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Palate Wine Bar

There are more than 60 wines at Palate Wine Bar. Daniel Lane photo

There are more than 60 wines at Palate Wine Bar. Daniel Lane photo

There are more than 60 wines at Palate Wine Bar. Daniel Lane photo

Palate Wine Bar is a terrific place to relax with family and friends and enjoy esoteric wine, craft beer, or sake, and share cured olives, imported cheese, cured meat and handmade flatbreads. There are more than 60 wines at the small bar, which opened last winter between The Bistro and Palate Market. If you like what you drink at Palate, you can buy it next door at the Market, a high-end liquor store. At Palate, gluten-free and vegan options are available and the small menu includes soups, salads and a few entrees.

“We really wanted out guests to be comfortable,” says General Manager, Drew Thoeny, of the intimate and air-conditioned space. “All of our chairs have backs and cushions. They are adjustable and we have foot stands attached to the tables. Wine and food need to be savored and this is a place where you can really enjoy it.”

Sous chef Landon Dalessi is a hunter who has been cooking for more than 25 years. Before moving to Kauai, he lived in the Pacific Northwest, and would gather huckleberries in the mountains with his children.

“We would come home and I’d have a gallon size bag full of them,” Dalessi recalls. “But the kids’ bags would be nearly empty and their faces were all purple!”

At Palate, Dalessi works in the open kitchen making flatbread to order. The flavor of basil pops on the first bite of the Mac Nut Pesto ($17), and then it’s followed by rich macadamia nuts. Sweet sun-dried tomatoes are scattered on top and sharp feta and mozzarella cheese add a gooey factor. Under it all, the crust is crunchy and thin.

“We make our dough every day,” says Dalessi, “using a three-step rising process. Then we roll them really flat and cook them for seven minutes in 500 degree electric ovens that heat from the top and bottom.”

Cheese and meat rotate, but today’s Four Cheese Board ($11) includes semi-soft fluer de lait, smooth and creamy cambozola, which tastes like a triple brie and blue stilton; flakey mimolette, which is sweet and nutty; and salty but subtle Manchego. The Four Meats Board ($12) includes thin slices of mild coppa, prosciutto, chorizo sorta and chorizo blanco. If you can’t decide, try the Palate Sampler Board ($22), which comes with crostini, fruit compote as well as house-made pickles and mustard.

“A perfect evening can be spent with us,” says John Paul Gordon, chef de cuisine of The Bistro and Palate. “Shop the farmers market at 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, then have a glass of wine and appetizer at Palate, followed by dinner at The Bistro.”

Read “The Bistro” to learn more about chef John Paul Gordon and The Bistro.

Palate Wine Bar
Located in the Historic Kung Lung Center
2474 Keneke Street, Kilauea
Wine Bar: Everyday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Free tastings every Sun. and Mon. 4 to 5 p.m.
Market: Mon. through Sat. 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sun. noon to 10:30 p.m.

All images copyright Daniel Lane/Pono Photo. For more information, visit