Delivering The ‘Wow’ FactorCover Story Features
July 23, 2017
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Local diners feel right at home when enjoying the Romano’s Macaroni Grill experience as the extraordinary tastes of Italian home-style cooking are served daily in a comfortable setting.
Situated conveniently within Ala Moana Center’s inviting Hookipa Terrace, the skilled culinary heart-of-the-house squad and service experts at Romano’s
Macaroni Grill strive to “Wow” diners via a memorable experience. The menu offers classic comfort food, and the cuisine speaks for itself — simple seasonings and familiar flavors create a perfect balance to satisfy any diner.
“We focus on crisp, clean flavors. And balance is very important,” says executive chef Nawai Kekoolani when describing Macaroni Grill’s popular menu and hearty portions.
The spacious restaurant also includes a full bar and relaxing lounge setting with ample seating options flanked by televisions airing the latest sporting events. Whether stopping in for pau hana drinks and pupus, or enjoying a family dinner with loved ones, diners are destined to be wowed.
Tuscan Ribeye ($27.95) is a popular choice among local diners and offers a stellar 12-ounce cut of certified Angus beef. The succulent steak is topped with Tuscan rosemary-infused butter and is served with roasted potatoes and asparagus — a hard deal to beat as Kekoolani notes that most steak houses serve comparable dishes a la carte with sides only available as add-ons.
“It’s hard to go wrong with the ribeye — the marbling on it is superb, and the flavor is outstanding,” says Kekoolani, who previously served as regional corporate chef for Ruth’s Chris Steak House — Macaroni Grill’s sister restaurant. “The ribeye is seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked to perfection and topped off with a compound rosemary butter. You can’t go wrong.”
Seafood and pasta fanatics can get it all with Shrimp Scampi ($22.95). The hearty dish is prepared with sauteed jumbo shrimp, capellini, garlic, rosemary butter and grape tomatoes.
Macaroni Grill also offers a line of Artisan Pizzas, which are hand-crafted Neapolitan-style with the finest ingredients before being baked in a brick oven at 600 degrees. Kekoolani recommends his favorite pizza selection: the Farmhouse ($15.95), a “meat lover’s dream” built with butcher-chopped bacon, prosciutto and pepperoni, along with sauteed spinach, garlic, fresh mozzarella, fonduta and Parmesan cheeses.
Diners also are quickly discovering the stellar Lunch Combo Menu available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (excluding holidays) at Macaroni Grill. Guests may select two items for $12 or three choices for $16, and options include soup or salad, grilled panini sandwiches and pasta selections. Popular combinations include Caesar Salad with Sausage Rigatoni or Mixed Greens with Turkey Panini ($12 apiece).
“We’re here to take care of our guests and provide the best possible experience,” adds Kekoolani, a father of four who recognizes the importance of overall value when dining. “We have to adapt to our guests, and will do whatever it takes. Our goal is to provide exceptional value, and we’ve done that by keeping the menu fresh and increasing the portions of certain items, including desserts, so you have something to take home.”
Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.