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Captivating creations will steal your heart

A La Carte

February 24, 2019

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Onion Gratinee ($9.95)

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.

Baked Lobster “Mac” n Cheese ($17.95)

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.

Caprese Salad ($14.95)

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.

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