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Foodie Fare
Foodie Fare

Fine Dining Also Includes Unbeatable Lunch Deals

By Christina O Connor Photos By Leah Friel
January 20, 2013

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As lunchtime approaches at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, the tables quickly fill up — and soon, the room is filled with rich aromas of some of the highest quality meat you can find in the Islands. The restaurant is located on the third floor of Royal Hawaiian Center, and customers can enjoy an elegant fine dining experience while overlooking Kalakaua Avenue.

To get a taste of what Wolfgang’s has to offer, try the Porterhouse For Two ($104.95), which is one menu item that has been particularly popular with customers.

“It offers the best of both worlds,” general manager William Nickerson says. “It offers the sirloin, as well as the filet. It comes to the table sizzling at 1,600 degrees.”

The sizzling 32-ounce Porterhouse certainly is an impressive sight, and smell — and the flavor of the juicy, tender steak lives up to its appearance. It is prime, dry-aged beef that has been aged for 28 days.

Wolfgang’s currently is offering one special not on the menu that you don’t want to miss out on: the Seafood Platter ($29.95 for two; price goes up per person after that), which features colossal shrimp, lobster and jumbo lump crab meat.

“It’s a great way to start off any dinner,” Nickerson says.

While Wolfgang’s certainly offers a fine-dining experience, customers on a budget will be happy to know that the restaurant also serves up lunch specials for $10, which were introduced last year.

“These lunch specials allow people to come down to Wolfgang’s and get introduced to the restaurant,” Nicker-son says.

One of these is the Lunch Special Burger ($10), a half-pound hamburger with french fries and onion rings.

Lunch specials also include the Tropical Chopped Salad ($10), which is an artful blend of peas, carrots, hearts of palm, avocado, feta cheese, red and green bell peppers mangoes and strawberries — all served over mixed greens.

And in its habit of offering great deals, Wolfgang’s has a Valentine’s Day Special coming up. The special costs $99.95 for two, and will include a choice of appetizer (Caesar salad, mixed greens or lobster bisque, entree (Porterhouse for Two), a choice of sides (creamed spinach or mashed potatoes), and a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce for dessert. The special will be offered Feb. 14 only.

On the Side

Before opening a restaurant that would soon spawn a successful chain, Wolfgang Zwiener, the founder of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, was set to retire. After 40 years as head waiter at the famed Peter Luger Steakhouse in New York, Zwiener almost left the restaurant industry. But people began encouraging him to open his own restaurant instead of retiring. Taking with him Peter Luger’s tradition of high-quality meats, Zwiener opened up the first Wolfgang’s Steakhouse on Park Avenue.

According to William Nickerson, general manager of the Waikiki restaurant, things at the Park Avenue location went well from the start. But when The New York Times published an article about the restaurant’s origins — and how the waiter is the boss — things really took off.

“And pretty much from that day on, the restaurant was doing 400 dinners a night,” Nickerson says.

Zwiener soon expanded his venture to include additional locations in New York, as well as Beverly Hills — and then opened the Waikiki restaurant. More recently, Wolfgang’s has opened up a couple more restaurants in New York.

“What separates us from other restaurants here in Hawaii is how often we do our dry aging,” Nickerson says. “Once a week, I order prime beef from Master Purveyors … And they buy the best meat from the Midwest.”

Nickerson explains that the meat will be dry aged for 28 days once it reaches the restaurant.

“What is so unique about the dry-aging process is that it creates condensed marbling because of the evaporation,” Nickerson says. “Also … it makes for a nice, palatable, soft meat, and it imparts a nice, earthy flavor to the meat as well.”

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave.
922.3600
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.