Vino presents new dishes during Ala Cart
BY JOLEEN OSHIRO / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.