Magic Happens At A Special Dinner

There always has been a little bit of magic at Du Vin, largely created by owner Dave Stewart and his never-ending quest to make the Chinatown restaurant appear to be a transported Parisian bar. The magic is amped up this holiday season as talented local magician and illusionist Kaulana performs a two-night dinner show at the restaurant. Executive chef Marco Elder’s playful take on illusion and magic have resulted in an inspired menu that includes Caprese Sphere Salad (where small mozzarella balls hide tiny surprises inside) and Rabbit in the Hat – braised rabbit and root vegetables in a crispy pastry.


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Du Vin seems like a Parisian cafe | Jo McGarry photo

The dinner shows Dec. 21 and 28 start with sparkling wine cocktails at Brasserie Du Vin. As dinner begins, Kaulana will make an appearance, offering tableside magic for guests. A skilled illusionist of the finest order, Kaulana is capable of creating the kind of dizzying tricks that leave even the most seasoned and skeptical scratching their heads. At a recent preview of the dinner show, he was able to baffle an audience that ranged in age from 8 to 80 years old by producing, among other things, snow. His card tricks are seamless and stunning, and he preforms with a charming calm and a high level of mischievousness that greatly adds to the enjoyment.

After dinner on both nights, guests will leave Du Vin for a short walk across the street to recently renovated eleven44 (formerly Bamboo Two), where a magic show will take place, and then it’s back to Brasserie Du Vin for desserts, coffee and after-dinner drinks. There are just 50 seats available each night, so be sure to grab them while they last. A magical night of food, wine and wonder await.

Tickets are available for purchase on line at For information, call 545-1115.

* If acclaimed San Francisco chef Alexander Alioto ever decides to open a restaurant in Hawaii, I think he’ll find a warm welcome. He was in town last week for a one-night-only appearance at Vino, and such was the response that the restaurant had to offer three seatings and open sister restaurant Hiroshi to cope with the crowds. Dishes included an outstanding braised Spanish octopus with caponata and Italian butter beans, perfectly paired with prosecco, and an amuse bouche of crispy polenta with bay scallops that was so pillowy and sweet it easily could have passed for dessert. The young chef – whose grandmother Rose started famed Alioto’s Restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf in 1938 – is looking for a new home, having recently left Seven Hills, regularly voted the No. 1 Italian restaurant in San Francisco. Most likely Hawaii is too far for him to venture, but there’s no doubt he’d be a most-welcome addition to our current exciting local culinary scene.

Happy eating!