A16 Restaurant Review

As you enter A 16, named for Autostrada 16, a road
that spans from Naples to Tavari, you’re greeted by
subtle greenery, rich chocolate wood, and a dozen or so
coveted high-back chairs situated at the Italian marble
bar and bay windows that look out onto Chestnut
Street (a great perch for people watching) Honolulu restaurants. A colorful
floor-to-ceiling chalkboard displays the pride of A 16,
its wide selection of wines.

The idea for the establishment was born from
a trip to the Campania region of Italy, where coowner
Shelley Lindgren fell in love with the region’s
food and wine. Lindgren, local attorney
Victoria Libin, and chef Nate Appleman teamed up
to ensure that the grapes complemented the southern
Italian cuisine.

The Campania region, dubbed oenetria or land of wine,
by the ancient Greeks, has a long history of great
wines. First up, Lindgren poured a glass of Clelia Romano,
Fiano di Avellino, 2005-a dry white, with hints
of honey, almonds, and evergreen and a smokiness
from the still-present volcanic soil of the Mount Vesuvius
eruption, which destroyed Pompeii in 79 A.D., literally
creating a rich history in the wine itself.

We also tasted the Cantine del Taburno, Falanghina,
2005-a light, crisp, aromatic wine with hints of pear
and mango; the Benito Ferrara, Greco di Tufo, 2005, a
70-year-old vine Greco, grown from limestone “Tufaceous”
soil, also found in the Loire Valley in Sancerre
and Chablis-with stone fruits like white peaches,
nectarines, and a dry finish; and the I Favati, Taurasi,
2004-red currants, with lush fruits like plum and
cherry, medium tannins.

A 16’s knowledgeable staff serves forty wines by the
glass and half-bottle carafes (assuring that no bottle
stays open for too long), mainly priced between
$8 and $14 per glass. The selections change
often with some staples of Campania there to stay.
Some of the varietals of Campania include Falanghina,
Fiano, Greco (whites), Casavecchia, Aglianico, and
Piedirosso (red).

Best of all, A 16 is not just a wine bar, it’s also a
restaurant-which means you can pair your grape of
choice with any of the establishment’s delicious southern
Italian dishes while enjoying a wine bar experience.

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