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Tropica Restaurant

This Tropica Restaurant image ©Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Kaanapali

For our one special dinner out in Maui we decided to eat at Tropica, our hotel restaurant because it was outdoors overlooking the beach and had a lovely prix fixe menu. We were seated at a romantic table with a fantastic view of the water 20 minutes before sunset.

We decided to start the night off with cocktails. Not something we usually do but it was early and we wanted to take in the scene. I chose a cocotini (like a coconut martini) which rocked my world. I can’t even remember what Mike had because we were all about the cocotini! You gotta try one.

view from our table

After our drinks we proceeded to order the 3 course tasting menu with wine pairings, which was very reasonably priced for Maui.

First course:

Lobster Chowder - tabasco butter, chives, smoked bacon. Served with Sonoma Curter Chardonnay, 2007, Russian River Ranches

Pohaku Seared Beef - prime flatiron steak served on a hot cooking stone, ponzu, kula onion confit. Served with Charles Smith, "The Velvet Devil" merlot, 2007, Columbia Valley, Washington

I chose the soup which was creamy and rich and had lobster so I was super happy. Mike’s steak arrived sizzlin’ … be sure to take cover with a napkin because oil and beef juice flies everywhere. Mike loved the beef even though he had to ¬†“shout out” his shirt when we got home.

Mains:

Oriental Mushroom Linguini - grilled tiger shrimp, hamakua hon shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, mushroom sake broth. Serves with Lioco Chardonnay, 2007, Sonoma

Ahi - charboiled to medium rare, roasted tomato cous cous, sea beans, mushrooms, opal basil reduction. Served with Cartlidge & Browne, 08 Pinot, CA

My pasta was delicious with giant plump shrimp in a light tasty broth. Mike’s tuna was cooked perfectly and he cleaned his plate.

Dessert:

Green Tea Creme Brulee- grilled pineapple, berries, vanilla anglaise

Pineapple Fritters -fresh pineapple-apple banana donuts, raspberry, coconut

By the time dessert arrived I was stuffed to the gills and buzzed (by the way, the wine pairings were right on point). I could barely eat another morsel which was good because dessert was the weakest course of the night. The creme brulee was pretty good but the fritters were just okay with not much flavor. It did not damper the meal though (for the price we paid it was like the dessert was free anyway). We left very satisfied and would definitely return.

Note: The 3 course tasting menu is available ONLY from 5-6 pm and 8:30-9:30pm ($33/person or $43 with wine) Wednesdays РSundays. Make a reservation!

Rating:

Website: http://www.westinmaui.com/dining/tropica/

Tropica Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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Hali’imaile General Store


Bev Gannon is a super famous chef on Maui so we decided to give one of her many restaurants a try. We headed to the Hali’imaile General Store which serves up fresh island cuisine in a refurbished plantation store located Upcountry in the middle of nowhere.

We started off with the popular Sashimi Napoleon:

 

Crispy won tons layered with smoked salmon, Ahi tartar, sashimi and wasabi vinaigrette.

Then we shared the Chinese Chicken Salad:

Grilled chicken breast sliced over island greens, tossed with baby corn, water chestnuts, curried coconut, raisins and cashews with a sweet oriental dressing. Topped with crispy fried wonton strips.

We made sure to leave room for dessert….Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (the real reason I chose to come here)

A caramelized Maui Gold pineapple baked with a buttery vanilla pound cake. Served warm with whipped cream.

The food was fresh and delicious. I’d make the drive again just for dessert – oh so decadent. If you are looking for a tasty meal off the beaten path check out the general store.

Website: http://bevgannonrestaurants.com/haliimaile/

Hali'imaile General Store on Urbanspoon

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

The Lahaina

Shave ice… where have you been all my life? Don’t be confused…shave (not shaved :cool:) ice is nothing like a snow cone. Forget about sugary syrup and chunky ice cubes piled into a paper cone that leaks from the bottom. Shave ice takes fun frozen treats to a whole new level. While in Maui we finally tried¬†Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice which prides itself on using high¬†quality ice and additive-free syrups made from local ingredients.¬†Mike and I shared a small “Lahaina” which includes 3 tropical flavors: Pineapple, Coconut & Banana —¬†I wish we got a large.¬†It was super flavorful and melted in our mouths. And if you can believe it, it had a creamy consistency that was¬†truly¬†delicious.

Note: All shave ice is not created equal so be sure to go to Ululani’s!

I don't want to share...

Website: http://ululanisshaveice.com/

Merriman’s


For our one big night out in Maui we took my sister and husband to Merriman’s to thank them for hosting us. Mike and I became familiar with Merriman’s on our honeymoon in Kona where we had a fantastic meal so we were excited to try the Lahaina location.

We arrived at 6pm just as the sun was setting. The views from the restaurant are breathtaking. It’s situated right on the ocean. Before dinner we had a drink at the bar and enjoyed the scene. After the sun disappeared¬† into the horizon we were seated. We decided to start things off with the “Pupu” taster which included: Kalua pig quesadillas, sashimi and surfing goat cheese with beet chutney. Chef-Owner Peter Merriman is a pioneer in the “Farm to Table” concept and serves all fresh local ingredients. We also got the beet and Kula strawberry salad to share. Everything was lovely.

For my main course I chose the Filet with sauteed Maui onions and mushrooms, Mike went with the signature Ahi tuna & pumpkin puree and my sister picked the Lamb with gnocchi and her husband the Ribeye. Each dish was delicious and the portions were huge. You have the option to order a full or half portion …we got the full and if I went again I would get the half because I couldn’t finish my entree and that is rare! Even though we were all truly stuffed Mike insisted we order dessert. We decided on the Maui pineapple upside down cake with coconut gelato which was a sweet finish.

One of my favorite parts of the night was the 2 person live band that played throughout the evening. Imagine an older lady and gentleman with acoustic instruments playing War’s “low rider” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya” (it made me chuckle). It’s not the kind of music you’d expect to hear in this type of establishment.

If I had to compare the two Merriman’s restaurants we have been to I would say the food was better in Kona but the ambiance ruled in Maui. This is an expensive restaurant but the atmosphere and tasty eats are worth the hefty price tag.

Tip: bring a jacket — the restaurant is open so it’s as though you are sitting outside and can get chilly.

Rating:

Website: http://www.merrimanshawaii.com/

Merriman's (Kapalua) on Urbanspoon

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