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Show-Stopping Beef

Ono, You Know

August 5, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu |

Stage Restaurant’s executive chef Ron de Guzman presents Beef Wellington ($42) to Dining Out editor Ellise Kakazu.

Once upon a time, I was a vegetarian who steered clear from beef. But those days are long gone, as I now welcome any form of meat in my diet.

In fact, I usually eat a juicy burger or steak once a week to satisfy my cravings. Although, this week is a different story, I decided to treat myself to something much more elaborate — beef Wellington.

What is beef Wellington? For those who may not know, it is a popular European dish that usually features a tender cut of steak, pate and duxelles (a mushroom mixture) wrapped in a delightful puff pastry.

Since this dish is quite intricate and hard to come by, I decided to visit some of the classiest spots on the island to take my beef experience to new heights.

So pinkies up, it is time for a fancy feast!

ALL IN THE DETAILS

Stage Restaurant located in Honolulu Design Center presents a stunning and ethereal show for both your eyes and taste buds.

Stage Restaurant’s Beef Wellington ($42)

Executive chef Ron de Guzman, a passionate local boy turned esteemed chef, provides “world inspired cuisine” with local flair for Stage’s guests. Some of his creations found on the restaurant’s exquisite menu are Graham Cracker Calamari, Chawanmushi, Duck ala ‘Lilikoi’, Kauai Shrimp Garlic Scampi and Twice Cooked Braised Pork Belly.

“He’s an amazing, creative chef,” notes Michael Moore, general manager.

De Guzman is a culinary magician, as he transforms plates into masterpieces in no time. One dish that is sure to ooh and ahh guests is Beef Wellington ($42), which features a sous vide beef tenderloin topped with a Truffle-Mushroom Duxelle wrapped in a puff pastry. Chef plates the perfectly cooked (typically served medium-rare) Wellington with a beautiful trail of Alii mushrooms, asparagus and Truffle Dust. There’s also a flavor-packed demi-glace, which takes a couple of days to make, served on the side.

Honestly, the dish almost is too pretty to eat, but the aromas will entice you to quickly take a bite.

Dining at Stage Restaurant truly will give visitors an experience unlike any other with its magnificent furniture and decorations, impressive menu items and excellent service.

“People aren’t really coming here to start their evening, they’re coming here for their evening,” notes Moore.

MAJESTIC MEAT

With its regal ambience and vast menu filled with luxurious delights, Hy’s Steak House provides a dining experience fit for kings and queens.

Visitors’ royal meals can consist of items like Split Alaskan King Crab Legs, Dry-Aged Duroc Pork Tomahawk with Mango Chutney or Bone In Ribeye cooked on the restaurant’s signature kiawe wood copper broiler — Hy’s offers just about everything from the land and sea.

Hy’s Steak House’s Prime Filet of Beef Wellington ($58)

Since there is a bounty of menu options available, every member of the clan may dine at Hy’s Steak House. Manager Jonah Galase notes customers even can reserve a private room, which can hold up to 25 diners.

Hy’s has seen countless families, friends and couples within its beautiful walls, as it has been serving patrons impeccable meals since 1976. While the century has changed, the restaurant’s service has not — many of Hy’s employees have been working at the establishment for decades.

“Our goal everyday is to create lifelong guests,” notes Galase, who credits Hy’s success to its senior staff.

Considering myself one of its lifelong guests, my goal is to try every one of the restaurant’s dishes within in my lifetime. And I’m one step closer to achieving that dream, as I recently tried the steakhouse’s Prime Filet of Beef Wellington ($58) for the first time.

Hy’s version of beef Wellington stays true to the classic European recipe, as all of the components that usually make up a Wellington are present. However, something that makes the restaurant’s take a cut above the rest is the meat tucked inside the puff pastry. Galase explains the “filet in itself speaks,” as it provides a unique flavor, which is created by placing it on a kiawe wood broiler.

Biting into the dish’s flaky, golden exterior, one will find the ever-so-tender filet topped with pate and mushroom duxelles — which consists of finely minced mushrooms and sauteed shallots — to be an absolute delight. Hy’s also serves a demi-glace, infused with black truffle, with the beef Wellington to add another layer of flavor to the dish.

“It’s a decadent dish,” says Galase. “It’s one of those classics that you don’t see on menus anymore. If you do see it, it’s a special. You have to have experience to make this (beef Wellington).”

Galase notes most customers look to a glass of wine to pair with this dish. However, he explains, a bottle of Yamahai-Junmaishu ($30 per bottle), a sturdy and firm body sake, is a great way to complement the dish.

“This one (Yamahai-Junmaishu) actually is geared to something like a beef Wellington,” says Galase. “It’s a great out-of-the-box pairing.”

Just like that, poof — our magical beef-filled eating spree has come and gone. But don’t worry, my Dining Out friends, next week will bring another exciting venture filled with sweet treats.

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