A champion champignon

Columns What's for Lunch?

June 29, 2014

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

Burger fans, your favorite burger has some competition.

What’s on it, you ask? It’s loaded with buttery avocado, caramelized onions, melted mozzarella, slightly spicy arugula, fresh tomato slices and a sauce verte of aromatic herbs.

Without bread a burger is just a bunch of random ingredients. This one makes sense, sandwiched between the thick slices of a telera roll, fluffy on the inside yet sturdy enough to sop up any juices.

And how is the patty prepared? Well, first it’s marinated in balsamic vinegar for complexity and a bit of tang. Then it’s roasted until it’s firm, but still tender.

What’s not to love about this flavorful burger? Well, there is one thing. The meat. Why? Because there is none.

Now, wait a minute, carnivores. Please give this burger a try before you deem it blasphemous. The Portobello Sandwich ($14) is a masterpiece, and it’s not just for vegetarians.

The burger (aka sandwich) is one of the items on Brasserie Du Vin’s revamped lunch menu specifically designed for those pressed for time, but still seeking a tranquil sit-down lunch. With its European feel, complete with a lush courtyard, Du Vin has plenty of tranquility to go around, even in the heart of the city.

If portobello mushrooms aren’t your thing — no judgements here — try another one of the other various lunch offerings. French favorites, such as onion soup, baked brie and nicoise salad abound, but the classics are also here. With Du Vin’s spin, of course.

“I think a lot of the French techniques come down to the idea of doing things well and not overdoing them,” explains day manager Leilani Stein of the brasserie’s approach to food, both French and otherwise. “You don’t need fanciness, you just need to present good quality things in a simple, concise manner.”

This idea aptly applies to Du Vin’s selection of salads. Classic Cobb Salad ($12) has all the fixings: locally grown baby romaine, applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, blue cheese crumbles, hard boiled egg, diced tomatoes and blue cheese dressing. Grilled Salmon Salad ($18) features the pink-fleshed fish on a bed of mixed greens with Ho Farms’ tomatoes, cucumbers, capers and herbed creme fraiche dressing. Both are delicately prepared.

Craving some hot comfort food? Fish and Chips ($14) delivers. Dunk the flaky beer-battered cod in malt vinegar or house-made remoulade chock full of diced pickles. “Fish and chips is one of those things that’s hard to find made well,” says Stein. “This one melts in your mouth.”

Brasserie Du Vin

1115 Bethel St., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Dinner: 4 p.m.-closing, Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m.
Closed on Sundays

Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, HI 96813

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