Occupying the space of the high-end tasting menu restaurant, costing $300+ per person, the original Vintage Cave Honolulu in the former basement area of Shirokiya was inaccessible to many. The high price point and club membership format meant that most Hawaii diners would never get the opportunity to experience the unique design of the restaurant. That was until Vintage Cave Cafe, the originals sister-restaurant, opened its doors this week.
Designed to have the same aesthetic feeling of a European cathedral as the original Vintage Cave restaurant, the Cafe iteration hopes to bring the unique experience at a more casual price point. The restaurant itself is beautiful, costing a reported $20 million to construct.
The Vintage Cave restaurants are like no other in Hawaii, transporting the diners away from white sandy beaches and lanai seating, to the halls of Europe. Although the restaurant places such a high class emphasis on its design, diners are welcomed to dress casually. During our visit I did see several patrons dressed in shorts, slippers, and even swim trunks. There is also a stage in the restaurant featuring a baby grand piano and live music throughout the week.
Vintage Cave Cafe’s food is offered as an ala carte menu or a 3-course prix fixe. The menu is Japanese Italian, prepared by a chef who apprenticed under a Michelin-starred chef in Parma, Italy. We were pleased with the pastas and the pizza. All of them were cooked very well and had a surprising amount of flavor. The filet mignon was tender and well cooked, but the rest of the plate was a bit boring. On future visits I’d probably pass on desserts.
For my full thoughts on Vintage Cave Cafe, feel free to check out my write up at Frolic Hawaii.
Vintage Cave Cafe
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd Ste. 1380
Honolulu, HI 96814