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Order of the Day

Treat Yourself to a Night of Wining and Dining

By Michelle Lee Photos By Leah Friel
December 29, 2013

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Humans are not complicated creatures. We like to eat great food, drink tasty drinks and spend time with the people whose company we enjoy. At Formaggio Wine Bar, one gets all of the above and then some.

Located on the lower level of Market City Shopping Center, Formaggio has been serving up good times and laughs in addition to skillfully prepared comfort food with a fine-dining flair. Comprised mainly of Italian and French fare, the menu also includes a few surprise dishes, which have garnered much praise throughout the years.

Since making its way on the Formaggio menu, Nepalese Chicken Curry ($14.99), served with basmati rice, consistently has been one of the restaurant’s most popular entrees.

“It’s a dish I grew up eating in Nepal that I wanted to introduce to our customers,” says Niraj Maskey, owner of Formaggio Wine Bar. “Our homemade curry sauce has a lot of deep spices, such as cumin seeds, cardamom, coriander powder and garlic, which we simmer with the meat for a few hours until it is completely absorbed.”

Hearty, flavorful dishes are a staple at Formaggio. The eatery’s Boneless Short Ribs in Red Wine ($15.99) is another favorite, braised to perfection atop a vegetable medley of sauteed zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and onions.

Vegetarians will also rejoice in Formaggio’s numerous meatless options. Margherita “Extra” Pizza ($12.99) is simple yet solidly executed, as the crust is light and airy with an extra dash of virgin olive oil. Grilled Vegetable Napoleon ($13.99) is as tasty as it is beautiful. Consisting of three layers, each filled with different components, from zucchini and eggplant to three different types of mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil and goat cheese — the savory stacked formation is the ideal dish to share with others.

In addition to Formaggio’s menu, the restaurant’s full-service bar is one reason why loyal patrons have been returning for years. “We have people who come five times a week to try out our different wines and pair them with various dishes,” says Maskey. “Our servers are very knowledgeable and happy to recommend from more than 100 specialty wines, beers and single-malt drinks.”

Twice a month, the wine bar offers an in-house wine tasting. Customers may sign up at the restaurant, by phone or via the restaurant’s website.

The restaurant also features live music every Tuesday through Sunday from 8 to 11 p.m.

Formaggio Wine Bar

2919 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 106, Honolulu
739-7719
Monday–Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-midnight
Friday–Saturday, 5:30 p.m-1 a.m.
Sunday, 5-11 p.m.