Can you feel the love in this bite?
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When lunchtime rolls around or that dinner bell’s ringing, your stomach is more than likely giving you that none-too-subtle signal that it’s ready to be fed. Perhaps it’s in the way of a low growl (if you’re lucky) or even a full-on ferocious howl.
That’s why, when naming his world-renowned trattoria and wine bar Il Lupino — which means “little wolf” in Italian — founder Wolfgang Zwiener was definitely onto something. Presenting diners with gourmet eats that satisfy even the most primal appetites, Il Lupino is ready to tame that wild craving within.
For those looking for an alternative to pasta, and plenty of protein to boot, manager Maria Prioletti suggests Agnello Marinato ($48), featuring a half rack of figand balsamic-marinated Colorado lamb that’s grilled to perfection and topped with a sublime fig and Chianti reduction. Served with savory roasted Yukon potatoes, the entree is an elegant work of art both aesthetically and gastronomically.
And what would an authentic Italian meal be without some pasta? Prioletti shares what makes Il Lupino’s noodles so top-notch. “We have a chef who comes in early every single morning just to make our pasta noodles fresh from scratch,” she says.
That extra effort shines through from the very first bite of Gameroni alla Siciliana ($25), showcasing sautéed jumbo shrimp amid an infusion of olive oil, garlic, white wine, chili and clam broth. Served with the aforementioned primo linguine, the al-dente dish is finished with fresh basil. “You can feel the love in every bite,” assures Prioletti.
Linguine del Pescatore ($30) also highlights that famous handmade linguine, blanketed by a nautical menagerie of delicacies, including sautéed clams, jumbo scallops, shrimp, calamari and fresh fish lightly kissed by a fragrant tomato and white wine sauce.
As Prioletti looks on with a warm and knowing smile, she shares one of the secrets to Il Lupino’s success. “The reason everything is so delicious and different here is that all our ingredients are fresh. We get our produce daily — locally sourced as much as possible.”
Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar
Royal Hawaiian Center, Building B,
Level 1 2233 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki
Open daily, breakfast: 7 a.m.-noon; lunch: noon-5 p.m.; dinner: 5-10:30 p.m.; happy hour: noon-6:30 p.m.