Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chef Mavro

Gourmet magazine writes "Where we would dine if we had only one night in Honolulu," so I took them up on their challenge. I actually flew to Honolulu for a 12 hour juant just to eat here so my expectations were very high. Chef Mavro's has always been on my to do list along with every other founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

With James Beard award in tow for Best Chef in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, George Mavrothalassitis has gained world wide fame for his cuisine. After having his own restaurants in France, while in Hawaii Mavro woke up one morning in Waikiki with Diamond Head looming and the background and proclaimed, "That's it! I'm home!" and has been here ever since.

Chef Mavro's is designed as a tasting course restaurant only with the options of 3, 4 or 6 courses, or the entire table can opt for the Chef's Table's Tasting Menu with a staggering 11 courses.

The Spiced Bigeye Tuna with a salad of Sumida watercress, hearts of palm, red radish, garlic-watercress essence is a great way to start off the meal. Nice seared on the outside, the tuna is rare as can be on the inside to show off its freshness and flavor. The spiciness of the watercress helps to cut through some of the richness of the tuna.

The Hudson Valley Foie Gras Au Torchon wrapped in nori, yuzu kanten, ruby grapefruit, Korean pear, shiso pickles, and brioche crust. The foie gras was rich and buttery and played well with the accompanying elements. The citrus elements help to downplay the heavy mouth feel of the foie gras.

The Poached filet of Hapu'upu'u (Hawaiian Sea Bass) in a sago-coconut nage, thai herbs, lime froth is just a simply wonderful dish. The light and delicate flavor of the sea bass is enhanced with the coconut and lime essence. A Thai inspired type of dish, it shows the versatility of Mavro's cooking style.

The Keahole Lobster a la Coque with Kahuku corn cake with lobster coral is a simply prepared dish that allows the lobster to shine through. The corn accents the sweetness of the lobster.

The Snake River Farm Kobe-style beef roasted bavette and braised short rib, pancetta brussels sprouts, truffle accented celery root pure, pinot noir sauce is one of the best pieces of beef that I have ever had in my life. It had such a rich and bold beef flavor that can only rival the kind of beef raised in Argentina.

The Roasted "Mountain Meadow" Lamb Chateau was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The lamb was not at all gamey but was full of flavor. May have been the best lamb that I have ever eaten.

The Big Island Goat Cheese "Tatin" was a perfect little tart. The goat cheese was rich, creamy and full of flavor. It was very subtle in flavor, just another wonderful dish.

Dessert was a sampler platter of cheesecake, coconut ice cream and a cappuccino bombe. The cheesecake was as smooth as silk, rich and creamy. The flavor was very subtle and just sublime. The coconut ice cream burst with fresh coconut. Although the ice cream was not very sweet, it was well balanced and almost as good as Lappert's. The cappuccino bombe was very light and delicate. Although the coffee flavor could be discerned, this dessert was not at all over powering. The balance of all three dessert worked well together. An extra special dessert, a chocolate torte, was also presented. Like the rest of the desserts, this was subtle in flavor and just fantastic. Home made candy was also presented as well as petit four.

One of the best meals that I have ever had, and will certainly return when in Honolulu again.

Chef Mavro
1969 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 944-4714

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