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Eatery renovates to expand flavors, space

A La Carte

January 28, 2018

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Despacito ($13)

It’s been 10 years since Stage Restaurant opened its doors in the iconic Honolulu Design Center, offering guests a unique dining experience in a casually elegant setting. Now, the restaurant will undergo renovations this spring, tentatively closing April 1-19.

“There are multiple stories that could be told at Stage — the furniture store aspect of it, the clever name that is Stage — but I think the story we have not told clearly enough is the culinary story,” says general manager Dusty Grable.

Carrot Cake ($13)

The renovations will include a redesign of the kitchen, which will almost double in size, allowing for more efficiency. “Our kitchen services Stage Restaurant and (the bar and) lounge, Amuse Wine Bar and Cupola Gallery, our private events space,” Grable said.

He shares that with the amount of work that goes into each dish, space makes a difference. “Expanding the kitchen out and giving it the room and tools, we believe we can execute at the level and efficiency to better serve our guests,” he said.

Amuse Wine Bar also will expand to include Stage Bar and Lounge, resulting in one beautiful bar space for drinks, a bar menu and live music.

Ho Farms Watermelon Radish Salad ($12)

The interior also will get a facelift with new flooring, lighting, tables and furniture.

As for the menu, executive chef Ron de Guzman says it’ll be the same concept — the finest flavors from all over with an emphasis on local ingredients. Recently, the eatery has been offering specials to test dishes for the new menu.

There’s Crispy Skin Salmon ($32) with New Zealand King Salmon, as well as the new Ho Farms Watermelon Radish Salad ($12), a medley of watermelon radish and homemade spicy ponzu, topped with crumbled blue cheese, kaiware sprouts, Ho Farms tomato and bubu arare.

For dessert, try Despacito ($13), a Mexican-inspired treat with tres leches cotton cheesecake, Margarita coulis, caramel sauce, homemade roasted corn ice cream and more. Or there’s deconstructed Carrot Cake ($13) with carrot sponge, buckwheat crumble and a black currant puree, along with matcha mascarpone cream, Cookie Butter powder, cocoa nibs, butterscotch caramel ice cream and spicy Ho Farms carrot compote.

To best experience the eatery’s passion for its cuisine, Grable suggests the signature Tasting Menu.

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