Hungry like the wolf

Columns Veg'n Out

August 17, 2014

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Dangerous. Untamed. Terrifying. These are the first words that usually come to mind when the term “wolf” is heard. Yet, luckily for Honolulu diners, there is a new (and much more welcome) wolf in town. Delicious, decadent and most definitely a delight you run to, and not away from, “Il Lupino” (translated literally as “Little Wolf”) is landing local favor far and wide.

Apparently, “Il Lupino” is the nickname restaurant founder Wolfgang Zweiner was given during his tender years learning his trade in Italy — a season of life that launched a lifetime goal of opening his own authentic Italian eatery. Which he did, in 2010, alongside his son Peter.

“Wolfgang and Peter Zwiener wanted to combine the informality of a traditional trattoria with a touch of fine dining,” Il Lupino representative Mona Wood explains. “The restaurant has a sophisticated, yet comfortable, atmosphere, with options to dine on our lanai or indoors. We are located at the heart of Royal Hawaiian Center in the Royal Grove, so diners on the lanai have a view of the gardens, pond, and part of the historical Royal Hawaiian Hotel.”

Established with the main ingredients of passion and panache, Il Lupino is a perfect spot to dine with that special someone, or to simply enjoy a mouthwatering meal that never disappoints.

This Italian-inspired eatery offers it all. Even vegetarians view the menu here and have smiles spread across their faces at its near-endless veggie options. In fact, each item is so good it is hard to choose.

First up is Zucchini e Melanzane Pizze ($19). Baked to perfection in an authentic brick oven, Il Lupino expertly presents this piping hot, thin-crust pizza pie, topped with zesty tomato sauce, Reggiano cheese, oven-roasted zucchini, eggplant and bell peppers (also available for takeout).

Acai Smoothie ($10) is a refreshing, cool treat on a summer day in Hawaii nei. This healthy drink, infused with gelato acai and antioxidant-rich fresh berries, is sure to hit the spot.

Wood also attests to the acai’s attributes, saying, “I actually go into withdrawal if I miss a day without one. I haven’t found another acai smoothie I like better than ours, and I’ve tried them all!”

This week, in search for truly authentic Italian cuisine, I’m getting in line alongside Oahu’s hungry diners. Watch out little wolf, “We’re on the hunt, we’re after you!”

Contact Andy Beth Miller at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar

Royal Hawaiian Center
2233 Kalakaua Ave., Suite 110, Honolulu
(Breakfast) Monday– Thursday, 6-11 a.m. and Friday–Sunday, 6 a.m.-noon; (Lunch) Daily, noon-5 p.m.; (Happy Hour) Daily, 4-6:30 p.m.; (Dinner) Sunday–Thursday, 5-10:30 p.m. and Friday–Saturday, 5-11:30 p.m.

Royal Hawaiian Center, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best