Grind Time: Loperfido revamps Il Lupino menu

Nov. 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

BY JASON GENEGABUS / jason@staradvertiser.com

The recent addition of corporate executive chef Donato Loperfido at Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar means change is on the way.

Some things, like the restaurant’s menu, have already begun the process, while changes to the bar’s wine list and cocktail menu are expected to see upgrades in the weeks to come.

Il Lupino hosted a tasting of items off its happy hour menu on Thursday in Waikiki, showcasing Loperfido’s influence on the kitchen’s new direction and promoting its happy hour, which runs from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily.

Here’s a quick look at some of the items available:

PHOTOS BY JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM Bruschetta Siciliana ($3.50): Bruschetta with grilled eggplant, Big Island heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil and ricotta salata.

PHOTOS BY JASON GENEGABUS / JASON@STARADVERTISER.COM

Bruschetta Siciliana ($3.50): Bruschetta with grilled eggplant, Big Island heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil and ricotta salata.

Costoletta di Angnello ($10): Grilled Colorado lamb chop with oregano and lemon zest.

Costoletta di Angnello ($10): Grilled Colorado lamb chop with oregano and lemon zest.

Guazzetto di Vongole ($7): Sauteed fresh clams with local cherry tomatoes.

Guazzetto di Vongole ($7): Sauteed fresh clams with local cherry tomatoes.

Tagliata con Funghi ($9): Pan-seared strip loin with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Tagliata con Funghi ($9): Pan-seared strip loin with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions.

Along with the small plates, Il Lupino offers four types of pizza on the happy hour menu, including a traditional Prosciutto & Rucola ($18) and a Salsiccia e Funghi Trifolati ($18) that contains house-made pork sausage and sautéed mushrooms.

Drinks at Il Lupino aren’t cheap, however. Even during happy hour, expect to shell out $13 to $15 per specialty cocktail; skipping the mixers and sticking to shots isn’t much better. I’m not sure who will be very happy to pay $15 for a shot of Knob Creek or $16 for a shot of Gentleman Jack. Talk about a tourist tax!

But once you get past the prices, the actual cocktails themselves are constructed well with a good balance of flavors.

The Buff Some Wood ($15), is an embellished Old Fashioned with the additional of Lagavulin 16-year-old Scotch to add a layer of smokiness to the drink.

The Cool as a Cucumber ($14) is a customer favorite, made with Ransom gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, muddled cucumber, fresh lime juice and simple syrup.

Il Lupino is located on the first floor of Building B at the Royal Hawaiian Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave. One hour of free parking is available with validation; cost is $2 per hour afterward for up to three additional hours. Call (808) 922-3400 or visit www.illupino.com.
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“Grind Time” is always looking for the latest places to get your grub on. Email Jason Genegabus with restaurant, bar or any other food/drink-related item at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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