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Formaggio Wine Bar

Step Up to the Plate

November 25, 2018

Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: PESTO-SHRIMP LINGUINI ($24.95)

Tucked away in the lower level of Market City Shopping Center, coming in from the Kaimuki Avenue entrance, is a delectable hidden gem serving up French-Italian cuisine and indulgent wines.

Enter Formaggio Wine Bar, a charming and quaint eatery that is enormously popular for its stellar happy hour deals, exquisite bites and delightful entertainment.

When brother-in-laws Anwesh Singh and Niraj Maskey, took over the restaurant nearly seven years ago, they aimed to provide a space for diners to hang out, relax and enjoy quality yet affordable wine and cuisine.

“We have a little bit of French and a little bit of Italian, with pastas, paninis and escargot. But we also have dishes like tacos and local food like the loco moco,” says Maskey. “One of the newest additions to our team is chef Eric Monger who added a few signature dishes to the menu.”

Join in on the tastiness Monday through Saturday and also take a bite out of the happy hour fun. “Our happy hour is daily from open to 7 p.m. with 20 percent off the wine list and selected food items under $10,” explains Maskey. Guests can also catch live music on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

“We started a new venture and opened a restaurant in the UH campus food court, so we had to cutback our hours here,” shares Singh. “We also plan to open another Nepalese and Indian restaurant in town, too. But we want to remind people that we are still here and they are all welcomed to come in and enjoy!

“We are especially popular for ladies’ night gatherings,” says Singh.

The restaurant is located at the back side of Market City in between Fujioka’s Wine Times and Kaimuki Self Storage.

The perfect pair

Alfredo Bread ($9.95) baked with pancetta, prosciutto and truffle oil is a popular accompaniment to any item on Formaggio’s menu.

Super sides

Shrimp Cocktail ($8.95 for four, $12.95 for six) is a nice treat to spice any meal up, as chef Eric Monger says it is “a bit on the Hispanic side so it’s heavy with hot sauce, as well as lime and lemon juice and horseradish.”

Movin’ Up

While these items currently are specials, they will soon be available on the restaurant’s regular menu because of their growing popularity.

Yes, please!

This linguini dish is a pleasurable entree to dig into that chef Eric Monger shares is a “Northern Italian dish with a basic lemon beurre blanc and garlic-flashed tomatoes.”

Flavors galore

A generous count of jumbo shrimp is tossed in a mouth-watering pesto sauce with Asiago cheese and fresh basil.

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