Aloha. The Dining Duo just returned from the valley isle, and we have some updates. Although there are plenty of good eats on this island, there are just three outstanding choices that should be added to every visit:

Mama’s Fish House Restaurant(808) 579-8488
799 Poho Place
Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Talk about Maui Wowie… Our dear friend CJ has demanded that we go to Mama’s and we finally did, only to discover that it was world class on all fronts. The setting is divine; right on the beach, the restaurant is a myriad of rooms facing an empty stretch of virgin sand complete with the pounding surf just beyond. Although everything on the menu is superb, of particular note is the Mahi-Mahi (they even tell you who caught it, and where) stuffed with lobster, crab, Maui onion and baked in a macadamia nut crust. It was infused with flavors that will drive your tongue to do the hula (the price changes, but it was $45 at our lunch, and well worth the hefty price). The wait staff could not have been nicer or more attentive. Don’t miss it. Thanks for the tip, CJ.

Gerard’s Restaurant174 Lahainaluna Rd
Lahaina, HI 96761
(808) 661-8939

(The Dining Duo, Gerard and Mom)

C’est magnifique. This was perhaps our 20th visit to Gerard’s and the only thing that changes is our appetite after we’ve dined for hours on end. Chef Gerard is as charming as he is talented in the kitchen. With a huge litany of restaurants under his belt, Gerard came to Maui and set his restaurant in a colonial style home typical of somewhere in South East Asia, or beyond. Dining on the patio, with the light scent of jasmine and burning coils, the exotic palms complete the experience. White glove service, table clothes, and a fabulous wine list and menu make this experience superlative. Everything is excellent, but make sure to linger over the Terrine of Foie Gras Maison ($24), made of duck liver, aspic of sauternes wine, exotic fruit chutney, toasted country bread, truffle and balsamic vinegar. Also, don’t miss the rack of lamb Persillade ($42), which is always perfectly pink, and encrusted with a mint and lemon crust, served with potatoes au gratin, which melts in your mouth. The champagne and wines compliment each other like our matching Hawaiian shirts.

Merriman’s KapaluaOne Bay Club Place
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
Phone: (808) 669-6400

Once the old Lahaina Bay Club, this setting is dramatic and sophisticated. Go during the daylight hours to really enjoy the views (the neighbors won’t let them light up the ocean anymore). When our friend described the food as “weird”, we knew it was a must for the Hula Duo. Far from weird, we enjoyed everything that was served. Of particular note was the Peter Merriman’s original wok charred Ahi, served with cabbage slaw, black and white rice and a dash of wasabi-soy ($37). It was fresh and locally produced, as the chef has always believed in “from the farm to the table”. The service was friendly, but beyond slow and inefficient, especially for the prices they charged. That said, the 17-year-old blond-surfer-bus-boy, David, was so adorable he made up for it, and we passed the time by having him fill our water glasses. Who cares if we needed to go to the bathroom 10 times?

Posted by The Dining Duo | 7:08 PM | , , , , , , , | 0 comments »

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