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Al Vicolo Brings Authentic Italian Food and Friendship to Hawai‘i Island

August 31, 2017, 10:50 AM HST (Updated August 31, 2017, 1:20 PM) · 0 Comments
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    Itʻs said the problem with eating Italian food is five or six days later youʻre hungry again. Al Vicolo, the new Italian restaurant in Kawaihae Harbor, lives up to this declaration, serving up delicious dishes brimming with the authentic tastes of Italy.

    Al Vicoloʻs owner, Davide Semenza, arrived in Florida from Italy two years ago with his family. A fine jewelry maker and designer, he always dreamed of opening up his own Italian restaurant and was just waiting for the right time and opportunity to make his dream come true.

    Then one day last January, Semenza received a call from his friend on Hawaiʻi Island who presented him with the opportunity he was waiting for.

    “We came to Hawai‘i for a two-week vacation and found everything we needed—a house to rent and a space for the restaurant,” said Semeza. “So we went back to Florida and packed everything in a big container and we moved here. We arrived on March 11. We opened the restaurant and I chose to call it ‘Al Vicolo,’ because the street I grew up on was called Vicolo del Serpenti. I did this all to remember my dad.”

    Guests are greeted with warm Italian style and a small Prosecco apéritif to stimulate their appetite. The daily menu is also accompanied by the daily specials and a nice wine list filled with Italian vinos.

    The dishes are made with imported Italian meats and cheeses, as well as lots of Italian amore.

    “We use fresh imported products from Italy,” said Semenza. “It can be a little pricey, but quality is quality. I love this island and Iʻm always respectful for what the Lord gives us to enjoy.”

    Some of the featured antipasta are the Board of Salami with sliced prosciutto parme, Tuscany salami, mortadella ham and black olives.

    The Board of Cheese includes gorgonzola, goat cheese, parmigiano reggiano, seasoned ricotta, black olives and honey.

    The caprese salad is a delicious combination of fresh tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, oregano and basil.

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    A standout dish is the Cognac Shimp prepared, served with pureed potatoes and roasted tomatoes.

    For entrees, try the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio, prepared with mussels, shrimp, clams and cherry tomatoes.

    The Penette Al Pesto is a simple, yet delicious dish with basil and pine nuts.

    The Scaloppine Al Vino is a hearty dish of veal made with white wine and served with mushrooms and pureed potatoes.

    And of course, save room for dessert. The tiramisu is to die for, but if you can’t choose just one, also indulge in the Panna Cotta. The two dishes compliment each other well.

    You’ll leave well fed and well cared for. If you’re lucky, you may even get a big Italian hug before you walk out the door.

    “We share with customers our Italian friendship,” said Semenza.

    Food and friendship—it doesn’t get much better. Buon appetito! Addio!

    Al Vicolo is located at Kawiahae Harbor outside Waimea in the building that previously housed the Plantation Grill. Call (808) 882-1200 for information and reservations.

    Cognac Shrimp at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Penette Al Pesto at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Spaghetti Allo Scoglio at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Staff at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Scaloppine Al Vino at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Tiramisu and Panna Cotta at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Board of Cheese at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Board of Salami at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Caprese Salad at Al Vicolo. Karen Rose photo.

    Karen Rose
    Karen Rose is a writer and journalist living on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel, arts and entertainment. She never met a food she didn't like—except black licorice.
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