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Chew On This

Straight from Italy’s rustic kitchen

By Michelle Lee Photos By Tony Grillo
July 6, 2014

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With more than 200 locations worldwide, the Italian eatery, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, operates two locations among the Hawaiian Islands in Honolulu and Waikoloa. Famous for fare that embraces both the traditional and modern aspects of Italian cooking, Macaroni Grill’s newly revamped menu is sure to please.

“Running a restaurant is a huge responsibility that I take to heart,” explains executive chef Nawai Kekoolani. “As a chef, my primary concern is taking care of my customers’ palates, with flavors that are innovative yet harmonious with one another.”

For the best of everything, Mama’s Trio ($21) makes for a smart choice.

“This is one of our most popular dishes because it comes with lasagna bolognese, chicken Parmesan and mushroom cannelloni,” says Kekoolani. “Although it is an entree, it is very shareable because of its multiple components.”

Those hungering for some protein will enjoy Chicken Under a Brick ($21), a simmering dish of sage-roasted chicken pan-seared twice over and served alongside seasonable vegetables and roasted potatoes. “The value is terrific, which holds true for the entire menu,” says Chef. “Customer satisfaction is very important to us, so we make sure our portions are generous and ingredients of the highest quality, to provide that quintessential Italian, family-dining experience.”

With the eatery’s recent menu revival, diners can look forward to instant favorites, such as Tuscan Ribeye ($25), a 12-ounce serving of high-grade, Angus beef topped with Tuscan butter and roasted asparagus with potatoes. “Although we may not be a steakhouse, people constantly give us praise for the way we prepare our beef,” explains Kekoolani. “With the Tuscan Ribeye, the Tuscan butter comes full of herbs and garlic, which gives the steak a uniquely Italian feel.”

To treat your appetite even further, the restaurant recommends diners inquire about daily and weekly specials.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Ala Moana Center, Hookipa Terrace
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
356-8300
Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.