Taking Dining To New HeightsFeatures Inside Feature
December 25, 2016
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Much like its position atop the iconic Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites, Sarento’s is at the top of its culinary game.
Sarento’s blends stellar cuisine and excellent customer service, and with its prime location at the gateway to Waikiki, the popular restaurant — complete with a full bar and lounge — serves up a breathtaking view from 30 floors above the beach. One trip around Sarento’s cozy dining area provides a 360-degree, birds-eye view of Honolulu spanning from Diamond Head to the Koolau Mountains, out to the Waianae range and across the glistening Pacific.
Since 1994, Sarento’s at the Top of the Ilikai has built a popular menu featuring Italian cuisine accented with local flavors and products. For instance, Sarento’s offers its take on Caprese ($12), a flavorful salad featuring fresh burrata mozzarella cheese brought in from California. The cheese’s outer shell is solid mozzarella surrounding a soft, creamy center that complements the locally grown tomatoes paired with fresh basil and arugula. Truffle oil, Hawaiian salt and fresh cracked pepper give the salad an elevated flavor profile, while a balsamic glaze couples with locally grown micro basil to tie all the flavors together.
Osso Buco ($44) is a must-try menu selection at Sarento’s. The braised 22-ounce portion of veal shank is served with Parmesan and saffron risotto and finished with a rich glaze.
“The Osso Buco is one of our signature dishes, and it’s been on the menu since we opened,” says Chris McAllaster, head chef at Sarento’s. “We’re an Italian restaurant, but we also incorporate local products and flavors.”
Grilled Ahi Steak ($38) is another local favorite featuring a 5-ounce portion of fresh ahi served atop creamy Parmesan risotto and accompanied by grilled asparagus, microgreens and a mushroom and shallot agrodolce — a traditional Italian sweet-and-sour sauce. The dish is served with a buttery beurre rouge wine reduction that pairs well with the ahi.
Penne Calabrese ($28) is one of Sarento’s excellent pasta creations incorporating house-made pork sausage served with eggplant, fresh Roma tomato and basil. The whole dish is topped with goat cheese.
The restaurant offers nightly happy hour specials in its bar and lounge area from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and all night on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In addition to multiple drink specials and “small plate” dining selections, diners receive 40 percent off any menu item with the purchase of a signature cocktail during happy hour — all while enjoying live music and taking in a picturesque sunset.
“We’ve hosted everything from business functions to anniversaries, and people come from around the world to enjoy the amazing view and the fine-dining experience,” McAllaster says. “Our happy hour is also a great pau hana option after a long day at work.”
Sarento’s At The Top Of The Ilikai
Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites,
1777 Ala Moana Blvd., Waikiki
Open for dinner nightly from 5:30 to 9 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and 9:30 p.m. (Friday and Saturday); the bar opens at 5 p.m. nightly