Where bon appetit means wining, dining

Columns Lite Bites

August 31, 2014

Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Pairing great food with the right wine takes skill and talent, resulting in a harmonious culinary masterpiece. At Brasserie Du Vin in Downtown Honolulu, the food not only tastes good, it’s created with wine in mind.

“What we do special here is we make the food and the wine go together,” says general manager David Comfort. “We started as a wine bar (eight years ago) and became a French restaurant. Every dish is created to go with wine, and our servers are all trained (to help you select the right wine).

“We have an amazing wine list of more than 240 wines. You will not walk into any store and see what we have, so it’s very unique.”

On the appetizer menu, you’ll want to try its signature Baked Brie ($16) featuring a warm, golden puff pastry stuffed with pecans and dried cranberries, and topped with local Manoa honey. As for the wine, Comfort suggests a buttery Chardonnay because of the creaminess of this dish.

Also popular is Fish and Chips ($14), which is made with a yummy, flaky, buttery codfish, fried in beer batter, and served over pommes frites seasoned with a mix of parsley, cilantro and salt. It’s also served with malt vinegar on the side, as well as a house-made remoulade. For wine, Comfort recommends a dry Riesling because of the creamy, spicy mustard remoulade.

Brasserie Du Vin also is known for its seafood, so it’s no surprise the Moules Frites (regular $18, large $24) is another customer favorite. A dish commonly served in Marseille and Nice, along the French Riviera, Moules Frites consists of flavorful mussels steamed in white wine, garlic and herbs. “They’re awesome,” says Comfort. “Our mussels are served fresh, not frozen. It’s flown in from Penn Cove, Washington. For wine, it’s a shellfish, so you’d want to go with a Sauvignon Blanc.”

While the wines suggested for these three appetizers are all white wine pairings, Comfort notes beer also is a good option.

In the kitchen, sous chef Daniel Kawamoto has taken over executive chef duties as of last week, with exciting menu updates on the horizon. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kawamoto graduated from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and spent two years as an apprentice for French master chef Patrick Farjas. Prior to joining Brasserie Du Vin, Kawamoto worked at Hoakalei and Aulani in Hawaii, and restaurants and country clubs on the Mainland.

“I’m trained in French, but I do contemporary cuisine,” shares Kawamoto. “So clean flavors, letting the product speak for themselves. Here, our emphasis is wine, so everything here is wine-friendly.”

Guests also will enjoy Du Vin’s periodic wine dinners (prices vary) or beer dinners ($50), which feature four course meals with wine or beer pairings, respectively. Live music starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 9 p.m. on Saturdays. Indoor and outdoor seating are available, plus there’s a cask room popular for private events. Located across the street from Hawaii Theatre, parking is available on nearby streets and Chinatown municipal lots, or valet after 5 p.m. at Mark’s Garage.

Brasserie Du Vin

1115 Bethel St.
Lunch, Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dinner, Monday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to closing

Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best