Maui restaurants are well-known for offering a wide variety of island cuisine, from upscale beachside dining to casual, local food-inspired menus. Here are a few places to dine on your next visit to Hawaii’s second-largest island.
For a romantic atmosphere, panoramic views, and great food, head to Merriman’s in Kapalua. The open-air restaurant, located within the Kapalua Resort, features an outdoor deck for al fresco dining around several firepits. Merriman’s menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Appetizers include crab cakes, Tamimi tomato and Kula strawberry salad, ahi poke, and pig and onion quesadillas. Or try the pupu taster to sample four smaller appetizers. Main dishes include fresh fish specials, sautéed mahi mahi, macadamia nut-crusted monchong, local lamb, and Keahole lobster.
In addition to his Merriman’s locations, restaurateur Peter Merriman recently launched Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea. The two-story restaurant is open and airy with an indoor waterfall and two lanais for patio seating. This menu offers burgers, wood-fired pizzas, poke tacos, and local fish dishes. Standouts are the pumpkin patch ravioli, garlic truffle fries, catch-of-the-day fish and chips, kiawe-grilled ahi tuna steak, Keahole lobster and coconut stew, and macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi with pineapple relish. The bar serves a nice variety of tropical cocktails and has 36 beers on tap.
For diners looking for a more intimate, tropical atmosphere, Capische at the Hotel Wailea offers Mediterranean dishes with garden and ocean views. Their Il Teatro private dining option lets guests watch dishes be prepared tableside by the chef.
The outside terrace houses nine tables, each surrounded by lush vegetation providing a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. Menu highlights include the mushroom truffle risotto, shrimp carbonara, quail saltimbocca, porcini-crusted ahi, cioppino, and braised lamb shank.
Offering a stunning view of Kapalua is Gerard’s at the Plantation Inn. Diners can choose from inside seating, a spot on the lanai, or dining in the garden patio. You’ll find a French atmosphere, with white wicker tables and Victorian décor. The menu highlights local produce and fish, including seared foie gras, ahi and smoked salmon carpaccio, escargot, snapper dumplings, fresh fish of the day, Hawaiian snapper, confit of duck, baked quail, rack of lamb, and sweetbreads in cream.