Zia’s Continues to “Wow” the Windward SideFeatures Order of the Day
October 6, 2013
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Leah Friel
Nestled in the shadows of the Koolau Mountains, Zia’s Caffe has delivered delectable Italian cuisine with a touch of island flair to diners for more than 12 years.
The restaurant is situated conveniently on Kamehameha Highway near the entrance to Kaneohe town, and offers a warm, inviting atmosphere with open-air seating and the perfect ambiance fit for any occasion. Owner Don Dymond has guided the Zia’s franchise for nearly two decades, and intersperses locally grown produce and fresh locally caught fish throughout the diverse menu.
“We really are a neighborhood restaurant, and we’re typically Italian,” says Dymond, who also helped build Kalapawai Market and Kalapawai Café into Kailua mainstays.
The menu at Zia’s Caffe features an assortment of Italian favorites, including Caprese ($9), a refreshing mix of Hauula tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, ‘Nalo basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Another popular starter can be found in Steaming Clams with Italian Sausage ($14), as the hearty portion is accompanied by a San Marzano tomato broth, leeks and grilled garlic bread.
Diners also clamor for Zia’s freshly made thin-crust pizzas including The WORKS ($14), which is filled to the brim with pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions, artichokes, mushrooms, olives and cheese. Molokai Sweet Potato Ravioli ($14) elevates the entrée experience with a blend of sage brown butter, tomatoes, asparagus, macadamia nuts, micro greens and Pecorino.
In the coming months, Zia’s Caffe’s breakfast menu will offer “Classic Breakfast” entrées on weekends. The restaurant will open earlier once the menu is in place, and diners will enjoy favorites like eggs, pancakes and bacon. The new choices will complement the current selection of brunch entrees offered daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which includes Sausage, Pepper & Onion Omelette ($10) with home fries.
Zia’s Caffe recently added a full-service bar to supplement its bountiful array of wine and beer selections, and now features a collection of premium signature cocktails. Customers rave about Italian Spritz ($8) and its blend of Prosecco, Aperol Liqeuer, club soda and orange squeeze, as well as Lemon Drop ($8), a fresh take on the classic martini that includes Skyy Vodka, Lemoncello and sweet and sour mix — shaken, not stirred, of course. Zia’s Sangria ($7) is another new offering that incorporates red wine, triple sec, strawberry puree and fresh fruit and is very refreshing, especially on a warm, humid day.
“The Italian Spritz is a famous drink from the Venice area, and it’s delightful,” Dymond says. “Across the line, we’ll have all the standard scotches, bourbons, whiskeys and vodkas, including both well and premium pours.”
The lunch menu at Zia’s has grown in popularity over the years, and includes superb sandwiches such as French Dip with Au Jus ($9.50) with sliced roast beef on garlic toast. Each sandwich is served with Maui chips or apple slaw, and diners may add a savory soup or salad for just $2 more. Those in a hurry may elect to pick up one of Zia’s “Express Lunch” options ($11 each), including Beef & Pork Lasagna.
Zia’s Caffe also offers its popular Prime Rib ($28 for a hearty 12 ounce cut) typically from Friday to Sunday during the third week of each month. Dymond explains that the best way to be in the know about upcoming prime rib offerings is to sign up for Zia’s email list — simply log on to www.ZiasKaneohe.com, sign up and receive a confirmation message with a special offer.
620 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.