Arancino at the Kahala.


Or any other Arancino locations - their uni pasta is ridiculously tasty, and everything else I've ever eaten there is also amazing. Lots of people dress up to go there too, so it's a festive atmosphere! And happy anniversary, OP! 😊


Uni pasta is exactly what I had.


Carbonara is amazing and if you go before 9 they have the accordion man playing music! And if you tell them it’s your anniversary you’ll get a nice freebie desert, my friend got this really cool sugar glass fishbowl looking thing with fruit dessert inside!


Ah yes, that place is great. Used to work in their kitchen a few years ago. I miss the amatriciana pasta.


There’s no restaurant in Hawaii that requires a coat anymore, that’s old school. Not even La Mer enforces that. But go with Arancino. Mad Bene was okay, I think Rigo is better, but it’s not classic Italian. It’s more fusiony.


I think Rigo is Spanish, not Italian


Rigo has both, but it’s a fusion-type menu. Good, though.


La Cucina


Honestly not bad. But is commercial Italian. Mediterraneo Ristorante Italiano has a actual Italian chef that will come out and speak with you during the meal.


Interesting criteria what is "actual" italian. I have been to italy probably like 50 times. Number of italian chefs to come out and speak to me: 0


I was referring the the chef here not the restaurant. The chef is from Italy.


So as someone that was engaged to a very very very Italian woman, your region of Italian you want matters. If she is looking for a particular thing, coast and land locked cities make a difference. By far the most "Italian" place I've ever been was Mediterraneo Ristorante Italiano. Straight up home made Italian by a real Italian. If you don't think the olive garden is what you want, this is the plan.


Thank you we will definitely go to this place some time, even if it is not for our anniversary. She loves Italian but we never seem to find restaurants that make it better than she could at home.


I promise. This chef will make it better. It's a small menu, but he is competent at it.


Second this! Haven't been to Mediterraneo since the chef moved to that current location on king street. Used to go to his old place a lot and can vouch for that.


You really don't need a suit anywhere in Hawaii ever! If you want to be formal, invest in a good-quality aloha shirt and wear it with slacks.


Noe at the Four Seasons in Koolina. They only open for dinner. https://www.fourseasons.com/oahu/dining/restaurants/noe/


Does ko olina have meals under $300 😂


I second this. All of the pastas are handmade, and the service is really good. The chef worked in Michelin star restaurants in Tuscany before coming to Hawaii and does everything he can to keep things authentic


Mad Bene is *terrible*. It's the only place I've ever ordered pasta (bolognese) from and not been able to finish it. As a New Englander, their claim to be east coast style Italian is offensive (because their food is so terrible). I only went once when they first opened though, so maybe they've improved but I doubt it. Unless you want to upset her, or she's the sort of person that greatly enjoys eating terrible food, I wouldn't recommend it. I keep trying to tell myself I should give them another shot but the thought of spending so much money on crap food is unappetizing. I haven't personally found any Italian food here that I found acceptable, however I agree with the mention of differentiating what *type* of Italian you're looking for. I think you'll find better Mediterranean food than you'll find Sicilian.


Oh my husband and I have been twice since June and we adore it! Maybe it’s gotten better with time.


Italian is hard to find but there are a couple good spots. My suggestion is Taormina Restaurant in Waiks. Hope you find what your looking for. https://taorminarestaurant.com


My favorite place on the island to get a rack of lamb, so frickn good.


Prix-Fixe menu is $70, then add your wine…. still within your budget 😁


This seems to be the forerunner so far. We don't go out much, but the set price menu is something we did before we got married and loved it, so this seems very similar to that previous experience.


Awesome. If you take any food pics, post em back here for us lol 🤙


People leaving yelp reviews that live in Wisconsin don't count. This place is horrible. And sketchy. Avoid it.


Nope. Very much unapproved by Italian passports


Maybe not that authentic, but would you say it's still good?


Edit: no no no. This is the one place I wouldn't come I thought this comment was for la Cucina when I made it. Didn't check. My bad.


Mad bene or Quiroa in the ritz


If you are looking for a classy ambiance go to one of the below. Rigo Arancino (Kahala location) Noe (Four Seasons) There are lots of other decent Italian places on island but these 3 are high end and great for special occasions


Looooove Rigo. Fun mix of Italian & Tapas. My fave restaurant. Great staff too.


