New bites to savor during lunchtimeA La Carte
September 24, 2017
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar
Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar at Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki launched a new menu of lunch specials earlier this month, featuring a variety of brand-new dishes that are tasty and affordable.
Available from 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily, lunch specials include five different paninis and five burgers, such as Ahi Burger ($14), made with generous pieces of fresh, seared ahi with red pepper aioli and local avocado on a fresh-baked wheat bun and served with house french fries; or Jumbo Shrimp Burger ($13), consisting of grilled jumbo shrimp with pesto, mozzarella, local avocado and chili on a fresh-baked wheat bun and served with mixed greens and house dressing.
For a lighter meal, try Kale Salad ($11) with fresh kale, frisee, strawberries, mango, goat cheese and almonds; or Il Lupino’s famous Acai Bowl ($10), which is made with premium-grade acai, Anahola Granola, local honey, blueberries, bananas and strawberries. There also is the local favorite Poke Bowl ($14) and Loco Moco ($14).
“Our regular beef burger and fries combo ($15) is very popular for lunch, and Chef Diego (Pacuruco) and I thought it would be fun to expand our burger menu so that our repeat customers could have a different one every day of the week,” notes general manager Heela Mottus. “There are even vegetarian burgers. All of them are delicious and we wanted to make them value-conscious for our local customers who live, work or play in Waikiki, or for visitors on a budget, so the prices are the best in Waikiki but still the same quality and ono-licious taste you’ve come to expect from Il Lupino.”
In addition to its lunch specials, the restaurant also offers breakfast specials priced at just $5-$10, served from 7 to 11:30 a.m. “It’s perfect for kamaaina who work at nearby hotels and shops to get their day started before work or after their graveyard shift,” adds Mottus. “Our breakfast and lunch menus are a great mix of classic fare done Il Lupino-style, perhaps with a little Italian twist. But I am proud to say that even when we’re offering value-pricing, we never skimp on quality, and Chef Diego is a master in the kitchen, so everything is delicious.”
T he award-winning restaurant by legendary restaurateur Wolfgang Zwiener opened in 2010, and has since become a favorite for its authentic Italian cuisine made with only the finest ingredients from Italy, as well as local farm-to-table produce. Many of its pastas are made fresh daily, and there also is an in-house salumeria, or Italian deli, offering a nice selection of aged meats, hand-cut to order, and imported Italian cheeses.
The dinner menu is a mixture of authentic and contemporary Italian cuisine, with a variety of pasta, pizza and seafood accented with fine Italian olive oils. There also is Il Lupino’s wine bar, recognized by Wine Spectator magazine as one of the finest wine lists in Hawaii.
“Everyone has their favorite dishes, but some of the most popular items are our beef, veal and pork meatball with house-made pomodoro sauce, which has always been our classic, signature item,” says Mottus. “Our salumi platters with your choice of cured meats and artisanal cheeses; our Pescatore, or seafood pasta, and Vongole, or clam linguine; our Veal entrees; and our thin-crust pizzas are always popular to share as a dinner appetizer or lunch entree.
“But a couple of our newer dishes have really been gaining a lot of fans — Uni Pasta, Lobster Ravioli and Bistecca Fiorentina, which is the same porterhouse we use at our big brother restaurant upstairs, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, but prepared Italian-style. Every dish is prepared with pride.”
Customers also can choose indoor or outdoor seating — there’s the luxurious dining room with views of its salumeria, kitchen or wine room; or an outdoor lanai that is especially popular for visitors.