Short Rib

with Swiss Chard & saffron gnocchi

Dessert (to be announced)

$39 a person (not including wine, tax or gratuity). By reservations only….533-4476 or email Nicole [email protected]

This is definitely my kind of food!

Wednesday January 27th “Winetasting at VINO” 6:00PM

It seems like just yesterday that Cheryle & I were sitting in the quaint, Hemmingway-esque, little seaside village of Portofino on Italy’s Ligurian Coast. The sea there is much different than what I experience when looking at the Pacific Ocean whether from the Hawaii or California side. This whole breathtaking Ligurian Coast just abruptly drops down to the sea with very little gradation. The steepest drops are at Cinque Terre. I am continually awed at how steep these vineyards are, and upon closer look at how rocky & meager the soils are.

I could not help but think the vine’s roots are actually holding the soil in place. We eagerly went into the top wine bars & stores to find which wines we should search out. A good wine friend had recommended a small son & mom restaurant in the town of Santa Margherita, which insisted served the freshest & best food of the whole coast, he was right. The recently deceased dad also happened to be one of the region’s most famous sommeliers, so it was understandable the wine list was incredibly well selected. The bottom line was that Cheryle & I walked away ecstatic with the whole food & wine experience. This started our quest to try & find some of these wines so that our VINO regulars could also sample some of the magic we did.

A few years back we were able to get some of the Bardellini’s excellent Ligurian white wines, including his “U Munte” single vineyard bottling. Then, early in 2009, one of our favorite wine importers of “boutique”, artisan French & Italian wines, Kermit Lynch, notified us of his recent Ligurian wine discoveries. It took quite a long time & much effort to finally get them here. We have shown a couple of them here & there recently. On this night, we plan to show ALL five….each terrific & unique (& incredibly food friendly) in their own way. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as we do.

Here is what Kermit had to say……..

Love at First Sight Punta CrenaI couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to these wines, made in the tiny town of Varigotti, Italy, right on the ocean in the wine-producing region of Liguria. The Ruffino family is famous in their hometown but little known elsewhere, even in Italy. They’ve been making wine in Varigotti since 1500! From the first sniff I was hooked on their delicious wines, made traditionally from indigenous grapes, wines with typicity and character but without a hint of pretension. These are exactly the kind of wines I’ve been seeking for a long time, country quaffers from the Ligurian coast.

Lumassina Frizzante

Yep, Lumassina is one of their local grapes. Naturally sparkling, no secondary fermentation, soft mousse, creamy texture, exotic flavors with a twist of white pepper. Recommended with pesce bianco crudo by the winemaker, but I’ll bet any sushi will do. I like it as an apéritif and with fried fish. You take one drink of it, you’re drinking it all the time!

2008 Pigato “Vigneto Ca Da Rena”

Contrary to popular belief, Pigato is not the same grape as Vermentino/Rolle but a sort of cousin variety cultivated only in Liguria and named after its pigmented, freckled skin. Lively and fresh like the Vermentino, Pigato has a bit more depth and dimension, more punch, and an irresistible friendliness. Like all of Punta Crena’s wines, it is wickedly easy to down. When I open this Pigato for French winemakers, they are dazzled, especially by its complex aromatics.

2008 Mataòssu “Vigneto Reiné

“A dry white, and the pride and joy of the domaine – rightfully so – Mataòssu is cultivated nowhere else in the world! Only in Varigotti. It has been mentioned in the local archives since 1200. This indigenous vine thrives on steep, terraced parcels above the sea but is very difficult to work. The Ruffino family has nurtured their parcel to eighty years of age. It is unlike any other white I’ve tasted. Ahoy, jaded palates! Steer your yacht onto Varigotti’s beautiful white sand beach and drink Mataòssu with the town’s signature fritto misto. Or, I can swear it shines with piccata di vitello. What the heck, it’s versatile.

