You’re picturing coco-palms fringing a moonlit beach, aren’t you? Rewind. When chef Fred DeAngelo and his family named their latest venture The Grove, they were thinking olive groves in Italy: Trees that, like family, endure, nourish and embody a sense of place.
Not that The Grove is an Italian restaurant. No, it is, like Hawaii, six kinds of hapa: DeAngelo and his sister are Italian, Hawaiian, Korean, German and Polish; his wife is Hawaiian, Chinese, Spanish, Filipino; his brother-in-law is Greek. The restaurant features a melange of all of the above. “We call it ‘globally inspired local cuisine,’” he says.
The name also fits the pleasant little lanai at the front of the former Lucy’s Bar & Grill in Kailua where “Shady Hour” is celebrated each afternoon. DeAngelo is commuting between The Grove and Ola but says the two have nothing in common. Ola, on the beach at Turtle Bay Resort, is linen on the table, sand on the feet. The Grove is a friendly neighborhood bistro. “You won’t find anything on one menu you’d find on the other,” he says. Look for kiawe-grilled flatbreads, warm Brussels sprout salad, ‘Ahi ‘Coise (tuna Niçoise salad) and beef. Lots of beef. He buys a whole cow each week from Hawaii Lowland Beef (his insurance guy became a rancher) and prepares the cuts “tongue to tail.”