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A Food Affair

Ono, You Know

January 27, 2019

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Editor Ellise Kakazu enjoys Formaggio Wine Bar’s Lobster Bisque ($13.95)

Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and passionate greeting cards are quickly filling stores’ shelves in preparation for the most loved and hated day of February — Valentine’s Day.

For many, Feb. 14 is a time to show their other half just how much they love and adore him or her with gifts and sweet words. And for others, the day is a blazing reminder of their current single status.

Whether one has a Valentine or not this year, I believe all should celebrate the upcoming season of love with a romantic meal.

A “romantic meal” doesn’t necessarily mean you need someone gazing upon you at the other end of the dinner table. Rather, I define it as a culinary experience that excites the senses with tantalizing textures, alluring tastes and luxurious ingredients, leaving you enamored and fulfilled.

One dish that does just that is lobster bisque. Creamy, luscious and intensely flavored, lobster bisque captures my heart in just one sip.

If you too want to get swept off your feet by mouthwatering bisque, I suggest visiting Formaggio Wine Bar and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, as both offer lobster bisque in a charming atmosphere.

WINE AND DINE

Everything about Formaggio Wine Bar oozes romance and wonder, from its candlelit tables to its rustic decor. I can honestly say I was captivated by its unique, almost den-like ambience from the moment I stepped through Formaggio’s doors.

A closer look at Formaggio Wine Bar’s Lobster Bisque

Taking a peek at the restaurant’s just-as-intriguing menu, one will find items such as Foie Gras Crostini, Nepalese Chicken Curry and Escargot Bleu. According to owner Niraj Maskey, Formaggio serves up European-style and fusion cuisine, providing a range of flavors to please any palate.

With many options on the table, it can be hard to choose, but luckily, I knew exactly what I wanted during my latest visit — Lobster Bisque ($13.95).

Lobster Bisque is an item that requires much time and care to create. Maskey explains the chef first boils lobster, celery, garlic, onions, tomatoes and carrots together for about two hours to create a flavorful stock. Then, when the stock is ready, the chef takes the liquid and adds in heavy cream, lobster paste and a roux (flour and butter) to obtain the soup’s creamy consistency. Once it reaches perfection, the soup is poured into a bowl and topped with a crisp crostini and parsley flakes — guests can also have freshly cracked black pepper added to the bowl upon request.

Rich and flavorful, this decadent soup definitely delighted my senses.

Formaggio Wine Bar’s Wild Mushroom pizza ($16.95)

For those looking to keep the good times flowing, Maskey suggests pairing a glass of Chalk Hill Chardonnay or Albert Bichot Pinot Noir with the bisque — Formaggio offers about 50 types of wine. And for guests wanting a bite to complement the soup, he recommends ordering Wild Mushroom ($16.95) pizza, a pie topped with Alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and white truffle oil.

With its exquisite eats and intimate atmosphere, Formaggio Wine Bar will have guests falling in love any time of the year.

What’s more, Formaggio’s dine-in customers will receive a complimentary house dessert (one per couple) on Valentine’s Day. Guests can also look forward to a selection of discounted bottles of wine on Feb. 14 — can it get any sweeter?

PRETTY SIGHTS AND NICE BITES

Picture perfect views, swaying palm trees, and a sea of restaurants and shops make a trip to Waikiki a necessity when seeking a night of romance and excitement.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse’s Lobster Bisque ($10.95). PHOTO COURTESY WOLFGANG’S STEAKHOUSE

Strolling through the lively streets of Waikiki, one is bound to work up an appetite. This is where Wolfgang’s Steakhouse takes on the role of hunky hero and saves the day by offering up a bounty of splendid eats.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, located in Royal Hawaiian Center, serves lavish items like Rib Eye Steak, Tomahawk Steak and Seafood Platter, all of which are carefully prepared and cooked to perfection. On a mission to provide guests with nothing short of a top-notch experience, Wolfgang’s also offers an amazing Wine Spectator award-winning wine list.

“We try to make everything a luxurious experience at Wolfgang’s,” says Bill Nickerson, general manager.

From appetizer to dessert, every dish on Wolfgang’s menu will exude luxury, including Lobster Bisque ($10.95), a heavenly soup flavored by carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, whole black pepper, white and sherry wine, tomato paste, heavy cream, roux (flour and clarified butter), salt and, of course, lobster.

Wolfgang’s Lobster Bisque has been on the restaurant’s menu for about a decade, and has earned a spot in many diners’ hearts.

“Our Lobster Bisque is extremely popular, and we often sell out,” notes Nickerson.

“Delicious, creamy, flavorful and filling,” as Nickerson describes, Lobster Bisque is a dish that cannot be missed.

As this lobster lovin’ fest comes to a halt, I hope you are inspired to fully embrace the upcoming holiday (regardless of your current relationship status) by indulging in dishes that will make you fall in love.

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