Friday nights have typically been a gathering time for friends to catch up and socially interact with each other. Tonight certainly wasn't far from that goal but instead of the usual gossip and plans for the future, we feasted on tapas and sipped on "vino" that made all your cares disappear.
Have you ever been to "IL BUCO" in Waikiki? If not, you don't know what you're missing.
The LYFT pulled up to the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel (2375 Ala Wai Blvd. Honolulu, Hi 96815) around 9:30pm and let us out. The hotel had an open lobby that flowed into a dining facility and a bar. My head swished left to right looking for a sign or indication that we were at the right spot.
Soon after, we made our way to the outdoor patio where we found seats but no wine bar. As we walked down the staircase, I noticed lights coming from a pool and as I panned left, a big sign that read IL BUCO! We made it!
As you enter the wine bar, you are greeted by an intimate setting. Low lights with hues of purple and brown echoing through the lounge. The roof has a wood-like texture and the bar is stationed perfectly on the left with 6 welcoming bar chairs (upon entering).
We were lucky to have a good choice of seating and we chose to sit close to the door but right across from the bar. We were greeted immediately by gentleman named Salvatore Agresti (Co-Owner of Il Buco), he was very forthcoming with suggestions on the wine list and the appetizer menu. We decided, since he would know best, we took his suggestion on a bottle to try.
Salvatore asked questions about what we liked in a wine and from there he gave us a few suggestions. He said for our liking, the 2014 LOHSA Morellino di Scansano would be a good choice, and boy was he right!
The wine selection at IL BUCO is quite large and diverse, wine from the best wine regions. Upon reviewing the menu, I recognized a few names but wanted to step outside of my normal choices. Salvatore was pivotal in making our final decision, it goes to show when in doubt ask the expert!
Now it's time to eat...
I don't speak Italian but that's not a necessity as the description is under the dish names. I also am not very good with pronouncing anything on the menu, but luckily I didn't have to be. Although I butchered a few words, I ordered by reading the description and that definitely made the difference. As you can see, the menu is designed for you to snack while enjoying a glass of your favorite vino but you are also able to share a couple dishes together if you bring a few friends.
When I thought of coming here, tasting good wine was at the forefront, but that was until I tasted these dishes. While the kitchen is small, I was truly amazed at the outstanding plates that came out of there!
(Proscuitto e Mozzarella: Fresh baked bread with HUGE plate of thinly sliced proscuitto and chunks of mozzarella)
(Calamari: NOT breaded or deep fried but SOOOO tasty)
Being that we had already eaten I didn't get a chance to order a ton of food but anytime there's a SPECIALS menu, I make it a point to start there! I watched as other masterpieces from the menu flowed out of the kitchen to the lips of the guests sitting around us. This certainly makes me think we need to come back to try more of the menu. BUT, my night wouldn't be complete without dessert so I needed to strap myself in for the night cap!
(Teramisu E Gelati: An Italian dessert with sponge cake soaked in Brandy and coffee, mascarpone cheese and then sprinkled with powered chocolate)
IL BUCO in Waikiki was such a pleasure to visit. The two owners Salvatore Agresti and Darko Vidak are incredible people and who make lasting impressions on their guests. During the time we were there, a majority of the customers were all return visitors who couldn't stop talking about the wines, the food, and the owners! I can't wait to return!
If you're in Waikiki and looking for a place to call your own, make your way to the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel and go to the pool to find "IL BUCO"!
(Please be sure to drink responsibly and DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! Be sure to call a taxi or Lyft)