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Seared and Served in a New York Minute

By Steve Murray Photos By Rachel Breit
April 21, 2013

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It’s not easy being the chef, cook or server at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. The long history of outstanding food and fine service has created a level of expectation that demands nothing but a first rate dining experience. This is true whether ordering from the main, bar or appetizer menu. If it says “Wolfgang’s” it has to be delicious, and it is.

The Happy Hour menu at the famed steakhouse would be a bargain regardless of quality, that the dishes are served with owner Wolfgang Zwiener’s and executive chef James Donahue’s high standards make it an even more remarkable deal.

A great steakhouse has to have a great burger and Hamburger Sliders ($7) are made from finely chopped 100 percent Prime Black Angus beef. The two 3.5 ounce patties are seared crispy in their 1600 degree infrared ovens, are wonderfully juicy and so concentrated with flavor you’d think Wolfgang’s staff simply put a bun on one of their aged New York steaks. Each burger is served on a sweet roll and topped with pickles and a Russian dressing made of relish, onion, tarragon, ketchup, mayo and red peppers. It’s a perfect combination. The cool and slightly acidic dressing is a nice complement to the hearty beef flavor, which is tied together with the sweetness of the bun. Served with blanched, fried and lightly salted shoestring potatoes, the dish is simply outstanding.

Perhaps even better, depending on your preference, is Ahi Tartar ($7). Sashimi grade ahi is tenderly diced and tossed with Maui sweet onions, chives and a ginger wine vinaigrette dressing. The combination is served on a beef steak tomato with diced cucumber and topped with fresh avocado. Hungry yet? The best way to encounter this fantastic dish is to pile the ahi, crisp cucumber and juicy tomatoes on the toasted crostini and enjoy. Each bite is incredible. The slightly spicy ginger vinaigrette is a perfect complement to the buttery ahi. Not only flavorful, but the dish is a definite palate cleanser for the next recommendation: the Taste of New York combo.

At $34.95 the dish is outside the price point of the other happy hour offerings, but is no less of a bargain. Big enough for two, the sizzling 12-ounce New York steak comes with mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and a slice of the world famous Junior’s Cheesecake. Great flavor at a great price. Wolfgang’s dry-aging technique improves marbling by breaking down the interior fats while concentrating the flavors and producing a wonderfully tender cut of meat. The potatoes, made with half-and-half, are creamy without being heavy, while the spinach provides a nice vegetable pairing to the starch. And the cheesecake? Forget about it. There is a reason tourists and displaced New Yorkers stock up on this amazing dessert before heading elsewhere, Junior’s Cheesecake is amazing! Enough said.

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 p.m.
Happy Hour daily, 4-6:30 p.m.