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POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2009


Wolfgang's stakes claim in Waikiki

Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener
Royal Hawaiian Center, third floor, Building C

A restaurant like Wolfgang's Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, where the selling point is connoisseurship, is rare. The bottom line is that if you can afford Wolfgang's, it's great. If you can't fathom the idea of a $50 steak, don't bother. You won't appreciate the cost and time that went into bringing it to your table, which have rendered dry-aging a nearly lost art.

It's unfortunate the restaurant opened when the economy is struggling. Two years ago, it would have been packed by purists in search of dry-aged beef, simply prepared to allow natural flavor and fattiness to star.

Zwiener built his reputation over 40 years at the legendary Peter Luger's in New York. I believe it when his reps say he hand-selects all the beef. He took a hands-on approach at his restaurant throughout opening week, checking on guests, bringing in old-fashioned, palpable hospitality.

Steak is the way to go here, and you won't find distractions like chicken and pork, save for juicy cuts of thick Canadian bacon as an appetizer ($3.95) or sprinkled like croutons on Wolfgang's Salad ($14.95), which, other than the bacon, isn't very memorable.

There are also a couple of fish selections, and a crab cake ($18.95 for one) appetizer made of blue crab meat with very little binders is a must.

The restaurant is known for its porterhouse, prime corn-fed beef aged 28 days. Order it for two ($94.95), three ($143.95) or four ($191.95). The meat is broiled at 1,600 degrees and arrives sizzling with juices and fat jumping. Both flavor and texture are amazing. Other choices are filet mignon ($47.95), prime New York sirloin ($47.95) and rib eye ($47.95).

Open 11:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday brunch service starts Saturday. About $150 for two without drinks.



Concordia Choir includes Kamehameha graduate

All the way from the snowy Midwest climes comes the internationally acclaimed Concordia Choir of Moorhead, Minn. The group, performing Sunday, brings a Kamehameha Schools graduate back home.

Local girl Ashley Huffman will sing with her 72 fellow choir members at the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew.

Dr. Rene Clausen conducts the a capella choir in a diverse program ranging from Hawaiian to Russian and featuring several spirituals and hymns. Performances will include Bach's “;Singet Dem Herrn,”; Schnittke's “;Choral Concerto”; and a tenor solo in “;Nunc Dimitis”; from “;All-Night Vigil”; by Rachmaninoff.

Concordia College is a four-year liberal arts institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. concert are $20 and $10 for students, seniors and military. Call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.concordiatickets.com.



Symphony Chorus benefit features the trio Solmati

Speaking of the Concordia Choir, the group will provide entertainment Saturday at the annual Honolulu Symphony Chorus benefit.

Along with the trio Solmati—made up of vocalist Ruth Shiroma Foster, clarinetist Norm Foster and violinist Duane Padilla—and singers from the chorus, the fundraiser will also honor Robert S. Hines for his lifelong support of live choral music. Hines is professor emeritus at the music department at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

The fundraiser will include a silent auction of high-end donated items.

It all takes place at 6 p.m. at the Waialae Country Club. Dinner and auction tickets are $70. Call 524-0815, ext. 257, or visit www.oahuchoral.com.



Vega will sing gospel to fight chronic ills

Gospel singer Rosalina Vega will lend her talents in a concert to help educate the public about chronic disease prevention in the islands.

The concert—part of Vega's Hawaiian tour to promote her new album “;He Is Here”;—is sponsored by Walk of Faith, a health and lifestyle education program and community outreach based in Kohala.

Bob Silverman, former pianist and arranger for the Heritage Singers, will be featured as part of Vega's concert.

The concert will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Honolulu Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2313 Nuuanu Ave. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted, and sales of Vega's CD will also help benefit Walk of Faith. Call (808) 889-5574 or visit www.rosalinavega.com.



Nigerian artist and young disciples showcased

The paintings of Nigerian-born artist Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao will get “;One Night of Grace”; at The ARTS at Marks Garage downtown.

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, not only will the work of Alao be on display, but artwork by Hawaii students of all ages, who have been influenced by his in-school workshops, will be showcased. Alao has visited campuses as Punahou School, Hanahauoli School, Mid-Pacific Institute, Assets, Our Savior Lutheran, Hawaii Baptist Academy and others.

The 33-year-old Alao was the first-place winner of the United Nations International Art Competition in 2001, from a field of 320 entries from 61 countries.

Call 621-1898 or visit www.ibiyinka.com.