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Three courses of true Italian flavor

By Yu Shing Ting Photos By Bodie Collins
July 26, 2015

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Experience a taste of Italy in the heart of Waikiki at Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar.

Conveniently located on the first floor of Royal Hawaiian Center, Il Lupino has become a favorite for visitors and locals seeking authentic Italian cuisine. Created by famed restaurateur Wolfgang Zwiener and his son Peter Zwiener, the restaurant was born from their passion for true Italian food.

Its signature menu items include Polpet-tone Al Pomodoro ($10), featuring a delicious veal, pork and beef patty served with house-made tomato sauce and Parmesan flakes; and Gnocchi Tartufo ($17), consisting of homemade gnocchi, tartuffata, asparagus and truffle cream sauce.

Last month, a new Taste of Italy lunch special was introduced for just $28. It offers a three-course menu of Salumeria, Polpettone Al Pomodoro, and Margherita Pizza or pasta with pomodoro or arrabiata sauce (choice of gnocchi, linguine, spaghetti, tagliatelle, pappardelle, gluten-free riga-toni, penne or bucatini).

The Salumeria sampler includes Prosciutto Di Parma (dry-cured ham from Emilia-Romagna, Italy), Tallegio (semi-soft, smear-ripened cow milk cheese from Milan, Italy) and Salami Toscana (Tuscan pork salami seasoned with garlic and wine).

“These are three of our most popular dishes that we put together in one meal,” notes general manager Heela Mottus. “It’s great for anyone with a big appetite, or if people want to share it, that’s fine too.

“We use local produce combined with authentic Italian meats and cheese. We have our own deli here.

We bring in the aged meats and cheeses from Italy, and it’s sliced fresh to order. Our pastas are hand-made in-house. Also, we bought a special, modern pizza oven from Italy for our pizza.”

Il Lupino is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There also are $10 lunch specials, a weekend brunch menu, a spectacular award-winning wine list and happy hour from noon to 6:30 p.m. daily.

The restaurant also is in the process of opening a mini market-style deli inside, where customers can shop for salumeria and packaged, homemade pasta. “We’re hoping it will be open within the next couple of months,” says Mottus. “And eventually we want to sell our pomodoro sauce, too.”

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar

Royal Hawaiian Center
2233 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki
922-3400
Open daily, breakfast: 7 a.m.-noon, lunch: noon-5 p.m., dinner: 5-10:30 p.m.; happy hour: daily, noon-6:30 p.m.
illupino.com