Pettirosso Rosé

A gently sparkling dry rosé made from Rossese and Sangiovese, Pettirosso is a guaranteed spirit-brightener and a delicious pairing with spaghettini tossed with a sauce of sautéed shrimp, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, flat-leaf parsley, and spicy red pepper flakes. The winemaker, however, says that the locals don’t wait for meals. They drink it all day long. And indeed it is so light and pretty, it won’t knock you for a loop.

2008 Cruvin “Vigneto Antica Fornace”

Produced from 100% Crovino grape variety (they say indigenous to only 2 villages on the Liguria Coast), in this case from the Varigotti hills, ½ mile from the Liguria Sea on impossibly steep, totally terraced hillsides with red earth soils & lots of stones. Sadly hearty, unique red wines full of character, culture & soul are getting harder & harder to come by.

“Come join us for this unique wine adventure.There you have it….5 wines….2 ounces each…..$39 a person (not including tax or gratuity). By Reservations only….533-4476 or email Nicole [email protected]

Wednesday February 3rd “Alexander Alioto, Keith Endo & Friends”

Mark your calendars. Our good friend Alexander Alioto from San Francisco is coming to VINO to cook. Alexander has worked at two of the top Michelin rated restaurants in Italy…..1 in Germany….the French Laundry…& the Ritz Carlton under Chef Ron Siegel. What a resume!

Keith went to San Francisco to work with him this past summer because Alexander makes the most incredible pasta & gnocchi!

On this night we will be doing a FOUR COURSE dinner at VINO…..TWO SEATINGS….5:30PM….and then again @ 7:45PM. We have asked Alexander to do more casual, homey kind of Italian ‘country” food. I just can’t wait!!!! Keith has also invited some of his culinary friends—Chef Ivan Pahk (2 time Maui “Chef of the Year”) for example– to help cook. It will be quite the night! More details to follow.

Real food lovers—this is a dinner you will not want to miss.

Here is the proposed menu……

First Course

Red Wine Poached Egg-with shaved beef carpaccio & parmesan cream

Second Course

Risotto Classico

Third Course

Seared Snapper-served with seafood broth, olives & capers


Seared & Roasted Veal Loin-served with sauteed Swiss chard, Veal Demi & garlic chips


Coconut Panna Cotta-with fresh tropical fruit and caramelized almonds

Real food lovers—this is a dinner you will not want to miss.

$50 a person (not including tax or gratuity). For 4 course wine pairing (3 ounces each)…..an additional $25 per person. There will be 2 seatings…5:30 & 7:45 PM…by reservation only…533-4476 or email Nicole at [email protected]

NOTE: For the 5:30 seating…doors will open at 5:15! We encourage you to come early and get comfortable as it will be important for us to start the dinner in a timely manner.

Valentine’s Day Weekend–Fri, Sat & Sun (Feb 12th, 13th & 14th)

Valentines Day Weekend…for those of you who want to celebrate early both VINO and Hiroshi will be running our regular menus and

specials on Friday and Saturday nights. We will be offering a set menu only on Sunday, February 14th.! Make your reservations now!


First course

Ahi Chu Toro Crudo

Red jalapenos, Maui onion, roasted garlic aioli, thai basil, osetra caviar

Second course

Roasted Heirloom Beet Salad

Big Island hearts of palm, Nalo Farms red ruby mix, pancetta bacon , raspberry Champagne vinaigrette

Third course

Poached Kona Maine Lobster

Fresh shaved Oregon black truffles, carnaroli risotto, hedgehog mushrooms, creamy tarragon butter

Fourth course

Chianti Braised Maui Cattle Co. Short Ribs

Ricotta cheese gnocchi, rapini, horseradish gremolata


“Frozen Kula Strawberry cheesecake”

graham cracker ice cream, chocolate almond biscotti, raspberry gastrique

$50 per person (not including tax & gratuity)

