So long Brasserie Du Vin

Do you remember Brasserie Du Vin? It was on Bethel Street, Honolulu, just over the road from the Hawaii Theatre making it the perfect venue for a pre or post theatre drink or dinner. Being just a short stroll from the Downtown business district, Chinatown arts and the cultural district, it was a popular choice for many. Brasserie Du Vin was created in the style of cafes in the South of France. A casual, rustic atmosphere gave the establishment a relaxing ambiance where diners could spend time eating and drinking, chatting and watching the world go by.

At Brasserie Du Vin, time seemed to go more slowly. You felt as if you’d been transported to another time and place. It was a great place to forget your troubles and meet up with good friends, old and new. They were open for both lunch and dinner and you could choose to dine indoors or sit outside on the pretty patio area. You may even have been to a party or other function at Brasserie Du Vin. Brasserie Du Vin seemed to be just right for any occasion. It was probably the warm and welcoming atmosphere that gave the place that effect.

They held a wide range of special in-house events too. There were tasting sessions for both wine and food, and special dinners where a wine would be served that perfectly matched each course. These events were a great chance to really savour your meals and discover new wines too. It was amazing how much difference it made when a wine was chosen to complement the food. Whoever chose the wines really knew what they were doing. If you were lucky, you’d also have some great live music to keep you entertained while you dined.

The menu changed with the seasons, and much of the food served was made from seasonal, organic, local produce. The wine list was also impressive and they had a wide range of spirits and other drinks too. Whether you wanted a beer, sparkling wine or a soft drink, they always seemed to have just what you wanted. For people with smaller appetites, their selection of small dishes was ideal, and these were also brilliant for sharing with friends. There’s something special about selecting several dishes to pick at while you chat and put the world to rights. You could create your own buffet on the table in front of you, then you could snack on your dishes over the course of the evening, or during a luxurious long and lingering lunchtime. It’s sometimes more pleasant to graze like this than eat a big meal, and it allows for the conversation to keep flowing too!

Sadly the restaurant isn’t open any more, this of course is no longer the official website of Brasserie Du Vin, however it is a tribute to it, for anyone who is out there searching for this unique dining establishment, who remembers it well. It’s great to remember those places that we spent many happy hours in the past, and I’m sure there are many, many people out there who think fondly when they look back at Brasserie Du Vin. It was certainly always full of people enjoying their time there.

In the main dining room, you were immediately welcomed into a wonderful area with an outstanding brass and wood bar. With plenty of seating, you’d always get a great spot that was big enough for your party and you’d never feel cramped. For something more intimate, you could choose to dine in the Cask Room. This was a smaller room, with a tavern feel. The atmosphere in this room was quieter than the main dining room, so it was the ideal choice for anyone who needed a more peaceful area to converse. Perhaps entertaining business guests or even having a romantic, intimate meal for two. The Cask Room was also available for private parties of 15-25 people. I’m sure many people will have happy memories of celebrating a birthday or anniversary in this room. Your final dining place option was the patio. This option was outdoors, but it also had several covered tables. Sitting outside for a meal or snack, or simply just drinks, when the weather was warm, was one of my favorite things about Brasserie Du Vin. You could sit back, and let all the troubles of the day fade away. Their fine wines certainly helped too! But my problem, was once I was sat on the patio with a drink, I’d see other people’s meals coming out, and they would look and smell so great, I just couldn’t resist ordering a little something for myself too!

The food was particularly delicious, and in the French style. The French onion soup was served with a generous portion of melted Gruyere and was topped with brioche croutons toasted to perfection. If you weren’t a fan of French onion soup then there was always an alternative Soup du Jour to try. Being a French Restaurant, of course they served snails or escargot. Baked in white wine, herbs, garlic and butter, these snails were a true delight. Other appetizers included Baked Brie, Moules Frites, Carpaccio Bresaola, Blue Crab Cakes and fresh, chilled Pacific Oysters served on ice. A truly decadent treat.

For a lighter lunch there was always a wide selection of salads and sandwiches. The sandwiches were offered up with your choice of fries, chips or salad. The Croque Monsieur was a traditional French favourite they offered. Honey cured ham was served hot with mustard, smothered in a bechemel sauce and topped with melted Swiss cheese. If you were feeling particularly hungry you could even add a fried egg. This was one of my personal favourites. It was perfect with an ice cold beer.

For the hungry diner, there was a good selection of entrées including a vegetarian option. For steak lovers there was the Grilled Big Island Rib Eye, if you preferred fish then you had plenty of great options such as the Grilled Island Fish or the Du Vin Bouillabaise which had a bit of everything. This key dish brought you island fish, shrimp, mussels and clams, all served in a tasty lobster broth. For anyone on a budget, the fixed price three course menu was always a great deal.

Of course there’s always room for dessert, if there isn’t you could relax with a glass of champagne or wine until you felt ready for your final course. Desserts changed daily, but some favourites always stayed on the menu such as the chocolate soufflé made with 50% cacao chocolate, and the Gateau Breton, a gorgeous double crusted apple pie served with a unique Earl Grey crème anglaise and a cinnamon gelato.

If that wasn’t enough, you could finish your meal with an amazing cheese board Brasserie Du Vin offered a fantastic selection of artisan cheeses. Usually when you order a cheese board, you get the usual cheeses, such as you’d buy to eat yourself at home, but not at the Brasserie Du Vin. Here you’d get some cheeses you’d never tried and probably never heard of either! I now eat several cheeses that I first discovered at Brasserie Du Vin.

Everyone loves a happy hour, and the happy hour at Brasserie Du Vin was pretty special as not only were some wines and cocktails reduced in price, but some of the dishes on the menu too. Happy hour was actually a happy two hours, from 4pm to 6pm Monday through to Saturday.

Brasserie Du Vin was open Monday to Saturday from 11.30am until 4.00pm for lunch, then dinner was served from 4.00pm until closing. Occasionally the restaurant would open on Sundays if the theatre over the road was showing something and they thought theatre goers might like to visit for meal or drinks. They would also open on a Sunday for private functions. Otherwise they were only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reliving the days of this awesome restaurant, and hope this site brings back some great memories for you of time you too spent at Brasserie Du Vin.