Can’t go wrong with Italian

A La Carte Columns

December 11, 2016

Story By: Jackie Perreira |

Salmon Benedict ($13)

Salmon Benedict ($13) T. GRILLO PHOTO

Zia’s Caffe is a favorite for locals who love Italian food. So, with the holidays in full swing, the Kaneohe eatery will have its popular Prime Rib available ($29.95 for a 10 ounce cut) Dec. 16-18 and 23-24.

And the blessings keep on coming. Chef Jesse Kila shares that “from now until Christmas, if anybody comes in and buys a gift card starting from next week, they get a $5 coupon for their next visit. So, if you purchase $25, you get another $5 for yourself.”

Clams Appetizer ($14.50)

Clams Appetizer ($14.50) FILE PHOTOS

On your next visit, try Salmon Benedict ($13 full order, $10 half order). The dish consists of two extra-large poached eggs, grilled English muffin, sauteed spinach, Norwegian-style smoked salmon and house-made hollandaise sauce. It’s all served with hash browns or home fries, and is available on the eatery’s breakfast menu — served every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. From 11 a.m., Zia’s offers its limited lunch menu.

“Our limited lunch menu has all of our sandwiches that we offer during the week, (as well as) all of our salads, pizzas, and then just a portion of the dinner menu, which has some things on it like pastas, our Molokai Sweet Potato Ravioli and Chicken Parmesan,” says Kila.

Panzanella Salad ($15.50) FILE PHOTOS

Panzanella Salad ($15.50)

Also a must-try is Clams Appetizer ($14.50), available during lunch and dinner. Fresh littleneck clams are sauteed with garlic, onions, and Italian sausage.

“We also add clam broth and our house-made red sauce. So once the clams open up, that tells us it’s cooked and we add basil-butter in the end. Then it’s served with a piece of grilled French baguette,” Kila explains. “We have people order that for dinner, so it’s not only good as an appetizer. That’s probably, out of all our seafood dishes we have, the most popular,” he adds.

For something lighter but still substantial, go for Panzanella Salad ($15.50), a Tuscan dish.

The mixture of lettuce and large, crouton-like chunks of bread features “lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, diced fresh mozzarella, a grilled piece of chicken that’s marinated in our garlic-herb oil, and then it’s tossed with the red-wine vinaigrette. We top it with an avocado fan, then dress the plate with basil oil and balsamic glaze,” says Kila.

Zia’s Caffe

45-620 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe
Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Kaneohe, HI 96744

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