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Hot Picks: Maui, Hawaii

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

In survey after survey of leading travel publications, Maui, Hawaii, has once again been selected as the favorite island in the world. It's food scene has also reached critical culinary mass and is jam packed with culinary delights featuring not only island cuisine but world class menus from chefs who incorporate global influences with local ingredients to produce bold, inventive renditions of all your favorite dishes. Here are some of our culinary finds to make your stay truly memorable.

 

 

Hot Picks: Maui, Hawaii

Diane Sukiennik, Associate Editor, Food and Wine Access
          Michael Reiss, Editor, Food and Wine Access

Where to Eat

 

The Banyan Tree

Photo by Michael Reiss

Looking for an out of the ordinary, upscale dining experience for a truly memorable evening? Try the Banyan Tree at the Ritz-Cartlon, Kapalua. Chef de Cuisine Anthony Scholtmeyer plays it anything but safe in the kitchen with sexy, eclectic cuisine influenced by the Islands, France, Europe and Asia.

Chef Scholtmeyer's ambitious global concept takes you from a bread service with Egyptian spicing to lamb with Moroccan couscous, to Asian bouillabaisse and back to France with foie gras, caviar and duck preparations. His unusual juxtaposition of flavors and textures puts him at the cutting edge of chefs and gourmets alike who rave about an epiphany with every bite. His assertive but balanced spicing and unusual dishes such as the amuse bouche of foie gras ice cream, ahi sashimi sorbet and edamame sorbet rolled in buckwheat with caviar offer exciting palate sensations with every bite.

The wine selections and pairing suggestions made by knowledgeable servers enhance the experience at every price point. The four course experience, the "Banyan Tree Luau," the "Pineapple Menu" and the"Specialty Epicurean Six Course Tasting Menu" are the recommended ways to savor many of the exotic flavors and presentations at value pricing. Wake up your taste buds and rejuvenate your joie de vivre by experiencing the Banyan Tree.

The Banyan Tree, nestled among the swaying palm trees facing the ocean in its spectacular Kapalua setting, is the place for a romantic gourmet dining experience.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:
Rare Ahi Tuna and Spiced Pineapple Maui onions and avocado
Cucumber Gazpacho - scallop, lobster, ahi, caviar dressing and uni cream


Favorite Entrees:
Lamb and Vegetable Tajine - pistachio crusted lamb loin and couscous
Ahi Tuna & Seared Foie Gras - arugula, grilled Maui onions, sour cherry sauce


Favorite Desserts:
Warm Bitter Chocolate "Meltaway"- with sour cream sorbet, lilikoi sauce and local berries


 

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At The Banyan Tree Chef Scholtmeyer displays culinary magic with his beautifully presented dishes.

Photo by Michael Reiss

The Banyan Tree
The Ritz-Cartlon, Kapalua
One Ritz-Carlton Drive
Kapalua, Hawaii
(808) 669-6200

 

Hali'imaile General Store

Photo by Michael Reiss



Amazing! Would you believe a gourmet takeout food shop turns restaurant with the owner/chef never having worked in a restaurant before? Seventeen years later, Chef Bev Gannon, one of the twelve original Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs is still going strong, and was recently nominated for the prestigious James Beard award for Best Chef Northwest/Hawaii. The Hali'imaile General Store--this upcountry, casual restaurant in the middle of pineapple fields has eager diners waiting for the doors to open at 5:30 P.M. to experience Chef Gannon's latest creations.

You'll find all your favorite foods from sushi to pizza to tostadas to ribs all prepared with unique and distinctive flavors and textures which tantalize the eye and the palate. The lively, vibrant ambiance lends itself to large parties celebrating life's special occasions. The servers are friendly and well informed on the menu and wine offerings. Although The Hali'imaile General Store is off the beaten path, it has become a destination worth the journey for tourists and locals alike.

 

The Hali'imaile General Store's atmosphere is both casual and sophisticated.

Photo by Michael Reiss



Favorite Appetizers:

Asian Pear and Duck Tostada
Asian spiced duck confit with sun dried cranberries, carrot, jicama, won bok slaw, toasted macadamia nuts and ginger chili cream dressing.

Sashimi Napoleon
Layers of smoked salmon, ahi tartar, sashimi ahi, and crispy won tons with wasabi vinaigrette.


Favorite Entrees:

Coconut Seafood Curry
With cubes of mixed fresh catches of the day steamed in coconut milk mixed with homemade green curry paste served over jasmine rice.

Szechwan Barbecued Salmon
A fragrant sauce of caramelized onions, orange zest, ginger, and Szechwan peppercorns served over hot and sour greens with mashed potatoes.


Favorite Dessert:


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – “Maui Style”
Caramelized Maui pineapple, baked with a vanilla butter cake, served warm with whipped cream.


