Written by Administrator
Saturday, 10 October 2009 00:31

Cafe Sistina-Honolulu

Café Sistina stands out in Honolulu as an Italian restaraunt with a unique culinary and ambient experience. It would also stand out in Italy because of its unique personality. With frescoes from floor to ceiling and subtle, yet distinctive flavours, Cafe Sistina introduces the visitor to many levels of experience.

Italian food has great regional variations depending on the birthplace of the chef. Chef and Owner Sergio Mitrotti is from Torino in Northern Italy, and came to Honolulu after spending time in New York and Los Angeles.

His cooking style, as Italian as they come, has been influenced on the way by the experimentation of New York and the eclecticism of Californian cooking, creating a unique fusion cuisine. Café Sistina offers a country Italian menu and a fusion cuisine integrating West Coast fresh flavours and the produce indigenous to Hawaii.

The restaurant stocks an extensive wine collection from Italy and the United States and features a good selection of imported and domestic beer. The inviting atmosphere of the full bar makes it the perfect place to warm up to the vast selections of wine and cocktails.

Attention to detail is reflected in every aspect of the theme, from the design to the mood lighting, and most importantly, superb food with friendly, efficient service for customers who demand only the best.

Sergio Mitrotti-Owner, Cafe Sistina Honolulu

Sergio Mitrotti has always exhibited an adventurous spirit, first as an avid sailor and scuba diver in the Mediterranean, then as a successful graphic artist in his native Italy, then as a proprietor of a high-end clothing store in Beverly Hills.

But for this Renaissance man, food has always been the most natural of all avenues for exploration. "In Italy, you eat well from the moment your born," he says. "When I was a teenager, I didn't think twice about making gourmet food for parties." The decision to cook professionally came in 1987, hand in hand with the desire to leave Los Angeles and its fast pace and move to Hawaii, which he saw as the perfect place to pursue his many passions. "I was ready to open a restaurant," he says. "I was an amateur cook, but a sophisticated eater. My background is really good eating, and there's no school to teach you that!" he says.

He traveled Italy with a passion to understand the traditional roots of Italian Cuisine. He learned the principles of his present art from fisherman in the Mediterranean Islands, housewives in the local Southern markets and from watching and helping his mother and grandmother in the family kitchen of his native northern city of Turin. His incorporation of these techniques elevates his cuisine to something more than that of just a commercial Italian restaurant but to a showcase of earthy authenticity and creativity

This culinary Marco Polo has brought to Hawaii two successful restaurants. Cafe Cambio in 1987 and in 1991 Cafe Sistina, a trendy restaurant known for it's live late night jazz and linguine ala puttanesca. His popularity has given Hawaiian's a strong whiff of authentic Italian cooking, as in his spinach ravioli with gorgonzola or his gnocchi with lamb sausage. He continues to explore new worlds with his version of Spanish paella and Middle Eastern couscous. In the past several years Mitrotti's food has taken on more exotic overtones such as duck sausage with orange fettuccine and shrimp with a spicy mango sauce, chicken breast with African spices and many other local favorites.

In addition to being a fabulous chef this truly remarkable man is also a consummate artist. The walls of Cafe Sistina double as Mitrotti's canvas - he has painted replicas of parts of the Sistine Chapel on every possible restaurant surface - and he's still painting. "I cannot stop being a designer," he says. "I have to keep creating. It comes from within me!"