Captivating creations will steal your heartA La Carte
February 24, 2019
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but couples seeking the perfect year-round spot for a lovers’ rendezvous will find their heart’s desire at Formaggio Wine Bar.
“It’s an intimate, dark setting, very romantic,” says Niraj Maskey, who owns Formaggio with his brother-in-law, Anwesh Singh. “It’s a really nice place to have a date.”
Located on Market City Shopping Center’s lower level, tucked between Fujioka Wine Times and Kaimuki Storage and facing Kaimuki High, Formaggio is a gem of a discovery. This cozy hideaway seems charmingly reminiscent of some Loire Valley wine cellar.
The ambience is delightful, especially because most nights feature live music provided by talented local musicians. Sonny Silva and Friends play jazz here once a week, making the restaurant the best place to spend a Monday evening.
With a judiciously chosen wine list — some 45 or 50 available by the glass — and a fine selection of appetizers, salads, and entrees as accompaniments, Formaggio is a great locale to share an evening with someone special.
Formaggio’s menu features appetizers like Onion Gratinee ($9.95), satisfying and smoky, topped with grilled bread and melted Gruyere, and Caprese Salad ($14.95), which comes with made-in-house pesto consisting of basil and macadamia nuts, and a vinaigrette made with aged balsamic vinegar.
From a list of entrees that includes Crispy Pork Belly Tacos, Kobe Burger, and Nepalese Chicken Curry, it’s hard to select a favorite. But the decadent Baked Lobster “Mac” n Cheese ($17.95) is very popular, as it is made with bowtie pasta, chunks of lobster and lobster cream.
Formaggio’s first happy hour begins at opening and lasts until 7 p.m. — wines by the glass are 20 percent off. A “reverse” late-night happy hour happens from 10 to 11 p.m. daily, except Sundays. Private parties are warmly welcomed, call for details.