Vino presents new dishes during Ala Cart

Apr. 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

BY JOLEEN OSHIRO / joshiro@staradvertiser.com

It was a bustling full house at Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar on Wednesday when chef Keith Endo brought his kitchen into the dining room to present Ala Cart, in which all the evening’s specials were wheeled to diners on a cart in dim-sum fashion.

 Chef Endo took his kitchen to the dining room where he efficiently prepared tapas that were carted out to diners' tables. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

Chef Endo took his kitchen to the dining room where he efficiently prepared tapas that were carted out to diners’ tables. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

The lineup included cold and room temperature dishes such as Wild Mushroom Bruschetta with pickled onions and arugula; Rock Shrimp Linguini with yuzu vinaigrette and jalapeno; Ginger and Honey-Roasted Carrots with pine nuts and cumin aioli; Kona Maine Lobster with housemade burrata cheese, Torched Kampachi with cauliflower puree and blood orange; and Big Island Abalone Crudo accented with ogo, calamansi, and Endo’s latest experimental success, dehydrated and powdered fukujinzuke (Japanese pickled vegetables).

Then there were the hot tapas: Grilled Flat Bread, an open-face sous vide vintage steak and charred grape tomatoes; Braised Short Rib over Ricotta Cheese Ravioli; and Organic Herb-Marinated Chicken Skewers, served with flavorful roasted fingerling potatoes and porcini aioli.

As usual, the dishes showed off Endo’s talent for creating delicious homemade cheeses, pasta and bread, and a menu perfectly punctuated with bright flavors that enlivened the taste buds.

Prices for the tapa plates ran $7 to $11.

Owner and master sommelier Chuck Furuya said the restaurant will host Ala Cart about once a month to showcase new ideas. Endo said to expect them to run at mid-month.

Vino’s sister establishment, Hiroshi’s Eurasion Tapas, led by chef John Iha and sous chef Axelrod Colobang, holds its own version of Ala Cart, with the first installment having taken place earlier this month.

 Vino's Ala Cart night features new tapas that are presented to diners' tables via food cart. On Wednesday's cart were Braised Short Rib & Ricotta Cheese Ravioli and Grilled Flat Bread with sous vide vintage steak and charred grape tomatoes. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

Vino’s Ala Cart night features new tapas that are presented to diners’ tables via food cart. On Wednesday’s cart were Braised Short Rib & Ricotta Cheese Ravioli and Grilled Flat Bread with sous vide vintage steak and charred grape tomatoes. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

The slice of blood orange was the perfect sweet touch to Torched Kampachi served with Espelette pepper and cauliflower puree. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

The slice of blood orange was the perfect sweet touch to Torched Kampachi served with Espelette pepper and cauliflower puree. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

 Organic Herb-Marinated Chicken Skewers were extra delicious thanks ot perfectly season fingerling potatoes and porcini aioli. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

Organic Herb-Marinated Chicken Skewers were extra delicious thanks ot perfectly season fingerling potatoes and porcini aioli. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

 Ogo and powdered fukujinzuke, plus a splash of calamansi, added pizazz to sliced fresh Big Island Abalone. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

Ogo and powdered fukujinzuke, plus a splash of calamansi, added pizazz to sliced fresh Big Island Abalone. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

Vino chef Keith Endo used his dehydrator and herb grinder to create powdered pickles sprinkled on dishes for that flavor spark. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

Vino chef Keith Endo used his dehydrator and herb grinder to create powdered pickles sprinkled on dishes for that flavor spark. (Star-Advertiser photo by Joleen Oshiro)

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