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Photograph: Yvonne Acosta/Flickr/CC

Dine—and wine—with Hello Kitty at one local restaurant

By
Brittany Martin
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Hello Kitty is entering middle age and she’s gotten into the wine-making business. Well, perhaps she’s not making the wine herself—those tiny arms and fingerless paws might make that tricky—but her parent company, Sanrio, has created the wines and one Orange County restaurant has them on the menu.

Antonello Ristorante in Santa Ana is the first establishment in the region to sell Hello Kitty wine, according to the L.A. Times. The sparkling rosé and Pinot Noir are available by the bottle or glass. 

Starting October 6, the restaurant will be offering a special Hello Kitty themed tasting menu for you to order to pair with your Hello Kitty wine. Dishes include a salad with watermelon shaped like Hello Kitty, pink pasta shaped like her iconic hair bow and a chocolate cake… also shaped like Hello Kitty. The dishes were created in collaboration with Sanrio HQ, which has to sign-off on all uses of the famous face, edible or otherwise. 

The Hello Kitty meal is a new feature at Antonello Ristorante, which doesn’t quite look like the cutesy kind of place you would expect to find hot pink pasta and heart-emblazoned wine bottles. The family-owned Italian restaurant is otherwise a pretty staid affair, plugging away at old-school dining since 1979. Then again, the wine is produced by Torti Winery in Italy, where they hand-pick all the old-vine grapes that go into the Hello Kitty wine as well as the non-cute-character wines they've been producing for years before Sanrio approached them.

While the idea of high-end Hello Kitty wine dinners might not seem immediately obvious, the appetite for Hello Kitty everything, including food products, never seems to go away.  

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