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A Little Piece of Italy in Waikiki

By Jaimie Kim Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
February 9, 2014

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There is one thing I can never resist giving into: Italian food. Pasta is, after all, one of my main food groups (the other two being anything and everything).

Tucked away on the lower level of Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki, Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar serves up some seriously good eats in an elegant atmosphere that will set the mood for any intimate gathering.

Currently on the restaurant’s menu of specials, Tagliatelle ai Tartufi con Gamberoni ($31) features highly sought-after flavors of truffles in a cream sauce that complements house-made tagliatelle cooked to al dente perfection. The dish also includes three pieces of jumbo shrimp, along with black truffle shavings to top it off.

And please remember to save room for dessert because Il Lupino offers a sweet Il Gran Piatto Del Dolci ($25), allowing diners to choose any three items from the dessert menu to sample. Popular selections include Tiramisu; the daily selection of Quattro di-Cannoli (flavors such as pistachio, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry are available) served with berries; and Torta Di Ricotta.

General manager Heela Mottus says Tiramisu is a best-seller. It’s made with Disaronno and lady fingers, along with homemade whipped cream and mascarpone cheese. Espresso adds to the dish’s signature flavor, as well as the cocoa powder topping.

Torta Di Ricotta features cream cheese, ricotta cheese, vanilla, sugar and an orange zest atop a graham cracker crust. The result is a light and flavorful cheesecake, enhanced by a berry compote that’s added to the final product.

For a genuine Italian experience, Il Lupino also offers meat and cheese pairings with its extensive wine collection.

Reservations are recommended, especially for upcoming Valentine’s Day.

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar

Royal Hawaiian Center, Bldg. B, Level 1
2233 Kalakaua Ave.
922-3400
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Happy Hour: Thursday-Sunday, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.