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Sunday, July 8, 2012

TAORMINA SICILIAN CUISINE - WAIKIKI

TAORMINA SICILIAN CUISINE
HONOLULU, HAWAII

Finally was able to get down to Waikiki to enjoy a meal at Taormina.  We had called for reservations several times on a Saturday only to be told they were booked until 9:00 pm.  One time we attempted to walk in on a Saturday evening and we were told that they were booked solid for the evening.  We took another chance and called on a Saturday afternoon and were able to get same day seating at 5:30 pm. We arrived to a smiling staff who welcomed us with enthusiasm as we were one of their first customers for dinner service.  We were taken through the very small indoor seating and bar area to an outdoor covered patio with around a dozen tables.  The tables at the end have a view of Lewers Street on Beach Walk.  We were greeted by our waiter who brought us menus.  Three in all.  The regular menu, the Daily Specials and a Chef's Tasting Menu that is a four course dinner for around $60.  After a few minutes the waiter came by and explained some of the menu items and answered questions.  He had an excellent knowledge of the menu and preparations and made several recommendations.  We ordered off the regular and special menus.  Our first selection the Prosecco Affettati ($20).  This is a nice glass of Prosecco that is similar to champagne.  The Prosecco was light, bubbly and a perfect way to start the evening.  A small platter of Salami slices, Prosciutto, Kalamatta Olives and Pecorino Romano Cheese.  My daughter loved the Salami.  This was an excellent appetizer especially with the bubbly.  A basket filled with three different breads was offered to our table.  We all loved the Olive and Cheese bread and had to make a point to stop eating eat as it was going down like crazy.  The waiter poured olive oil and balsamic vinegar onto a plate for dipping.  More bread went into the oil and vinegar.  Yum.  The Seafood Bruschetta ($16) was recommended by the waiter.  Chopped Prawns and Scallops sauteed in White Wine and Mascarpone with dried tomatoes.  Served on crispy toast.  This appetizer was delicious.  The Mascarpone Cheese sauce is packed with flavor and makes the dish.  The Insallata de Pera ($14) is a massive salad that was enough for all three of us.  Filled with fresh beets, pears, walnuts,  proscuitto and Feta Cheese with a light vinaigrette.  More beets in this salad than at other places we have ordered salad with beets.  Nice flavors and great portion.  I ordered the Seafood Pasta "Pescatore" ($23).  Spaghetti sautéed with large clams, shrimp, scallops and a entire Baby Octopus in light spicy tomato sauce.  There was no spice but this was really good pasta.  Perfectly cooked with just the right amount of sauce.  Everything worked well here.  Nothing overpowered each component in the dish.  My daughter loved the whole Baby Octopus that topped the pasta.  The clams were large and meaty.  Really enjoyed this dish.  The Bolognese Alla "Classica" ($24) was fresh spinach Tagliatelle Pasta in a classic meat sauce of beef, pork, chicken, foi grass and red wine).  This is no ground beef.  Large chunks of meat on a perfectly fresh home made pasta.  Rich and delicious.  The Funghi Porcini Risotto with Foie Gras ($27) included perfectly prepared Risotto with Porcini Mushroom, Parmesan Cheese topped with sautéed Foie Gras and a Balsamic Reduction.  This dish was good but the Foie Gras was overcooked.  It was charred through and this killed the flavor.  So far this meal was batting 99% good with the overcooked Foie Gras being the only misstep.  We decided to order a few desserts to see if this place can deliver on all aspects of the menu.  The Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream ($9) was a chocolate bomb and full of rich chocolate flavor.  Everyone loved this dessert.  The Gelato of the Day ($5) was a Chocolate and Hazelnut.  Really creamy like ice cream and served with strawberry slice.  Love it!  All in all this was a great meal.  Service was above average and excellent.  Great staff who seemed to care. I cannot wait to return to Taorimina to try some of the other menu items.   The only thing keeping from going back are the prices.  A bit high but really worth it for the quality.

TAORMINA SICILIAN CUISINE ON LEWERS STREET
OUTDOOR PATIO SEATING WITH VIEW OF LEWERS STREET

PROSECCO 
OLIVE OIL AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR
BREAD WITH OLIVE AND CHEESE
OLIVES, PROSCIUTTO, SALAMI AND PECORINO ROMANO CHEESE
BRUSCHETTA WITH PRAWNS AND SCALLOP
BRUSCHETTA IS DELICIOUS
INSALATA DE PERA - BEETS, PROSCIUTTO, PEARS, WALNUTS,
FETA CHEESE AND TOMATOES
BOLOGNESE ALLA CLASSICA
PORCINI RISOTTO WITH FOIE GRAS
PASTA PESCATORE
THE BOSS WAS IN CHOCOLATE HEAVEN
CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM
TODAY'S GELATO - CHOCOLATE W/HAZEL NUT


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