President and Michelle Obama ended their first day of 2015 with an elaborate dining experience at Ala Moana Center… The motorcade turned up from Ala Moana Boulevard and entered the mall on Kona Street at approximately 6:45 p.m. According to the White House Press Office, the couple is dining at Vintage Cave, an exclusive restaurant located inside Shirokiya known for extravagant, multi-course meals. This is their first visit to the restaurant.
Bill Cresenzo of Pacific Business News got more details:
…The restaurant did not know that the president and his wife were coming until about two hours before they arrived. Chef Jonathan Mizukami made the First Couple the restaurant’s signature $295 multi-course meal. Wakida said the Obamas spent about three hours at the restaurant, which features millions of dollars’ worth of artwork along its walls, including pieces by Pablo Picasso. The First Couple dined in the restaurant’s Ruby Room, in view of other diners.
The dinner did not escape the attention of the international media.
CNN: “After ringing in the New Year with a low-key celebration with family and friends, the first couple enjoyed their first dinner of 2015 at one of the swankiest restaurants in Hawaii.”
Daily Mail: “The president and first lady treated themselves to a five star dinner on New Year’s Day at renowned Honolulu, Hawaii, restaurant Vintage Cave, where a 15 course, prix fixe meal costs a cool $295 a person, wine pairings add another $130 a head and the total tab often nears $1,000 after taxes and tip.”
To learn more about the Vintage Cave, check out this profile by Martha Cheng in Honolulu Magazine, describing it as “the restaurant that could put fine dining in Honolulu back on the map.”