This Honolulu institution provides its patrons with an education in gourmet French cuisine with a Hawaiian accent.. In Short Chef Mavro's dining room--filled with etched glass windows, gentle lighting, fresh flowers and local art--creates a quiet atmosphere conducive to focusing on the French-accented delights created by James Beard Award-winning Chef George Mavrothalassitis. The utmost care is taken to match the freshest ingredients and flavors in meticulously thought-out dishes. The seasonal menu, reflecting the availability of local ingredients, is a set menu, featuring three-, four- or six-course options, with or without wine pairings. (As with the flavors in the dishes, the wine pairings are perfectly chosen.) Sample menu items might include an escabeche of diver scallops, served with a salad of celery root and granny smith apple, green tomato gazpacho, and fougasse chips; Kurobuta pork (roasted loin and braised belly) with cannellini bean purée, haricots verts and black cumin pineapple; or a stellar morsel of tender Keahole lobster with cream of kahuku corn and a chorizo puff. Desserts are no less captivating, running the gamut from refreshing homemade sorbets to sinfully inviting lilikoi malasadas.
I visited Chef Mavro's on a trip to Hawaii from San Francisco. Since we have a lot of good restaurants back home, it's tough to impress me. The restaurant is small and intimate, being a mile or so out of the Waikiki strip, but very modern and elegant. The onaga I had was exquisite and tender, and the chocolate marquise with a green tea mousse was intriguing. Portions aren't huge but a series of amuses between courses make up for it. Very personable, too - the chef's wife saw me dining by myself and came over to thank me for coming in.