…additional $25 per person for 4 course (3 ounces each) wine pairing


First course

Duo of Contemporary Sushi

Maui Cattle Beef Shigureni-pickled red ginger

Grilled Mongo Squid-sansho, pickled wasabi, 5 spice powder & shiso

Second course

Soft Shell Crab

ginger garlic scallion ragout with kabayaki butter sauce

Third course

Shichimi Roasted Ahi

brussel sprouts, haricot verts & ponzu demi on capellini pasta

Main course

Choice of one…

Braised “Beef Stew” Short Rib $54

braised celery & carrots with truffled macaroni salad, mashed potato & “beef stew” sauce

Oven Roasted Soy Marinated Butter Fish $56

stewed Hauula tomato concasse, roasted Hamakua mushrooms, baby bok choy & chili pepper water-konbu broth, steamed rice


Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Macadamia Nut Crusted Chocolate “Lollipop” & Chocolate Sorbet

complete your experience and add the wine pairing (four wines) for an additional $20

UPCOMING EVENT: Hiroshi’s Contemporary Kaiseki–Tuesday, March 16th

Now On to Wines…

2006 CHATEAU de THIEULEY Bordeaux Blanc NEW By The Glass

As VINO regulars know, we strive to find unique & delicious wines to offer by the glass. Here is another example. Chateau de Thieuley (pronounced two lee) is located in Bordeaux’s Entre deux Mer sub-region whose soils is a combination of gravel, loam & some chalk. In 2006 the blend is 50% each of estate grown Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon. We find it classy & absolutely delicious. Come have a glass.

2006 GRAVES Mourvedre “Ohana Vineyard” NEW By The Glass

This is an encore selection….the staff thought it to be that good. The grapes come from Hilary & Simon Graves’ own, small 8 acre Paso Robles vineyard. There is limestone bedrock underneath as evidenced by scattered limestone pieces that dot the landscape. This is wine is sultry, dark in character, intriguing, yet delicious & suave on the palate. It really fits in with our kind of cookin’!

2007 CHRIS RINGLAND Shiraz “Barossa Valley” NEW By The Glass

Chris Ringland has to be the biggest wine name out of Australia right now. His own wine is perennially rated 99 to 100 points and sells for at least $500 to $600 a bottle, if you can find it. Well…. wine importer Dan Phillips had the maxi to convince Ringland to make a more moderately priced version, using old vine grapes from the Ebenezer Vineyard for us regular folk to sample his artistry. This is the inaugural release. If you are looking for a black, lavish, mouth-filling fruit bomb here it is….in all its glory. This wine will go fast and subsequent releases will substantially more expensive. You will see!

Wines of the Month (prices good for January only)…

2004 AU BON CLIMAT Chardonnay “Mount Carmel”—$42 a bottle

if there was a Grand Cru system in California, this steep, rocky, wind pounded vineyard would certainly be one. This is the last

bottling of an era, as the grapes now go exclusively to Brewer Clifton.

2004 Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco–$65 a bottle

This is a more traditional styled yet very classy, elegant, highly refined Barbaresco from a superb vintage.

There is nothing like a good Nebbiolo to savor.

2006 ALTA MARIA Pinot Noir “Bien Nacido Vineyard”–$46 a bottle

This wine is showing so beautifully right now….so perfumed, elegant, feminine, classy & delicious. I did a 6 glass Pinot tasting for a professional friend last week & this was number 1 for him….(and for me as well). A Must to Check out!!!!!!!!! By the way, owner, James Ontiveros just snuck into VINO last night to partake of Keith’s “Communal Table”. In case you are not familiar with him, James also oversees some pretty famous vineyards…..Bien Nacido, Solomon Hills & his own, Rancho Ontiveros. Under his Alta Maria label, they typically produce 3 wines….50 cases of Grenache, 75 cases of Syrah & 175 cases of Pinot. REALLY terrific stuff. I believe his winemaking partner, Paul Wilkins, used to be the ass’t winemaker for both Alban & Sine Qua Non. Interestingly where those 2 are power wines, Paul’s own wines offer much more finesse, refinement & elegance.

Check it out for yourself!