Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Stage RestaurantRestaurant Insider
March 31, 2019
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
ANNE LEE Speaks with executive chef RON DE GUZMAN
Since 2007, Stage Restaurant has brought a one-of-a-kind dining experience to kamaaina and visitors to revel in. Situated on the second floor of the Honolulu Design Center, it is only fitting that the interior designs of this getaway offer special seating of grand, contemporary design.
But looks are not the only thing that appeals to senses here. Guests can enjoy a unique chance to sample nearly 100 wines by the glass, on tap, whether an ounce or a full glass. Meanwhile, the menu will shake up taste buds with exquisite creations by world-traveled executive chef Ron de Guzman. Applying his travels to his cooking, de Guzman is making welcomed waves in Honolulu’s dining scene.
“World inspired is what we like to label our cuisine,” says the chef. “Borrowing from the old and making it new from around the world. Combining those familiar and comforting flavors.”
Here’s what else de Guzman had to share about the restaurant — lights, camera, action!
AL: What is Stage’s mission? RG: Stage presents world-inspired, local comfort food in a menu that utilizes Hawaii-grown products with a focus on chef-inspired local favorites. Our hope is to give our guests a familiar yet modern culinary experience.
We work for constant evolution, whether it be menu changes or concepts. We’re going on our 12th year, so these aspects are what will keep us in the game.
AL: How long have you been chef at this restaurant?
I was the executive sous chef the first year and took the role as executive chef from 2008 to date. I graduated from Leeward Community College and started my first job working for Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room and also worked at Halekulani.
AL: What is the restaurant’s most popular dish?
RG: Duck A La Lilikoi ($38), which is very tender and flavorful. It’s a take on duck a l’orange except with Big Island lilikoi and its chef’s ability to balance fats and acids, with taro puree instead of mashed potatoes. Island ingredients with traditional French preparations are what make this a popular dish. The Escargot ($14) is highly desired, also.
AL: What are some other customer favorites?
RG: Stage Sashimi, Beef Wellington (Stage), Patatas Bravas, (wine bar) and house-made ice creams.
AL: What makes Stage stand out from other Hawaii eateries?
RG: Our unique designer look of the restaurant’s furnishings, the unique wine bar experience and the world-inspired cuisine.
AL: Anything else you’d like to share?
RG: We also offer catering services from large parties, private dining for 22 people or a private room for the Wine Bar Experience. An extension of the furniture showroom, light fixtures, art, as well as the dining room furniture in the restaurant are also available for purchase.
Pan Roasted Duck Breast
• 6 ounces of duck breast
• 1 ounce demi-glace
• 1 ounce lilikoi gastrique
• 3 ounces taro puree
• 2 ounces Brussels sprouts (core and peel outer leaves)
• 1 ounce applewood bacon
• 1/2 cup farro
Demi-glace — Reduce 8 ounces of red wine to a syrup, add to 8 ounces of beef stock and reduce to desired consistency (usually to about 1/4-cup). Reserve for plating.
Lilikoi gastrique — Reduce 1 cup of lilikoi puree and 1/2-cup sugar to a syrup.
Taro puree — Steam 1/2-pound of Chinese taro with 1-pound Yukon potato. Steam until fully cooked. Heat up 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and add to cooked potato and taro mix well and add 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, season with kosher salt to taste.
Brussels sprouts — Sautee in olive oil until vibrant green and add salt and pepper to taste.
Applewood smoked bacon — Dice and render in sautee pan until crispy
Farro — Submerge in water and season water with salt. Boil until cooked through; approximately 15 minutes
Duck breast — Score and cook on low heat to render fat and create crispy skin. Once skin is crispy, finish cooking in 350-degree oven until desired doneness. (Be sure to let the duck rest at least five minutes before slicing).
Assemble ingredients / elements on plate and drizzle duck breast with honey.