Fine wine, gourmet food pair up

Columns What's Cooking?

May 26, 2015

Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Bodie Collins

One taste of the carefully created menu and expansive wine list at Formaggio Wine Bar makes it clear why the Market City eatery has garnered so many awards. The small, but comfortable restaurant features more than 80 wines by the glass and food designed to complement the pairing.

There is no better place to start than with a fresh Caprese Salad ($11.99). Made with vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, it’s sweet and creamy perfection. As important as the two main ingredients are, what sets the dish apart is the sweet basil pesto and balsamic reduction made from 18-year-old vinegar. The pesto is incredibly hearty while the reduction is syrupy thick. Spread atop the tomato and cheese, the pesto and vinegar cling to each morsel, ensuring complete flavor satisfaction. They also make for wonderful additions to several other menu items, including Smoked Salmon Pizza ($14.50).

This 10-inch, thincrust pizza features a light tomato sauce, capers, onions and thinly sliced salmon that is drizzled with olive oil. The result is a pizza that is crunchy, sweet, smokey and salty. Add the Caprese pesto and vinegar reduction for even more flavor. But be careful, the pizza is a special and not found on the regular menu. Look for it on the special menu posted in the bar area.

One final recommendation is the Boneless Short Ribs in Red Wine ($15.99). Braised for four to five hours in a sauce consisting of beef stock, onion, tomato, carrots, celery and Cabernet Bordelaise, it’s fall-off-the-bone tender and boasts huge flavor. Ask about a preferred wine pairing and enjoy.

For those wanting more wine choices, be ready. Beginning next month, Formaggio will feature an all new wine menu that combines old favorites with new tastes from Italy and beyond.

The eatery also features nightly live music and a happy hour from 5:30 to 7 p.m. daily. Late night happy hour is from 10 to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Formaggio also is available for private parties.

Formaggio Wine Bar

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu


Friday and Saturday
5:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Sunday 5-11 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96826

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best