The Hali'imaile General Store's "Coconut Seafood Curry" is a beautiful and tasty dish.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Hali'imaile General Store
900 Hali’imaile Road, Hali’imaile, HI 96768

(808) 572-2666

 

Spago

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

The star of Wolfgang Puck's culinary empire has always been Spago, first in West Hollywood, California, now in Beverly Hills. The rest is history. His legendary name and culinary fame are now global, from fine dining to frozen pizza. But how well does the Spago formula translate? Spago Maui meets the mark. This is classic Spago complete with the oh so scrumptious, spicy ahi tuna "poke" in sesame miso cones that we've come to love as a signature dish.

And yet, Chef de Cuisine, Anthony Condon, ensures that there is a definite island influence from Big Island goat cheese to fresh hearts of palm to Hawaiian fish with names that twist the culinary tongue. The tastes are full flavored, assertive and well blended. The presentations are creative and visually enticing. The wines are global, the ocean views are breathtaking and the restaurant's sleek, modern interior with generous splashes of crimson and orange is bold and exciting. Yes, this is Spago and the tradition is alive and well.

The sunsets on the Spago terrace are breathtaking.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

SPICY AHI TUNA “POKE” IN SESAME-MISO CONES Chili Aioli, Pickled Ginger and Tobiko

CURRIED KULA CORN SOUP Blue Crab and House Made Curry Oil


Favorite Entrees:


BAKED SALMON WITH GINGER-MACADAMIA NUT CRUST Molokai Yams and Cabernet-Black Pepper Sauce

GRILLED "CHINOIS STYLE" LAMB CHOP 'Wok Fired' Hunan Eggplant and Chili-Mint Vinaigrette


Favorite Desserts:

Warm Chocolate Truffle Cake "10" Year Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

 

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Spago's "GRILLED 'CHINOIS STYLE' LAMB CHOP 'Wok Fired' Hunan Eggplant and Chili Mint Vinaigrette" exhibits the Wolfgang Puck style with distinctive Island flair.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Spago
The Four Seasons Resort Maui
3900 Wailea Alanui Dr.,
Wailea Alanui, HI 96753

808-879-2999

 

Pineapple Grill

Photo by Michael Reiss


What's the recipe for a successful new restaurant? Take four parts seasoned management team, one part, experienced creative chef, two parts expert wine professionals, sprinkle liberally with informed, friendly staff, add the finest local ingredients, place in a stunning setting, add a dollop of aloha and voila, you've got the makings of The Pineapple Grill.

Although opening a new restaurant is always a bold venture, this dining spot is destined to stand the test of time. Managing Partner, Chris Kaiwi, has a loyal following of satisfied customers and a devoted team of skilled employees and Chef Joey Macadangdang produces his own version of modern Pacific Island cuisine with bold and innovative flavors. He creatively incorporates classic elements such as white truffle butter with Asian ingredients in a black bean broth to produce winning combinations such as his steamed manila clams creation or his soy bean corn succotash topped with caviar. The casual atmosphere including lanai dining overlooking the lush manicured greens and majestic pines showcases Kapalua at it's best. The formula is in place, let the dining begin.

The Pineapple Grill includes thoughtful and carefully presented wine-service.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:


Lumpia Duck Spring Rolls - Achara relish, banana chili sauce
Kona Lobster Coconut Thai Bisque - lobster-corn salad

Favorite Entree:

Pan Sautéed Garlic Diver Scallops
wild mushrooms, charred corn relish, crispy pancetta & truffle sauce

Asian Braised Choice Short Ribs - celery root-potato puree, broccolini, yellow beets, Maui Gold Pineapple shallot-soy demi glaze


Favorite Desserts:

Maui Gold Pineapple & Apple Crisp - Cinnamon Streusel Crunch Topping, Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Chef Joey Macadangdang's cuisine displays bold and innovative flavors at the Pineapple Grill.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Pineapple Grill
200 Kapalua Drive
Kapalua, Maui
(808) 669 - 9600


 

 


 

Vino Italian Tapas and Wine Bar

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

D.K. Kodama and Chuck Furuya, well known masters of the Hawiian food and wine scene, are at it again, this time with an Italian inspired restaurant, Vino. The menu offers over two dozen tapas or small plates with a smattering of large plates for those who insist. The Italian fare with island flair is sophisticated and reveals a confident hand with classical French technique as well as Mediterranean and Asian influences. The result is haute cuisine with global influences in small portions designed to excite and delight.

But the real story here is the unique wine program. Chuck Furuya, Master Sommelier, is passionate about food and wine pairing which is why Vino offers Hawaii's most progressive and moderately priced wine selections. More than 150 choices, many exclusive to Vino, and at least 24 unique wines by the glass all served in Reidel crystalware. All red wine is decanted, from the most affordable to the rarest in the collection. A casual, welcoming environment, creative cuisine and and an exceptional wine program all offered at reasonable prices makes Vino the spot to experience La Dolce Vita in Maui.

Vino's Wine Bar serves no less than 24 wines by the glass.

