Chef Mavro, Honolulu

January 30, 2008

On January 29, 2007 Ian and Jeannette took us to Chef Mavro, named after George Mavrothalassitis, its Greek Marseille-born and trained chef. He calls his cuisine French-Hawaiian, which is as good a description as any. One has the choice among three, four, six or eleven course menus, each with optional wine pairings.   na.jpgBy optional he means that you can order pairings for every dish on the menu, for selected dishes or not at all. That is it; there is no wine list. He regards the art of pairing as part of his culinary skills and offering. But Mavro is flexible about substituting dishes between menus. The entire table does not have to have the same menu.

The amuse-gueule was a nice glass of cucumber/tomato cappuccino with coriander.

The following is the standard four-course menu with the wine pairings that I enjoyed, the descriptions clipped from Chef Mavro’s website.  (The other three all had variations on it.)nb.jpg
Cured and seared bigeye ahi, eggplant, capers and chive marinated with white balsamic vinegar, fennel-lemon sauce

maso canali, 2006 pinot grigio, trentino, italy
   “mineral, stony, lemon and lime flavors, with a racy acidity on the finish.”

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Poached day boat catch, braised celery, israeli couscous, fresh pacific oyster sauce marinière style (The day boat catch was a very firm fresh white fish; that is a lemon foam you see on top.)

domaine de chatenay, 2005 menetou-salon, loire
  “classic loire valley sauvignon blanc: grapefruit, gooseberry, long finish.”

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Pavé of meyer natural angus beef,  burgundy glazed salsify, sumida farm watercress, horseradish-herb sauce  

rancho zabaco, 2005 zinfandel, russian river valley  
“ripe blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, vanilla rich and full.”

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(There was a refreshing pre-dessert of a champagne jelly with mint and chunks of honey dew melon.)

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Lilikoi malasadas, guava coulis, pineapple-coconut ice cream (I’m told that everyone in Hawaii knows that malasadas are fresh beignets.)

blandy’s, malmsey madeira, 5 year, portugal
“spicy, pear, happy to find his friend from Portugal

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There was a nice little tray of fresh chocolate, caramel and coconut mignardises.

The meal was excellent and very enjoyable. I thought that the combinations worked well and were not too complicated. The ingredients were fresh and tasty. The wine pairings were fine with wines that were a good value for the price. (For some courses a more upscale wine was offered at a supplement.) We enjoyed the chats with the chef and with his wife when they came around the dining room in the French style. I highly recommemend Chef Mavro.

www.chefmavro.com

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