Sunday, September 30, 2012

Honolulu: Chef Mavro Restaurant

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During my trip to O'ahu for the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival, I was fortunate to be invited to dinner by Chef George Mavrothalassitis and his wife Donna to their restaurant, Chef Mavro.  

Chef Mavro is one of the 12 chefs that got together in 1991, worked with local food producers, changed the food landscape, and called it  Hawaii Regional Cuisine.  Other notable chefs in this group include:  Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong, Bev Gannon, Peter Merriman, Mark Ellman, just to name a few.

Wine Spectator calls him, "One of the most important eleven French chefs working in America."  He's also received a James Beard Foundation award and his restaurant earned the Five Diamond rating from AAA in 2009.  In October 2012, they were listed on Gayot's "Top 10 Seafood Restaurants in the U.S."

See What Jay Eats...

Photo by Chef Mavro Restaurant

Upon arriving, I was greeted warmly by Donna Jung, chef's wife.
My friend, Rebecca Pang, joined me for this incredible evening.


As we were seated in front of our
personalized menus,
I knew this would be a culinary extravaganza!


Champagne to start

A nice way to start this dining adventure


Amuse Bouche

Oursinade, sea urchin froth, topped with uni

a sauce of sea urchin
Amazing!


Photo by Chef Mavro Restaurant
A beautiful dining room

The red ginger flowers reminded me of my
grandmother's house, she always had red ginger
around when we came to visit her in Honolulu.


Ahi - Watercress

Seared bigeye ahi sashimi grade with hanapepe salt
sumida watercress "déclinaison" salad
with hawaiian chili water dressing, kanten
and grilled stems with poppy seed
garlic-lemon-extra virgin olive oil purée

Chef Mavro came to our table to dress our salads
and explained that the delicate greens would
wilt if not done table side. 
Attention to Detail...


Chef Mavro was one of the chefs at the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival.
This next dish he served at 

Shutome - Kabosu

Fillet of island swordfish crusted with mochi,
citrus-sansho sauce, jumbo asparagus and velouté

This was my favorite dish up to this point,
swordfish crusted with mochi.

Usually when someone says this,
more good stuff is coming...


You don't see this anymore...
"It's one thing to have a famous chef's name on a menu.
It's quite a different thing to have the famous chef cook your dinner"
                                                                                    - Steve Wynn 
                                                                                      Wynn Las Vegas
                                                                             
Chef Mavro is serving table side to the couple across from us, 
a snapper baked in a Hawaiian salt crust.

This is a lost art...


Duckling - Mango

Grimaud farm muscovy duckling
gingered green mango chutney
sweet kahuku corn fritter, "modern" bigarade sauce

I thought this was my favorite of the night,
until...

Lamb - Harissa

Colorado lamb loin, "pissaladiére" with confit tomatoes
lamb bacon, garlic chips, maui onion
black olive powder, american parsley oil'house harris a-lamb jus

Now, I'm not sure what's my favorite...

Goat Cheese - Green Peppercorn

Maui fresh goat cheese, one minute frankie's nursery
fresh green peppercorn strawberry jam
island arugula

Chef George Mavrothalassitis
"Chef Mavro"

I met Chef Mavro over 20 years ago while he was the
executive chef at the Halekulani Hotel.  What was a 20 something
year old doing having dinner at their signature restaurant La Mer?
I have no idea, but I did get to meet Chef Mavro that night.

His response:  "I change my menu each season, 
you don't have to wait 20 years"

Yes chef, I'll be back and won't wait another 20 years...



Time for Dessert
Pre - Dessert

Watermelon in champagne gelée
fresh mint

Nice and refreshing...

Lilikoi Malasada - Urfa Biber

Miniature malasadas, fresh lilikoi "déclinaison"
yogurt parfait, candied pistachio
urfa biber peppercorn sauce

Loved It!

Chocolate - Avocado

White chocolate avocado cremeux
madre Hawaii-grown chocolate bavaroise
corn financier, spiced chocolate sauce
lime oil, basil syrup

The avocado and chocolate worked great together.


Each course from his Summer menu was paired with a wine,
I left out a few dishes and the wines from this post,
there was just too much good stuff. 
BTW, my pictures don't do the food justice,
they look so much better in person.

Photo by Chef Mavro Restaurant
During our dinner at Chef Mavro,
I posted pictures on Instagram. 

Chef Mavro not only followed me, but "Liked" all of my pictures,
imagine that?

Too Funny Chef!

A nice way to end the Summer...


You just have to experience Chef Mavro's cuisine yourself.
He's a French chef, living in Hawaii, sourcing great seafood/proteins,
in an area with Asian influences, how can it not be great?

It was a wonderful dining experience!

BTW, his Fall menu looks incredible too...




Chef Mavro Restaurant
1969 South King Street
Honolulu, HI  96826
(808) 944-4714

Reservations Recommended




Mahalo!




I thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.






Photos by Jay Terauchi
Except where noted
Jay Eats
©Jay Terauchi

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