Photo by Michael Reiss


Favorite Tapas:


“Asparagus Milanese”Grilled Asparagus Bruschetta, quail eggs “sunny-side” up,
white truffle oil drizzle and toasted garlic breadcrumbs

1st Place “Taste of Lahaina” Award Winning Appetizer Pan-Seared Half Moon Seafood Ravioli of Kona Maine lobster, Kona crab, rock shrimp and scallops, sautéed with a cioppino brodetto




Favorite Large Plates:


Horseradish-Crusted Short Rib “Brasato” braised in red wine and porcini mushrooms with creamy three-cheese polenta and grilled shiitake mushroom confit

Slow Butter Poached "Kona Main Lobster" on Golden Chanterelle and Sugar Pea Carnaroli Risotto with White Truffle Oil and Baby Arugula



Favorite Dessert:

Port Wine Poached Pear served with Vanilla Ice Cream

Vino's "Slow Butter Poached "Kona Main Lobster" on Golden Chanterelle and Sugar Pea Carnaroli Risotto with White Truffle Oil and Baby Arugula" is one example of the creative tapas.

Photo by Michael Reiss


 

Vino
2000 Village Road
(in the Village Course clubhouse)
Kapalua, Maui
808-661-8466



 

 

I'O

Photo by Michael Reiss


Chef James McDonald of Pacific'O restaurant's fame has combined his expertise and adventurous palate to create a contemporary Pacific cuisine with European undertones. The upbeat, nautical decor and the outdoor, beach side seating provides an inviting backdrop for Chef McDonald's eye appealing creations. His inventive, sensitive blending of local produce which comes from his own Upcountry Maui Farm and his use of the freshest local ingredients with splashes of European influence such as foie gras make for a sensational, palate satisfying cuisine. The famed Martini Bar or the award-winning wine list, featuring boutique selections from around the world, provides the perfect accompaniment for a memorable, beachside dining experience.

 

I'o's magnificent outside patio is oceanfront dining at its best.

Photo by Michael Reiss

Favorite Appetizers:

Cowboy Ribs- Delicate slow braised baby back ribs with Hoisin barbeque glaze,
topped with Asian pears


O'o Beets-Roasted red, white, and golden beets in pesto with feta cheese and pine nuts

Favorite Entrees:

Rainbow Catch Pan-roasted fish topped with lemongrass pesto & Olowalu tomato over sauteed cucumber & dill, truffle oil & goat cheese fondu sauce

Lamb ‘Pa’ Lamb chops grilled with Madras curry & Porcini mushroom spice, roasted O’o beets, pineapple demi-glace & lavender yogurt accent


Favorite Desserts:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake peanut M&M studded classic with warm Southern Comfort butterscotch sauce

 

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Chef McDonald's creations are inventive, tasty and eye- appealing at I'O Restaurant.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

I'O
505 Front Street Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Call (808) 661-8422

 


 

David Paul's Lahaina Grill

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

No one can miss a visit to Lahaina town when in Maui and no one can miss a visit to David Paul's Lahaina Grill when in Lahaina. Both the town and the restaurant are full of history and lore. Established in 1990 in the historic Lahaina Inn, the restaurant's lively and colorful ambiance lends itself to celebration. The distinctive American cuisine, conceptualized by David Paul and refined by Owner, Jurg Munch, is expertly executed by Executive Chef Arnie Gonzalez who incorporates global techniques and flavors in subtly blended unique combinations.

Choosing from the large eclectic menu may prove challenging. Consider the "Chef's Tasting Menu" which will allow you to sample a variety of signature appetizers, salad, seafood or meat courses as well as a sampling of desserts. This option offers great selection at a value price point. Consult with Richard Olson, the knowledgeable wine sommelier who will pair each dish perfectly with a wine selection or help you to choose a bottle from the large and sophisticated boutique wine collection. David Paul's Lahaina Grill embodies the spirit of Lahaina by bringing you friendly service and delicious food in a lively bistro setting.

 


David Paul's lively,casual, bistro atmosphere brings diners in again and again.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

Favorite Appetizers:

The Cake Walk - petite servings of Kona lobster crab cake, sweet Louisiana rock shrimp cake and seared ahi cake.

Warm Pecan Crusted Goat Cheese and Baby Arugula Salad - tossed in Poha honey-mustard dressing.



Favorite Entrees:

Tequila Shrimp and Firecracker Rice - made with Southwestern herbs, spices & tequila butter
Kona Coffee Roasted Rack of Lamb - with a light coffee-Cabernet demi-glace and garlic mashed potatoes.

Favorite Desserts:
Triple Berry Pie - a luscious combination of raspberries, blueberries and black currants on a cloud of whipped cream.


 

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David Paul's "Chef's Tasting Menu" allows you to choose THREE main courses on the same plate--an outstanding way to experience tasting-portions of David Paul's diverse and interesting gourmet menu.

Photo by Michael Reiss

 

 

David Paul's Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Road
Lahaina ~ Maui ~ Hawaii ~ 96761
(808) 667-5117


 

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