A Royal FeastCover Story
October 3, 2021
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
With more than four decades in the industry, restaurateur Wolfgang Zwiener is accustomed to creating memorable dining experiences that showcase world-class meals. After honing his craft as head waiter at the prestigious Peter Luger Steak House in New York for 40 years, Zwiener brought Wolfgang’s Steakhouse to Hawaii in 2009 and continues to offer delicious dry-aged steak favorites.
The 28-day dry-aging process helps to develop superior rich flavor and tenderness from the USDA Prime Black Angus beef. Popular steak selections are cooked in a 1,600-degree broiler and served sizzling with butter to let the natural flavors shine through without being masked by elaborate seasonings or sauces.
Situated in the Royal Hawaiian Center in the heart of Waikiki, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse serves up lunch, dinner, and happy hour dining and beverage options daily, as unforgettable entrées are accompanied by stellar sides and an extensive wine list.
Calling on experiences from his travels around the world and decades spent designing and building more than 30 restaurants, Zwiener established an outdoor dining area on a lawn overlooking the garden view suites of the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This large outdoor area is protected by state-of-the-art umbrellas constructed to help guests enjoy the Wolfgang’s Steakhouse brand in a unique environment. This outdoor space is also available for private groups, including weddings and special events; al fresco bar and lawn seating will be added in the future.
The restaurant has thrived thanks in large part to its skilled and dedicated employees, including 12-year restaurant stalwart Travis Nakamura. Timothy Hurd has worked with the company since August 2011. According to Emmanuel “Manny” Cournede, general manager of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, Hurd has been the “invaluable and integral anchor” of Wolfgang’s lunch dining team and “he makes every guest feel like a VIP. His professionalism and conduct is a big reason why our lunch service is a huge success.”
Cour nede also lauds Danson Young, the restaurant’s bar manager who joined the team two years ago and brings over 20 years of experience as a mixologist to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse.
“We are fortunate to have him on our lunch team, and are thankful to the regulars that have followed him as part of our growing lunch crowd,” Cournede says.
For lunch, Cournede recommends Grilled Steak Salad ($24.95), which is crafted with a USDA Prime Black Angus New York Strip served over mixed greens along with tomatoes and a creamy balsamic house dressing.
To start one’s meal, Tuna Tartare ($26.95) offers fresh yellowfin tuna diced with cucumber and avocado, and garnished with a small mixed green salad before being served with a lime ginger vinaigrette and warmly toasted crostini. Steak for Two ($135.95 at dinner; $129.95 at lunch) allows two guests to enjoy a sizzling USDA Prime Black Angus Porterhouse Steak.
For dinner, one must try the 32-ounce, USDA Prime Black Angus bone-in Ribeye Steak ($95.95). The rib section often consists of fewer muscle fibers, so rib-eye is traditionally tender and soft. And due to the restaurant’s dry-aging process, Wolfgang’s rib-eye is extremely generous with marbling and flavor.
Lobster Mac N’ Cheese ($16.95) is anything but ordinary when it comes to the classic comfort dish. Made using five cheeses and savory lobster meat,Wolfgang’s lobster macaroni and cheese offers a blend of rich flavors and is one of the restaurant’s all-time favorite sides enjoyed by regulars and first-time guests alike.