Honolulu’s restaurant scene seems to be booming as of late. In the years I was away on the mainland it feels like the market here has caught up significantly to more modern trends. That’s a great thing for someone like me, who values variety and newness in the options I have when deciding where to dine out. I was introduced to Fête by a friend of mine over lunch a little while ago, but wanted to try a more substantial meal. I headed down with the wife on Christmas Eve to give Fête a more thorough visit.

The restaurant was busy when we arrived and, rather than wait for a table, we opted to sit right away at the kitchen counter in the back. Not only did this seem to give us more elbow room, but it also afforded us a view right into all the action. Fête is described as a New American restaurant. The menu reads part brasserie and part Italian to me, which is a refreshing change from what you usually see in Honolulu.

Deviled eggs, smoked trout roe, chives

Beautiful contrast in colors but a little short on flavor. Perhaps a little too mustard oriented for our tastes.

Bacaloa fritters, harissa aioli, toasted coriander

Delightful little fritters. Crispy exterior with flaky fish within.

Twice-fried ludavico chicken, spicy tomato jam, Charleston grits, collard greens

Excellent collard greens and grits. Buttery and packed with flavor. Unfortunately the chicken skin was far too thick and gummy, resulting in my sending the dish back.

Linguine carbonara, slab bacon, Portuguese sausage, parmigiano-reggiano, pecorino romano

Simple and assuming, but full of savory and sharp flavors. Pasta was perhaps a tad too wet, but otherwise an enjoyable plate.

Pineapple crostata, pistachio, vanilla bean ice cream

The flaky crust was excellent. Good balance between sweat and tart flavors, with the crunch of pistachio.

Fête is no doubt a popular establishment. The restaurant was packed and there were patrons waiting to sit down when we left, which was well past 9:00pm on Christmas Eve. Our experience was one of peaks and valleys. I’d venture to give it another try one day, but won’t necessarily be rushing back.

2 North Hotel Street
Honolulu, HI 96817