A NEW CASUAL ITALIAN EATERY IN WAIKIKI: WDI International Launches Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar in Soft Opening


(Honolulu, HI)— Kuhio Avenue is gaining yet another new gourmet concept, and it’s bound to be popular amongst, well, everyone. The soft opening of Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar at OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger is November 1, 2017, with a grand opening slated for December 2017.

Skilled chefs will captivate guests as they enjoy the magic unfold in the open kitchen, ran by Chef de Cuisine Naomi Ito. Regional Executive Chef Hiroyuki “Hiro” Mimura of Taormina Sicilian Cuisine has overseen the new menu alongside Tokyo Chef and restaurant creator David Chiddo, ensuring that Appetito remains true to its authentic Italian roots.

The soft opening will begin with a limited menu that features a range of tapas-style dishes such as Crispy fried Portobello mushrooms, Salami Board Charcuterie, and Island Carpaccio of Hawaiian Kona kanpachi—suitable for the wine bar, along with gourmet salads like the Cajun Shrimp Salad with oranges and Kalamata olives. The main menu features dishes that are sure to be a hit. Plates Creamy Bolognese with homemade beef ragu, and Porcini mushroom rigatoni with shiitake mushrooms and crispy prosciutto; hot off the grill items like the “Bistecca alla Fiorentina,” a hearty 26oz T-bone steak with rosemary and garlic, and fresh herb marinated and grilled free-range Skillet Lemon Chicken are sure to be fast favorites.

The dessert menu features indulgences for everyone including the Appetito Matcha Tiramisu, light and airy layers of lady fingers, marscapone cheese and adzuki red beans, a Butterscotch buddino pudding with dark rum caramel sauce and pecans, and Chocolate Nutella cake with hazelnuts and vanilla gelato. 

A breakfast menu will feature local produce and ingredients with a list that include Sunrise Hawaiian Pancakes with local fruits, Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs that top taro English muffins, Hawaiian Sweet Bread French Toast coated with cornflakes and a Nutella spread, and an Original Ahi Bowl topped with kimchee and a poached egg.

What of its namesake—the craft pizza?  “We are currently developing a hand-tossed, freshly prepared pizza menu by the combined skills of Chef Hiro and Chef Naomi,” says General Manager Kelly Nguyen.  The gorgeous metallic-tiled 900-degree Kiawe wood oven within the open-aired kitchen is both eye-catching and alluring. “We plan to make full use of the oven once our pizza menu has truly come together so please be on the lookout!”


The menu is designed to encourage sharing, allowing guests to sample various menu items and delight in Chef Hiro’s culinary creativity. The authentic Italian menu and focus are influenced by Chef’s creative gourmand expertise; the limited menu will rotate regularly with seasonal bounty and Chef’s inspiration. True to his Italian culinary upbringing, Chef Hiro highlights local ingredients and unique flavor combinations in a way that gives life to each dish.   

The Restaurant’s vibrant Wine Bar is also not to be remiss. Patrons will find a select list of over 100 fine wines—available by the bottle and by the glass, along with craft beers, homemade limoncello liqueur, and handcrafted cocktails inspired by the island’s culture. Selected with the same care as the bar’s offerings are the diverse assortment of non-alcoholic beverages, ranging from local fruit juices to fruit-infused iced teas and Italian sodas.  Appetito’s carefully-curated coffee, tea, and espresso program are perfect for breakfast and afternoon pick-me-up visiting occasions.


The 5,543 square-foot open-aired venue gives a warm glow with inviting natural elements such as wood furnishing, beautiful cream-colored marble, and pops of fresh herbs and plants. Divided in to distinctive areas that provide both privacy and a sense of welcome that allow for private dining in an elegant nook or semi-private dining on the patio for those looking to dine al fresco.

The décor is chic yet understated by way of unique light fixtures, painted walls, upholstery, and artwork. Restaurant patrons will feel welcomed and inspired to enjoy several levels of dining: an elevated yet casual Italian dine-in experience, a leisurely glass of wine or cocktail at the Wine Bar, or a simple yet delicious takeout meal at the beach.

With the opening of its new restaurant, WDI International, a subsidiary of WDI Corporation, a global restaurant management company will add a new feather to its cap of impressive and delicious dining options which include Taormina Sicilian Cuisine, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, TR Firegrill Waikiki, GEN Korean BBQ House, Tim Ho Wan, and Tony Roma’s.


Regional Executive Chef Hiroyuki “Hiro” Mimura oversees both Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Taormina Sicilian Cuisine. He started his career in Tokyo, Japan atTrattoria Marumo where he learned the basics of management and the foundations to creating various Italian dishes. Inspired by his time in Italian dining, Chef Hiro then moved to Florence, Italy where he worked in various fine dining establishments. In 2004, Chef Hiro competed in the prestigious La Rottadel Vino Slow Food Contest in Italy, in which he placed in the top five under the Appetizer Competition and first place in the Entrée Competition. He has been a part of Waikiki’s Taormina Sicilian Cuisine since its opening ten years ago, recognized for introducing Hawaii to the Uni (sea urchin) Pasta and other unique Italian dishes. Chef Hiro understands the importance of using local and seasonal ingredients and is committed to incorporating them in his dishes whenever possible. 


Tokyo-born Chef de Cuisine Naomi Ito began her culinary career at Bridgestone Motorsports in Japan. There, she catered and worked the hospitality booth at circuits across Japan. After securing a position at Taormina Sicilian Cuisine in Waikiki, Naomi blossomed into the skilled chef she’s become under Chef Hiro’s watchful eye. She began working as an intern and eventually worked her way to Chef Hiro’s Sous Chef. By the time she was offered the Chef de Cuisine position at Appetito, Chef Naomi was ready to step up to the challenge. “I love Italy and Italian food,” said Ito. “I want to make a new style restaurant in Waikiki, taking advantage of what I’ve learned from Chef Hiro.”


Renowned Tokyo Chef and restaurant creator David Chiddo has collaborated on this Appetito concept with WDI International. His impressive career spanning 35 years and has contributed to the creation and production of over 30 restaurants from Los Angeles, California to Japan. Chiddo has spent the last 25 years in Tokyo, working with the TY Harbor Group since 1999. His cooking style was influential in the changing of the western restaurant landscape in Tokyo since the early 90’s and has created many of the most successful concepts including TY Harbor Brewery, Cicada, beacon, Ivy Place and Smokehouse. 

Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar

Address: OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger
                  150 Kaiulani Ave., Honolulu HI 96815
Phone:  (808) 922 – 1150
Business Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM           

Website: www.AppetitoWaikiki.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/appetitowaikiki
Instagram: @appetitowaikiki

Soft Opening Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining, Italian, Wine Bar
Dress Code: None 


If you would like more information about Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and/or the menu items mentioned, please call Sascha at (808) 922-8974, or email her at sascha@mediaetc.net.