Waking Up With Wolfgang’s Breakfast StunnersCover Story Features
January 5, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Fresh off the New Year’s Eve bustle — and busiest day of the year — Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener welcomed 2016 by joining “The Breakfast Club” and adding the most important meal of the day to its menu Jan. 1.
The new selection of dishes is an exciting development for the Waikiki restaurant, as it is one of more than 10 New York-spawned steak houses worldwide that make up founder and restaurateur Wolfgang Zwiener’s family of first-class eateries, and yet it is the first to launch a full breakfast program.
But when considering the success of the 6-year-old, sun-kissed Kalakaua Avenue branch, it is in fact not so surprising that it will lead the way in introducing the breakfast menu. “This is the busiest Wolfgang’s of all the locations,” says general manager Bill Nickerson, who notes that last year’s earnings drew in $24 million for the establishment.
Zwiener himself is in town for the unveiling of the breakfast menu, which at its core remains true to the restaurant’s culinary mission. As Nickerson explains, “We didn’t want to lose our focus of being a steak house. It’s still putting our steaks front and center, and I think we’ll be able to say that it’s the ultimate ‘steak and eggs.'”
From 6 to 11 a.m. daily, patrons still may cut into the eatery’s signature dry-aged USDA Prime meat — the highest-ranked steak in the states — which is used throughout the menu, from superlative Steak & Eggs options right down to a gourmet Loco Moco ($14.95) prepared with a house-made Prime-beef hamburger patty, sunny-side-up eggs and rich mushroom brown gravy. “We feel like we can say that we’re a true Prime house,” shares Nickerson, who was part of the opening team of the Royal Hawaiian Center eatery.
The charred and caramelized cuts Wolfgang’s is famous for — such as show-stopping Porterhouse ($115.95 for two, $172.95 for three, $230.95 for four), Prime N.Y. Sir-loin ($60.95) and local-favorite Rib Eye ($60.95) — are given the royal treatment on the breakfast menu, as they’re served with two eggs any style and crisp-edged German potatoes that are seasoned to true perfection.
Guests also may dine on a well-curated list of classic entrees that hits all the right notes with benedicts, omelettes, fresh fruit, an acai bowl and more to choose from.
Maryland Crab Cake Benedict ($29.95) is among the highlights, with a creamy yet spiced-up mix of plump crab meat generously topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce on an English muffin.
The restaurant knows how to please its regulars as well, seeing as it took the main components of its popular Wolfgang’s Salad — thick bacon, shrimp, tomatoes and onions – and put them into an unforgettable Wolfgang Omelette ($18.95).
And even when catering to sweet morning cravings, there’s always room for some meaty goodness at this establishment. Case in point: Cinnamon-speckled French Toast ($13.95), which starts the day off right with thick slices of fluffy pullman bread and fresh berries, is balanced with burly slices of savory pork-shoulder bacon.
Nickerson notes that in taking a steak-house approach to breakfast, Wolfgang’s aims to produce a select number of dishes excellently and consistently, rather than having page upon page of average menu items. But even within this refined menu of offerings, there is room, of course, for some delicious surprises. Sweet-and-savory Chicken and Waffles ($14.95), for instance, never tasted as good as it does in the eatery’s elegant setting, and a Japanese-style Cho-Syoku breakfast with miso soup, grilled fish of the day, tsukemono, tamago roll and steamed rice is ideal for both local and tourist clientelle.
The general manager urges customers to top off their meal with the mother of all breakfast cocktails, Wolfgang’s Signature Bloody Mary ($24.95). It’s mixed with over-the-top garnishes of jumbo shrimp and a mini hamburger slider.
As more and more patrons try the new breakfast menu, Nicker-son hopes to see it expand to other Wolfgang’s locations.
EXECUTIVE CHEF DIEGO PACURUCO takes the reins on Wolfgang’s Steakhouse’s new breakfast menu. His extensive experience includes being trained with the company in New York.
Royal Hawaiian Center
2301 Kalakaua Ave., Building C, Third Level, Waikiki
Daily, 6 a.m.-11:30 p.m..