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“Pleasant atmosphere, decent and inexpensive food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Concerto

Cafe Concerto
808 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4215
808-934-0312
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Ranked #59 of 206 Restaurants in Hilo
Price range: $5 - $10
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Entertaining clients, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Keaau, Hawaii
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Pleasant atmosphere, decent and inexpensive food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

I like dining at Cafe Concerto because one can eat a fairly priced dinner in a comfortable setting. My wife and I prefer to dine outside under the canopy and take our chances with the rain. Unless the wind is blowing there's no problem with getting wet most of the time. The food is decent, not great, but who can complain when most entrees cost less than $10? And the after dinner digestive drink tastes wonderful and costs nothing.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    12
    4
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Somerset, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Good Food, but beware of the "Pasta Nazi"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We ate here twice during our stay in Hilo - tried it on the recommendation of Trip Advisor and a guidebook.
I would have given this restaurant a higher rating, with the exception of the "rigidity" of the chef.
It can be very hot and noisy inside, so I suggest you sit outside if you can. If it is raining (as it often does in HIlo) you will want to avoid the edges of the awning or you might get dripped on. Mosquito repellent is also recommended.
Service can be spotty - the staff is very nice, but they can be slow and forgetful. We saw many people bring wine - there is no corkage fee and they are very nice about providing glasses and opening the bottle and pouring for you.
We had the ravioli with gorgonzola sauce the first time, and it was very good, so we decided to go back and eat there a second time.
My husband does not like angel hair pasta. The chicken dish is prepare with angel hair pasta in a red sauce (the same sauce used for other dishes with penne). He asked if it would be possible to substitute the penne for the angel hair. The waitress was very glum and said she would ask, but it was likely that the chef would refuse, and he did.
This was not really a special request - he was preparing penne for other dishes, and it was the same sauce. My husband ordered it anyway, but he did not enjoy the pasta (just doesn't like the texture).
Both meals on this second visit were not as hot as they should have been (I had the ravioli again) - We waited a very long time, so it was probably because the waitress did not pick them up when they were ready.
They are also very stingy with the garlic bread served with the meal (one small piece). It is a shame because this could be an outstanding gem, but the chef needs to learn to be a bit more flexible.
If you like home-made raviolis and authentic italian food, it is worth giving this restaurant a chance - just do not DARE to ask for any modifications to the menu.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suburban Wichita, KS
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Pleasant Italian Dining”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

This is a small sidewalk-cafe-feel restaurant with a dining area that can't be over 12 feet wide. Two in our party had the 4-cheese ravolli which was very good. The third person had Penne Ragu which was only so-so. The waitress was friendly but seemed slightly impersonal. The ravolli portions were adequate and the penne quite plentiful. Prices seemed pretty reasonable. Decor is sort of mom-and-pop meets hole-in-the-wall but kind of grows on you as you sit there. I thought the recorded background music (the "concerto"?) was just a bit over the wall. I'd definately go back, but the expectations would be for a moderately good, but not fantastic, dining experience.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Damar, Kansas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great local recommendation - very much pleased and priced right!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

As compared to a couple of not-so-great experiences in Kona, Cafe Concerto came as a recommendation that greatly suprised and satisfied us from one of the locals. Parking was tough (you "can" park in Ace Hardware Store (after hours) up the street to the West and walk to Cafe Concerto).

You can bring in your own wine which was great. There is a wine store next to Cafe Concerto but if you arrive after it closes, be sure to get your wine ahead of time somewhere else like we did.

My wife had a fair to good angel pasta with red sauce dish but we both agreed that is was my dish - THE FOUR CHEESE RAVIOLLI with spinach and white sauce that was Unbelievable. In fact, we even made a special trip on a different day while on the island just for that dish but they were closed - only open in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday!

Also, we noticed a lot of reservations on tables. We got lucky to get a table but apparently the place is popular enough to warrant reservations so be advised.

We also had a salad that was great and two of the 3 deserts offered which was also fabulous! (However, I would recommend perhaps a coffee to go with the dessert as it would have went well together - not so much with wine or water - yet that is only because of the quality of dessert.)

I just got done writting two negative recommendations for the Kona side of the island but this was an easy hands-down polar opposite pleasantly surprised - high recommendation!

AND PRICED RIGHT TOO!!!! That's important. The QUALITY of food surpased that of the price of the meal, etc, which to us is very important to warranting rave reviews.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Italian Cuisine!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012 via mobile

It's a great restaurant although the waitress could have asked us more than once if we needed something - It was very busy -- we actually had to ask if they could clear the dishes so we could order dessert. The food was excellent!!!! We are going back again!!!! Everyone loved what they ordered -- complimented the chef!!
No disappointments on our table!!!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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