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Italian Chef delights customers at Renaissance Resort

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-07-30

Gianluca Marcias has spent the last fourteen years of his life mostly in kitchens, preparing many different sauces, pasta, and seafood. His culinary talents began as a boy in his hometown island of Sardegna, Italy, where the beautiful country side and surrounding sea of Sardegna provided fresh produce and plenty of fish to help Marcias perfect fine Italian dishes. Upon graduating a technical school for culinary arts, Marcias began working in some of the fine restaurants and hotels of his native island. His love for cooking eventually took him to California, working as an Italian chef for two years. Leaving behind the beautiful beaches of Sardinia, Marcias found his passion for travel and cuisine were a perfect match. He has since set his goal on working his way around the world.

Now, residents of Okinawa can enjoy Marcias' fine Italian cooking at the Renaissance Resort's "Four Seasons" restaurant. He is the third chef from Italy to bring his skills to the Renaissance.

Situated on the beautiful coastline of Onna-Son, the Four Seasons offers a panoramic ocean view. While sipping on Italian wine and enjoying your favorite Italian seafood or pasta dish, you also receive the listening pleasure of a pianist, who plays every night except for Tuesdays. Elegant dining at a moderate price is a good way to describe the Four Seasons restaurant. It is both an excellent place for a romantic dinner, or for a nice evening with a group of friends. The staff are very courteous and friendly, and they can make special arrangements for birthdays or other occasions.

It is the Italian food however, which will leave you feeling very satisfied. There is plenty to choose from the menu, including appetizers, salads, fish, and meat. For starters, you can order one of the antipasti dishes. Mozzarella and Tomato Alla Caprese is 1,500 and Proscutto with Melon is 2,200. The Scaloppini with Eggplant and Mozzarella for 3,600 makes a good choice for your main dish, or you can try the Roasted Lamb Rack Agnello All Senapi in Grani for 4,200. Chef Marcias personally suggests one of the fish dishes, such as the Grilled Salmon Con Verdure for 3,000 or the Baked Fish Fillet with Spinach, Lemon, and Olive Oil for 3,800. Of course, there are also many pastas to choose from. Some of them include Carbonara, Peperonchino, Vongole Bianco, Vongole Rosso, Pesto, and Boronaise, all for 2,000.

The real bargain however, is the full course meals, which let you sample a variety of dishes for one price. The cheapest course available is the Sardegna Course at 6,000. Your dinner will start off with a special from Sardegna; Crostino Bottarga (Marinated artichoke and Bell Peppers). Next you have a choice of either Penne Pasta dressed with Fromage frais (cheese), or Fusili covered with a Tuna sauce. The main dish is Lobster Alghereese and sliced Rib Steak flavored with pepper, served with Potato Barile. Dessert and coffee complete this delicious meal.

Marcias, who speaks Italian, Catalano, French, Spanish, and English, can sometimes be seen walking the floor of the dining room when he is not cooking. If you have any questions or comments, he is very pleased to talk with his customers. The very friendly gentleman takes his work seriously, spending much time in the kitchen everyday preparing. Although his job keeps him busy, he has found the time to relax and enjoy the island occasionally. "I like to fish and go out with friends on my free time," he said. Of the things he misses most about his home, Marcias said, "I miss making wine. We have our own vineyard at home, so we pick the grapes and make our own wine."

The Four Seasons restaurant also offers an excellent "all you can eat" pasta buffet on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon until 3:30 PM for 2,200, and an "Italian Terrace Bar" featuring Italian wines is expected to be completed this summer.

If you wish to make reservations, which is suggested on weekends and holidays, you can do so by calling 965-0707. To get there, simply follow Highway 58 north from Kadena. After entering Onna-Son, the Renaissance is the first big Resort on your left.

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