Take a Bite: Arrivederci Mediterraneo, for now

Aug. 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

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PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comFabrizio Favale's homemade sausage, onions, mushrooms and Parmesan with rigatoni.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Fabrizio Favale’s homemade sausage, onions, mushrooms and Parmesan with rigatoni.

BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

After more than 20 years of operation, Mediterraneo will be closing its doors at the end of the month.

It’s one of the few Italian restaurants in town helmed by an individual of actual Italian ancestry and owner Fabrizio Favale will be taking some time off to revisit the Motherland and Rome, where he grew up.

The chef-owner has a loose plan to return to Hawaii and establish another restaurant in a more heavily trafficked spot, and I’d like to hold him to that, but he has no specific time frame in mind.

So, until then, if you want to catch the last bites of his home-style dishes, you’d better make those reservations now.

There were generous chunks of lobster in these ravioli in creamy pink sauce.

There were generous chunks of lobster in these ravioli in creamy pink sauce.

I recently stopped in for a last meal, and while there, Favale reminded me of a review I wrote upon his opening. I don’t remember it and it’s not searchable online because my column preceded the Star-Bulletin’s Internet launch on March 18, 1996, but according to him, I disparaged his wife and that changed his life for the better when he divorced. I still find it hard to believe a few little words can change lives, but back then I was very young and unfiltered and took criticism very seriously before realizing it wasn’t only the chefs who couldn’t take it, but readers couldn’t take it either. Most people only want to hear happy news.

Thankfully, restaurants have gotten better over time as the whole dining community has become more sophisticated, and Mediterraneo was among the first restaurants to play a part in that.

Mediterraneo's seafood pasta comes with several pasta options: spagetti, cappellini, rigatoni, fettuccine and pappardelle.

Mediterraneo’s seafood pasta comes with several pasta options: spagetti, cappellini, rigatoni, fettuccine and pappardelle.

For those who haven't been there, Mediterraneo's oxtail osso buco is not to be missed.

For those who haven’t been there, Mediterraneo’s oxtail osso buco is not to be missed.

Old World ambience.

Old World ambience.

Mediterraneo is at 1279 S. King St. between Birch and Cedar streets. Call (808) 593-1466.

Arrivederci, and hope to see you soon in a new location.
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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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