When anyone asks me about my favorite place to eat, I excitedly exclaim, "DU VIN!" Even with my obvious slaying of the proper French pronunciation, it's all worth it when we walk into the most charming, beautifully decorated, hidden gem in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Imagine the essence of Paris – the charm, the exuding sophistication, the utmost chicness, and the aristocratic history that permeates from every corner of France. For us who are not lucky enough to live in the City of Love, we resort to watching the Travel Channel shows or gazing upon magnificent Paris photos here on the Lomography interwebs. I’ve been blessed to travel there once, in 2007 – and I still strongly remember the fantastic energy of Paris and the alluring beauty of such a city born in the arts.
All my life I’ve lived in Hawaii, and I honestly can’t complain. We’ve got clear skies, sunny weather all year round, amazing beaches, and friendly people that live the Aloha (love in Hawaiian) spirit. However, the laid back, beachy culture here is probably the exact opposite from the European culture I experienced in France. And that’s not a bad thing! But when I get the stings of missing Paris, I just plan a lunch down at my favorite restaurant, Brasserie Du Vin.
Du Vin is set in the heart of Chinatown, Honolulu, and it’s a hole in the wall kind of place, so you might miss it if you’re not set on finding it. But that’s kind of charming, too, ain’t it?
The ambiance is impeccable. The restaurant is divided into 3 parts: the initial part is dark, with deep brown wooden walls, a full bar, and old-age decor. The second part (my favorite) is set outdoors in a terrace, with lights strung across up top, Parisian umbrellas, vine sprawled across the walls, and cute tables. The third part, I’ve never been it, but it seems to resemble a cozy cottage. It’s literally picture perfect!
The service has been amazing every time I’ve been there – I’ve gotten my coffee on the house a few times. The waiters all seem to have an accent, and they’re kind and considerate. But they seem to be short on staff, and I’d imagine on busy nights, the waiters could be a bit slow.
The shining star of the menu: the baked brie in puff pastry with fruit and honey drizzle. Can you say mouthgasm!? It is literally one of the simplest pieces of perfection. I always get it, along with one of their great salads or unique sandwiches. The food isn’t really French, I’m imagining, but they offer great soups of the day, escargot, and mussels in white wine broth.
I’d have to say that the overall winner is the ambiance. The outdoor seating is perfect during the day, when the natural light is just magnificent. My friends and I love to come down here whenever possible, and we never leave disappointed. :)