Sunday night's preview of tonight's pop-up Hawaiian dinner at Iorio (SE 9th and Hawthorne) showcased a remarkably sophisticated menu of Hawaiian cuisine. Consciously absent were the pineapples, luau pig, and taro, and at no point were leis presented by a chubby, grass-skirted bar-back named Duane. Three chefs from Oahu, a bartender from Kauai, and the Iorio staff served a contemporary gourmet eight-course dinner featuring meltingly tender cured Opah, coppa de testa, and venison. Masterfully applied local fresh herbs, mushrooms, and sauces—flavored and plated with a refinement that would be at home in our Departures and Castagnas—supported the Hawaiian-raised meats and produce. At $65 a ticket, not inclusive of bartender Dave Powers' bold and unique island-inspired cocktails, it is a dinner worth considering, particularly if one's idea of Hawaiian food is hopelessly mired in plate lunches, Spam, and head-splitting Mai Tais.
Details on securing a seat are here.
A snippet from the press release: "With support from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, rising star chefs and co-owners Alejandro “Aker” Briceno, Lindsey Ozawa, and chef de cuisine Kevin Lee of PRIMA take over the kitchen at the award-winning Iorio, owned by Chris Thompson and Hilary Benson. The dinner will feature an eight-course modern American menu honoring Hawaii’s ethnic diversity while featuring handmade pasta and the freshest fish, beef, and produce from the Aloha State and Portland area. Serving a selection of craft cocktails to compliment the menu will be Dave Power, one of Hawaii’s most respected bartenders and owner of The Feral Pig on Kauai."
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!