A spotlight on southern France

A La Carte

May 16, 2021

Story By: Lianne Bidal Thompson | Photos by: La Vie

Manoa Honey Soufflé is the fifth course in the Le Soleil Du Sud Dinner ($125/person).

Ensconced on the eighth floor of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, La Vie acts as an escape from the world below.

Known for its whimsical French-inspired menu, La Vie offers diners the ability to “curate their experience” via its Three Selections format.

“We offer a multi-course prix fixe menu where guests have the option of choosing their path through the courses we offer,” states restaurant manager Casey Kusaka.

“There is no ‘one way’ to enjoy the menu, but a complete selection of courses where guests can freely choose their journey,” Kusaka continues.

In addition to this individualized repast, the restaurant also hosts specialty dinners and the next one, Le Soleil Du Sud, is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 26.

“We wanted to highlight a specific region of France — and the south of France has a rich culinary history that brought us to showcase it in a specialty dinner,” he explains.

“The springtime produce that is available coincides with the southern France theme, that equates to a fun and lively dining experience. In addition to the menu, we are offering a beverage pairing that will highlight the southern France region and the amazing wines found there.”

This dinner is a five-course affair. First up is Snapper Brandade with asparagus, green olives and orange confit. The second course consists of Octopus Anchoïade with heart of palm barigoule, crudités and mint. This is followed by Squab Daube with braised celery, Swiss chard and dried fig; and a fourth course of Marinated Lamb grilled with chickpea socca, zucchini and olive tapenade. The culinary tour through southern France ends with Manoa Honey Soufflé accompanied by blueberry confiture, almond glacé and lavender.

Kusaka encourages guests to make the most of the culinary vision for the dinner. “The beverage pairing has fun and interesting wines that completes the dining experience,” he says.

The soufflé, in particular, made an impression on Kusaka.

“Dessert isn’t always a favorite of mine, but the balance of sweetness from the honey plays wonderfully with the almond nutty characteristics and fresh lavender,” he says.

“We have two specialty dinners that are coming up,” Kusaka adds. “The first will be on June 8, which will be a specialty wine dinner that will showcase four wines from Hartford Family Vineyards. The second will be July 14, which will be a celebration of Bastille Day.”

Interested guests may make a reservation for the Le Soleil Du Sud dinner ($125 per person, $85 more for wine pairing) by emailing Kusaka at casey@glionhawaii.com or by calling 808-729-9729.

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