July 20 , 2008

….IMPORTANT Information………
The Honolulu Advertiser is now accepting votes for their Restaurant Awards.
The official ballots can be obtained on line or in the Sunday Paper in the food section.
The voting period is short--- just to the end of July, so your entry must be postmarked or received online on or before 7/31/08. 

Here is the website for the Ilima Awards Ballot:  http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/current/il/ilima
Here is the address to send out a hard copy print out: 

'Ilima Awards

Diamond Head Theatre

520 Makapu'u Ave.

Honolulu, HI 96816.

……VINO's FALL MENU…… (Starting Wednesday, July 30th)

Our very own Chef Keith Endo will be unveiling his late Summer/Early Fall menu starting on Wednesday, July 30th.    As you will recall, he featured his seasonal, "Summer Menu"from mid-May to July.   Keith is so excited to feature some of the new produce just now coming into season,  as well as some new sources.   I, for one, just can't wait.   In addition,   I have been eating either his Ahi Nicoise salad & the Aparagus Milanese every chance I can,  as each will be around only for a short time more.

Here is the rough draft……….
- Kabocha & Butternut Squash Ravioli with aged balsamic reduction and grilled pesto marinated prawns - Seared Thai basil marinated beef Carpaccio, red jalapeno pesto, fried garlic, Nalo Farms micro arugula, Hawaiian chili pepper aioli and port wine gastrique
- Fall Pumpkin Bisque with Chilled Lobster ceviche and lemon crème fraiche

- Roasted heirloom beet “Ratatouille Salad”   Grilled Kahuku eggplant, sweet Maui onions, saba, and lemon herb vinaigrette.
- Herb roasted wild fall mushroom “strudel” with Big Island goat cheese, garlic demi, petite herb salad and citrus vinaigrette.
- Pumpkin “Spiced” Diver Scallops withRoasted squash risotto (2 pc.)

- “Sous Vide” of Hawaiian Snapper with preserved lemon, Nalo Farms basil risotto, and garlic swiss chard.
- Cider braised Kurobuta Pork Shoulder with Fuyu persimmons, Chorizo & Tuscan white bean stew, and granny smith apple compote
- Chicken “Cacciatore” with fall root vegetables, red bell peppers, balsamic reduction, Hana Farms swiss chard, and house made tagliatelle
- Fennel pepper crusted Beef Tenderloin stuffed with gorgonzola dolce latte, butternut squash and black pepper Paparadelle
- Slow roasted Sterling Farms Boneless Short Ribs braised kale, acorn squash gnocchi, and natural jus

…Saturday, July 26th…."A Winetasting with Van Williamson of Edmeades"
…He is coming………..Van the Man….without a doubt, one of the most colorful, "down to earth", unique
winemakers we have run across EVER, which is why he is one of our absolute favorites. Our regulars know we anxiously wait for Edmeades' new releases of Zins every year. They are truly some of the most tasty, provocative, interesting & unique Old Vine Zinfandel out of California today. No one does it better. In addition, Imagine what kind of night this will be......
5 wild & wooly Zins of Edmeades (2 ounces each) & the "larger than life" character of Van Williamson. Don't miss out!
--2006 Zinfandel "Mendocino"  altogether a hedonistic mouthful of big Zinfandel
--2005 Zinfandel "Perli Vineyard"  The Perli Vineyard Zin is composed with multiple varieties, creating a Zin that leans more toward a Claret in style.   A great wine for a person who does not like red wine, but complex enough for the most sophisticated wine geek
--2006 Zinfandel "Shamrock Vineyard"  This wine has a bit of a split personality. From the young vines we get a healthy dose of youthful angst – dark dense and brooding, kinda like your 15-year-old nephew. But on the flip side it shows a mature, powerful body structure – wise beyond its years.   The combination is intense. This is a true mountain Zin
--2006 Zinfandel "Zeni Vineyard"  The Zeni Zinfandels are almost always old-world style wines. The 2006 is a powerhouse wine: concentrated and intense — a dark, brooding beast of a wine with layers of funk. It should be reserved only for wild nights when the moon is full

--2005 Zinfandel "Ciapusci Ranch"  Typically, this is one of the most wild & wooly, idiosyncratic, Old Vine Zins out of California. One could say this is liquid Van. The vineyard is high atop the Mendocino Coastal Ramge, directly facing the ocean, with vines which must be approaching 130 years in age. It is one of the most souful vineyards I have run across….kind of looks like an old homestead cemetary with black crosses (head prunes, old vines)…fog continuously coming & going.

What a setting!....& what a wine!

Promptly starting at 5:30PM
$39 a person (not including tax & gratuity)
Limited seating...by reservation only...533-4476
For those who stay afterwards, Chef Keith has created a few appetizer specials…in addition to his Summer Menu.  We should have named this night…the Keith & Vanimal" night.

