Eatery feeds appetite for quality dining
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BY ELIMA PANGORANG
When diners walk into a restaurant, more often than not it’s to satisfy their hunger. Well, at Sarento’s at the Top of the Ilikai, not only are customers hungry, but their staff is too.
That is to say, the staff at Sarento’s is “young and hungry” with enthusiasm and open minds, according to general manager Joe DePolis.”Usually (in a restaurant) there is front house and back house. My goal was to break that down and bring cohesiveness, instead of having two different entities,” he says.
After bringing down that barrier and taking steps to care for his staff, DePolis says teamwork and work ethic are at an all time high, so you can bet this positive environment radiates into Sarento’s exquisite dishes.
Osso Buco ($44), one of the eatery’s classic favorites, is a juicy and tender braised veal shank that diners will enjoy much faster than the time it takes to prepare it.
“What we do is we braise it for about four and a half to five hours in a veal stock,” says head chef Chris McAllaster. “We take the sauce that we braise it in, we reduce it and … top the whole dish with it. It’s like all that flavor concentrated to a very potent, almost a demi (glace) that goes over the whole dish.”
Served over saffron and Parmesan risotto, this dish is sure to take your taste buds to a higher level.
Also enjoy small plates — which are not as small as they seem. Local Asparagus ($12) will set your palate off to a great start. Grilled asparagus and prosciutto sit atop a flatbread and arugula base with “citronette” dressing. Pop the yolk of the sunny-side-up egg for a streaming flow of sunshine to light up your dish.
With stunning, panoramic views from Waikiki all the way down to West Oahu, and excellent customer service, the fine cuisine at Sarento’s will not be the only thing to take your breath away.
Sarento’s At The Top Of The Ilikai
Ilikai Hotel & Luxury Suites
1777 Ala Moana Blvd., Waikiki
Sunday-Thursday, dinner: 5:30-9 p.m., bar: 5-10:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, dinner: 5:30-9:30 p.m., bar: 5 p.m.-midnight; happy hour daily in bar and lounge, 5-6:30 p.m., and all night from 5 p.m.-closing Wednesdays and Saturdays