Assagios Edit- there’s one in Kailua and I’m pretty sure they have more than one location. Was one of my Papa’s favorites. Good food & service!


Just went to Assagios this weekend. Delicious! They make their Caesar salad from scratch. So good!!


Mad Bene in Kapolei. My wife and I love that place


Vouch on this one! Very good place.


Mad Bene is the best choice.


Arancino at the Kahala. Sorry but nothing else is in the same tier. Please don’t go to Mad Bene for your anniversary dinner.


Paesenos near Pearl Ridge. Food is delicious and service is excellent. Best Italian on Oahu with great date night atmosphere


Happy anniversary!!


Arancino di Mare at the Marriott, or Arancino at the Kahala. Between the food and service you won’t be disappointed. Each location has slightly different menus so check them out before making your reservation.


Does it have to be Italian? For that money you could do an omikase or go to a swanky restaurant with pacific rim cuisine


Yeah definitely want to do Italian as it's her favorite and we went to a really nice Italian place before we got married so I want to try to recreate that.


That's very thoughtful. Hope it goes well!


Baci bistro in Kailua. They’re amazing.


Baci Bistro has now claimed to part of the “Liberty” movement, which is anti mandate, anti vax, just letting you know as they are flying that flag proudly as we go into a Sept mandate of proof of vaccination or negative Covid test.


Dang. Haven’t been there in years. It was the best in the island in the day.


While your criticisms against Baci Bistro are justified does their anti-vaxx stance make their food taste worse? Point being; I don’t understand the downvotes. You can easily say that a place’s food is good but caveat it with their current business practices. *I personally* wouldn’t eat their due to their politics but OP didn’t ask about politics. EDIT: Do you actually have any evidence for your claim? I’m looking on FaceBook; their site, My Kailua, etc and don’t see them staking out a position on vaccines. Looking at their facebook pics all their staff is masked up.


They posted on their IG page. They are also listed as an anti vaxx passport business on the Aloha Liberty Hawaii IG page. Baci has been called out during the pandemic on bad mask wearing practices throughout the pandemic, and had the health dept visit. Just sharing the info so whatever side people fall on or just don’t care can take it into account. Personally, I liked the restaurant before it was sold to the new owner. Food was better. My fave these days is Rigo.


Isn’t Olive Garden open yet??


Buca di Beppo near Dave & Busters has a nice meal and decoration for your event.


I've ate at other locations and was not at all impressed. That was one of the places we left afterwards saying how we could make better at home.


Want Italian go to Italy. That would the greatest anniversary ever


As if there isn't a global pandemic


I haven’t travel for two years because of this mess. I thought you was traveling to Hawaii for you anniversary. I’m just a firm believer if your visiting a different country or in this matter a state, enjoy the local food and culture. Go to Italy when you can. That’s Italian food. Everywhere else is just food and poor substitute. Be a big boy and dress up in your finest. Ten years man. I’m sure she will make a effort


Arancinos, Taormina, Bernini, Mad Bene, Mediterraneo, Assagios, rigo to name a few. You know, I think Mediterraneo is super is super overlooked. I strongly recommend this hole in a wall restaurant. It’s an extremely quaint restaurant (previously a home I believe) and the food is SUPERB. The owner is a jolly Italian man and he’s quite the character as well! Honestly it’s such a whimsical and cute setup, it really feels like I’m dining at a small Restaurant in italy. Even if it’s not for the anni I think it would be a shame for this spot to go unnoticed!!! Great wine selection as well. I went to Taormina two days ago for my bday. A little expensive IMO but the foiegras risotto was yummy! I personally did think some of the cream pastas were a little bland. Along with Bernini tho both of these places are Italian restaurants with Japanese care - so it may not be super authentically Sicilian/Italian (I actually love that it’s a fusion style but might not be what you’re looking for!) However at Taormina they did mark on the menu which dishes are very closely authentically made, and these would be the more fancier restaurants of the bunch along w Arancino. Went to Mad Bene two Saturday ago! I go here often, it’s a fun spot. Great selection of cocktails, and fun appetizers! I love the carpaccio. If you like garlic, their mad garlic pizza is very tasty! I would say it’s slightly more casual than the previous contenders kind of like Assagios! Not super expensive too. I think it’s a safe option! Rigo is Italian Spanish so might not be what you’re looking for but they have a wide selection of appetizers. Also super cute ambience! TLDR mediterraneo 😎 safe options: mad bene or arancino


Bernini’s or La Cucina