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Tropics Bar & Grill Heats Things Up At Hilton Hawaiian Village
All-new outlet opens after an $11 million, eight-month renovation
June 24, 2009
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Hilton Hawaiian Village® Beach Resort & Spa just keeps getting hotter. Tropics Bar & Grill opened recently, bringing sizzle to Waikiki with island cuisine served in a spacious new dining room, outdoor patio and expanded bar area.
"Tropics is all about food, fun and ambience," says Brian Keys, the Village's director of food and beverage. "The menu is authentic beach cuisine in a friendly, upbeat atmosphere."
Located right on Waikiki Beach, the new 15,700 square-foot eatery was designed by Group 70 International with interiors by the Hatch Design Group. Ryoko Nasu, who headed up the team from Hatch Design, said that the vision was to create an environment that is Tropical Modern with a contemporary touch.
"While maintaining its casual vibe to locals and visitors alike, the new design features a contemporary interpretation of old Hawaii with splashes of retro inspiration," says Nasu. Materials embody the spirit of the islands, including ipe wood, bamboo, coral stone, shells and organic lava rock, which houses fire pits around the restaurant's perimeter along the beach. "It's warm, cozy and inviting," continues Nasu.
The menu was created in collaboration with Mark Ellman, chef and owner of Mala Ocean Tavern on Maui. Ellman was one of twelve chefs that pioneered the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement 20 years ago. Fast forward to 2009 and the islands' bounty of fresh produce and seafood continues to influence restaurant menus throughout Hawaii.
Tropics is no different. Its breakfast, lunch, appetizer and dinner dishes celebrate local farmers and their products. Hilton Hawaiian Village Executive Chef Jeffrey Vigilla is making it his mission to support the sustainability movement and uses as many local ingredients in his menus as possible. Since his return to the islands in January, Vigilla has visited nearly every local supplier, fisherman and farmer that provides products to the resort.
"The diversity of Hawaii's agriculture is incredible," says Vigilla. "From Kahua Ranch beef to Hamakua Mushrooms; from Hawaiian Vanilla (the only vanilla farmed in the United States) to Kona Sea Salt-the selection is so vast. This means we are providing our diners the farm-to-table freshness and intensity that only local products can offer," he continued.
Patrons can wake themselves up with Hawaiian loco moco featuring Maui onion gravy; baked egg white casserole with Hamakua shiitake mushrooms; the morning after saimin with island kamaboku; a yogurt bar with an array of fresh fruit toppings; seared lump crab cake benedict and Hawaiian Portuguese sausage benedict, just to name a few. For lunch and dinner, the menu features a selection of appetizers, salads and sandwiches, including hoisin-glazed baby back ribs; Chinese duck lumpia lettuce wraps; furikake and beer-battered fish and chips featuring local mahi mahi; Big Island alii mushroom and Hamakua goat cheese flatbread; seared ahi on a bed of Waimanalo greens; and Island Fish of the Day. Sweet treats include coconut mango cake; ginger scented lilikoi crème brulee; Hawaiian chocolate pots de crème and Kona coffee mascarpone cheesecake.
Tropics is open daily from 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for all-day dining, and features nightly live music by Hawaii's top artists, including Sean Na`auao, Piranha Brothers, Typical Hawaiians and Beach 5. The new restaurant is one of 16 dining outlets at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, including the award-winning Bali by the Sea. For information, call the resort at (808) 949-4321 or visit hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/dining.
The Tropics Showroom, most remembered for its run as a disco and a venue for popular flamenco guitarist and singer, Charo, was merged with the Tropics Bar & Beach Café to form the new Tropics Bar & Grill. The $11 million, eight-month renovation created indoor and outdoor dining for more than 350 patrons, a 36-seat bar, a larger kitchen and a private dining room. Virtually every seat in the house provides a spectacular view of Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
In addition to Tropics, the Hilton Hawaiian Village recently launched its new Waikiki Starlight Luau, wowing crowds every Sunday through Thursday, and in April premiered a new Aloha Friday show, "Rockin' Hawaiian Rainbow Revue," which ends with a longer and more spectacular fireworks display.
To access downloadable images of Tropics Bar & Grill, click on the following link: http://www.hiltonfamilyhawaii.com/press-room-images.aspx
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