The best of both worlds at Formaggio

Digest On the Menu

January 4, 2015

Story By: Phoebe Neel |

Formaggio Wine Bar is an adventure in opposites: Casual, yet classy; high-style delicious, yet affordable; adventurous, yet accessible. A perfect location for a date or ladies’ night out, this intimate wine bar indulges the senses and provides the perfect foil for great conversation.

“A lot of married women come here for a night out,” says manager Niraj Maskey. “They say that in other bars, they run the risk of getting hit on and being bothered all night, but here they feel safe to drink wine together and talk story. ”

As the atmosphere is exceptional, so is the food. While the name may be Italian, Formaggio borrows from the best of cuisines across the globe. The executive chef from Saipan dabbles in delicacies from Italy, France, Nepal, Korea, Japan and more. From Nepalese Chicken Curry ($14.99) to Boneless Short Ribs in Red Wine ($15.99), there are upscale offerings to please any palate.

“Crispy Pork Belly Taco is the most popular,” says Maskey. While the prices largely befit the quality of the establishment, the happy hour menu offers dishes at a steal, ranging from $4.99 to $8.99. Wild Mushroom Pizza, normally $14.75, is offered on the happy hour menu for only $5.

Happy hour runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and again from 10 to 11 p.m., the perfect time to dip into Formaggio’s wine menu. Five different wines are offered at $5 a glass, roughly half of their usual price. Outside of happy hour, Formaggio makes its extensive wine menu available for exploration by offering 2-ounce pours. Diners can mix and match 2-ounce pours to create their own custom flights of wine — the best way to explore a particular region or taste sensation that’s captured their fancy.

To sweeten the atmosphere, Formaggio also offers complimentary late-night live music, featuring 14 different musicians, who play various styles of music ranging from contemporary covers to jazz and classical rock. Tuesday through Saturday, musicians play tableside from 8 to 11 pm. It’s the perfect sidekick to such a savory, sensual dining experience.

Like its food, Formaggio excels in many different arenas, turning the contradictory into the complementary.

Formaggio Wine Bar

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 106
Monday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-midnight
Friday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sunday, 5-11 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96826

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best