Let’s Talk Food: WSW Steakhouse to open at Hilo Hawaiian

  • Courtesy photo WSW Steakhouse Signature Prime Rib

  • Courtesy photo WSW Steakhouse Burger

  • Courtesy photo New York strip steak

  • Courtesy photo Linguine vongole

  • Courtesy photo Misoyaki butterfish

  • Courtesy photo Kona kampachi

  • Courtesy photo Kampachi poke

  • Courtesy photo Surf N Turf

  • Courtesy photo Seafood skillet

Opening this Saturday, Jan. 30, is WSW Steakhouse in the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

The “WSW,” stands for whiskey, steak and wine. With the pandemic, food and beverage manager Gregory Arianoff and chef Dean Otake thought about creating a steakhouse, probably while sipping some wine and whiskey. Hilo has not had a steakhouse for many years, and the idea was exciting without competing with other restaurants in town.

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This is the fourth steakhouse Gregory has opened, including two in Las Vegas.

Chef Dean started his career in the culinary industry at AJ & Sons Catering with my son, Dean Shigeoka. This is where he learned how to hold a knife properly as well as all the basic skills needed to work in a kitchen. While at AJ & Sons, he had opportunities to work with great Hawaii chefs such as Russell Siu of 3660 on the Rise, Chef Alan Wong and TK Keovasang of then-Brown’s Beach House at The Fairmont Orchid resort, and presently TK Shabu Shabu House in Kona, TK Noodle House Kona, Lemongrass Express in Waikoloa and Thep Thai Cuisine in Pahoa.

From there, he went to Hilo Bay Cafe, at their original location at Waiakea Center on Makaala Street, then to their present location on Lihiwai Street. Gregory picked Chef Dean up to work at Hilo Hawaiian, first as a sous chef then to chef de cuisine of the Queen’s Court and eventually to his present position as chef of WSW Steakhouse.

Chef Dean has specific items that a typical steakhouse would have, with a better quality than what is available at home, sourcing as many local products to help out local farmers.

Appetizers include truffle parmesan fries; Kona kampachi poke with tokibo, ogo, shoyu, green onion and housemade potato chips; misoyaki butterfish; roasted Big Island kohlrabi with truffle aioli; ulu hummus with Big Island macadamia nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and housemade potato chips; broiled bone marrow, butter, garlic, thyme and focaccia points; and a half dozen fresh Hawaii Island Kuchi oysters served with spicy yuzu and tobiko.

All beef is prime grade or choice plus. You can choose from a 9-ounce filet mignon, 12-ounce New York strip steak, 14-ounce pork chop, 16-ounce WSW slow roasted prime rib served with housemade pan drippings au jus and creamy horseradish or 32-ounce WSW signature steak bone-in prime rib served with housemade pan drippings au jus and creamy horseradish.

Entrees include three Norway lobsters, garlic Maitre d’Hotel Butter and a loaded baked potato; Kona Coast pan-seared kampachi in a light kombu dashi, Ali‘i mushrooms, asparagus, russet potatoes; misoyaki butterfish, white rice, Ali‘i mushrooms, watermelon radish melange; a one-fourth chicken confit with a light gravy and French fries; braised lamb shank in red wine tomato sauce, creamy polenta and grilled asparagus; linguine vongole of clams, garlic, parsley, capers and white wine broth; the WSW burger made with local grass-fed beef with an uni butter bath, grilled mushrooms, Monterey cheese, lettuce and tomato on a toasted brioche bun with French fries; and a Beyond burger with lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun with fresh field greens with lilikoi drizzle.

Specials of the day include, when available, 1 pound of Louisiana-style crayfish and a seafood skillet that includes 1 pound snow crab clusters, 1 pound Norway lobsters, 1 pound crayfish and 1 pound clams in a white wine broth with focaccia toast points.

Every Monday, the special is Surf and Turf, or filet mignon and Norway lobster combo special with a loaded baked potato.

Tuesdays will feature a 32-ounce of Tomahawk Australian MS6 Wagyu rib-eye with WSW Steakhouse uni butter and a loaded baked potato.

Every Wednesday there will be a whole Kona-cold steamed lobster with Maitre d’Hotel garlic butter and asparagus.

Salads include a house salad; Caesar’s salad from Dam Fine Farms with housemade Caesar dressing and croutons, parmesan cheese and focaccia toast points; WSW salad of Dam Fine Farms field greens, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, kohlrabi, capers and WSW tzatziki dressing; and Caprese salad of Dam Fine Farms tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, vinaigrette and aged balsamic syrup.

To complement dinners, WSW Steakhouse will introduce a whiskey tableside cart featuring rare and fine whiskeys.

In the middle of the restaurant, there will be a floor-to-ceiling wine cellar containing fine wines to choose from for your dinner.

The restaurant will be located at the former Queen’s Court, with a panoramic view of Coconut Island and the shoreline.

What is important to Gregory is that WSW Steakhouse be classy, yet have everyday prices so you can go often and not only for special occasions. He also feels that because the other restaurants in town have affordable prices, the prices have to be competitive with them.

WSW Steakhouse is open daily from 5-9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 969-6470 or booking online through Open Table.

You will be delighted to see some former employees of Hilo Hawaiian Hotel as well as some new employees.

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Let’s welcome WSW Steakhouse to our community!

Email Audrey Wilson at audreywilson808@gmail.com.