I must admit, Bastille Day is not that popular here in Hawaii. In fact until I looked it up, I was not sure what it was commemorating. The Fête de la Fédération of the 14th of July 1790 was a huge feast and official event to celebrate the uprising of the short-lived constitutional monarchy in France, and what people considered the happy conclusion of the French Revolution. That said I am all for a huge feast and any excuse to indulge in delicious French food and wine – bon appétit!
One of my favorite spots for French food in Honolulu is Café Laufer. This award winning charming restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has been recognized with both Hale Aina and Ilima awards for their outstanding culinary creations. You can find Chef/Owner, Cyrus Goo and his team making fresh bread starting at four each morning. I would recommend selecting one of Café Laufer’s creative and savory daily specials and all their scrumptious desserts are to die for! (see photo above) www.cafelaufer.com
Popular with the working professional downtown, is Brasserie Du Vin. Fashioned as a casual cafe one would find in the South of France, its ambiance is rustic and conducive to gathering and sharing fine wines and tasty nibbles. They feature a patio area which is romantic and perfect for that special date. Hidden in the back of the venue, Brasserie Du Vin has a separate area called the Cask Room with full bar which is great for private parties. www.brasserieduvin.com
If you are looking for the ultimate haute cuisine experience in Honolulu – the spot is Chef Marvo. George Mavrothalassitis is chef/proprietor of Honolulu’s top-rated Chef Mavro Restaurant. He is a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and holds the prestigious James Beard Foundation award, the highest culinary honor in the U.S. The restaurant achieved the American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond status in 2009 and 2010. The food philosophy: Always buy the best and freshest, buy local, treat all products with great respect, and start afresh every season with new ideas and creative recipes. This summer the restaurant is offering a creative menu – The Art of Pairing Food & Wine consisting of three, four, and six course menus options. www.chefmavro.com
The inspiration is French, the fresh ingredients are Hawaiian, and the taste is simply magnifique! Located at the Halekulani in Waikiki is La Mer. Celebrated as Halekulani’s finest and Hawaii’s longest, consecutively ranked AAA Five Diamond Restaurant, this consummate dining experience is unmatched. The internationally-acclaimed menu features Neoclassic French cuisine expertly crafted and served amid majestic ocean views. Indigenous ingredients are uniquely blended in dishes inspired by flavors from the south of France to produce a dining experience unsurpassed anywhere in the world. An award-winning wine list is available to complement the perfect dining experience. www.halekulani.com
Another top spot for fine French dining in Honolulu is Michel’s at Colony Surf. Consistently rated as one of the most romantic restaurants on Oahu, Michel’s offers amazing sunset views over the Pacific Ocean and impeccable service. In addition to the delectable French fare, they also offer live music. Reservations are highly recommended. www.michelshawaii.com