Penguini has become my favorite spot for sweet treats: homemade gelato, sorbets, chocolate truffles, excellent coffee and delicious cupcakes. My friends laugh that I think nothing of driving 20 minutes to eat one of their dark chocolate chili cupcakes. Be sure to check out their new sandwiches and wraps. Penguini is just off Hana Highway on the side of the Paia Inn and it’s an adventure to find them. I promise: Once you do, you’ll never forget. Call 808-214-4608 or, better yet, go visit Melissa at 93 Hana Highway.
Jean Marie Josselin is back on Kaua‘i, and all my foodie friends are buzzing. His new restaurant, Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill, is located in Poipu, at the Kikui‘ula shopping center. How a chef can inspire a locally caught fish to taste so good is just the beginning of his talents. The menu is globally inspired dishes served tapas style. Lychee and tropical fruit sangria are unique and delicious. A must-have is the Ahi Three Ways Tower. Dinner nightly from 5pm. 808-742-7117 or http://www.josselins.com
The Ultimate Burger in Kailua-Kona celebrated their one-year anniversary this December. Happy birthday! The folks here are also celebrating the farmer and rancher while bringing us the best in an American classic. Locally owned and operated, serving organic Big Island beef and also a great selection of beer. The word out among locals is the French fries are the best in the Islands. Open daily 10:30am until 9pm. Call 808-329-2326 or visit www.ultimateburger.net
Another restaurant that just opened is Red Water Café in Waimea, formerly Fujimama’s. The Red Water Café and its parent, Hawai‘i Gourmet Society, are dedicated to the enjoyment of fine food and catering. They offer the best in fresh locally sourced fine food. Call 808-885-9299 or visit www.redwater-cafe.com
CHOCOLATE, need I say more? Mark your calendars and get ready, O‘ahu, for the first annual Chocolate Festival on Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Dole Cannery Shops. There will be chocolatecooking demonstrations, tours of the farm on the North Shore and, yes, chocolate tasting, plus cooking classes and wine parings with chocolate. The event organizers are bringing in chocolate artisans from all over the state.
Give my friend Amy a call at 808-234-0404 or visit www.hawaiichocolatefestival.com