….BYOB Friday, August 8th….9:30PM….."BEAUJOLAIS"……..
We are now organzing another "Bring Your Own Bottle" winetasting in VINO.
This time the theme will be Beaujolais.   I know there are those who roll their eyes in utter disbelief at the mere mention of Beaujolais... I used to be one of them.   It is one of the wine world's true Ugly Ducklings.    Completely & unbelievably under-appreciated.  

Hopefully at least some of you will have some confidence in the VINO way of wine to understand we wouldn't be doing such a tasting if there wasn't good cause to do so. I know we have some Beaujolais which rock our gang.  To me, "good" Beaujolais is all about delicious-ness & food friendliness.    Cheryle & I are real believers.  Hopefully this tasting will be a revelation for participants, just like it has been for us.
Every attendee should bring a bottle of Beaujolais (minimum $20 a bottle, retail).   The bottle should be wrapped…or bagged…. so the label is hidden.
--Reservations ONLY….Limited seating….so please call us for reservations.
Hope to see you there.   The last one was an absolute blast!


….Saturday, August 9th…….."Mushrooms & Rustic Reds"………..
What does that mean? VINO Chef Keith Endo is so excited about all of the really cool types of FRESH wild mushrooms he is getting right now. He came to me tonight with some simply sauteed chanterelle mushrooms.  There is nothing better than sauteed fresh chanterelles. Wow!    "Let's do a mushroom dinner!"    So, here we go!    As our VINO regulars know, rustic red wines work really well with mushroom based dishes.    Hence the theme... so, mark your calendars.    We will announce the menu & wines shortly.

….Wednesday, August 13th "Winetasting with Chuck".......................

"Italian Benchmarks"
In our continued quest to search out & taste some of the finest,  most noble wines from around the world, for this night we go back to Italy……looking to savor 5 world-class, benchmark red wines, OTHER THAN Barolo, Barbaresco or Brunello di Montalcino.    Each of these producers frequently are recognized by Italy's gourmet food & wine publication, Gambero Rosso & have attained their highest honor, Tres Bischieri (3 glasses) at one time or another.    What an opportunity this will be!

--2001 La Spinetta Barbera d'Asti
--2001 Villa Matilde Camarato
--2003 Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco "Collepiano"
--2000 Matteo Correggia Roche d'Ampseij
--1997 Gonzaga San Leonardo

5 benchmark Italian red wines……..….2 ounces each…..$45 a person (not including tax & gratuity),
starting at 5:40PM (promptly).    Don't miss out!

…...A WEEK of WINEMAKERS…………….
How exciting, we have a bunch of winemakers visiting Hawaii for the week.    We thought we
would take advantage of their visit & have scheduled 2 different wine venues for you to come down
& check out!    Each will be something very interesting to say the least.

Tuesday, August 19th……"Winetasting with Mike Kuimelis of Mantra Wines"
Mike Kuimelis, in case you have not yet heard, is one of the young turks just now entering the realm
of winemaking stardom through his truly superb, elegant, classy red wines produced under his family label, Mantra.   We have avidly been following this star in the making for a few years now.   

Mantra wines are now on noted wine writer,   Robert Parker's radar screen & is also being highly acclaimed by the Wine Spectator.   His passion is obvious, when you first meet him or taste his wines. His family owns 4 vineyards in Sonoma--2 are in the Alexander Valley (1 is a hillside & 1 a mountain top)…& 2 are in Dry Creek Valley (1 is a hillside & 1 a mountain top).    ALL 4 are truly remarkable--amazingly panoramic & meticulously farmed.    On this night, Mike will be bringing 3 barrel samples--1 Zinfandel, 1 Syrah & 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, which we will taste first.    We will then taste a finished wine of each varietal, which should provide participants with a whole 'nother experience.    Hopefully, this will be fun for everyone…myself included.
Reservation, please. $25 a person (not including tax & gratuity), starting at 5:40PM (promptly)

Thursday, August 21st….."A Night with Mia Klein"
Mia Klein is another one of favorite winemakers. She is a true superstar, and is one of those incredibly gifted & talented prodigies, who has changed the profession.   I have been a HUGE fan for so many years, from when she consulted for such trophy Napa Valley Cabernets, like Araujo, Dalle Valle & Viader to the creation of her own label, Selene.    I was thrilled when Food & Wine magazine named her "Winemaker of the Year" in 2003.    It was one of those special moments when someone who
actually deserved such recognition….got it….despite her quiet, reserved, incredibly humble personality.    We are absolutely thrilled Mia is coming to VINO..

Mark your calendar. We will announce more details in the next 2 weeks.