As if getting to vacation in Hawaii isn't enough....I have been lucky enough to be able to dine at four of the best restaurants on the big island.
I ate at the Canoe House in the Mauna Lani resort the last time I visited Hawaii. The fish is absolutely perfectly done here, and the atmosphere lovely. Service was really slow for us, but I think that might have been a fluke. And who cares when you're in Hawaii, anyway?
Raj and I had an incredibly romantic dinner at Brown's Beach House in the Fairmont Orchid, where we spent a couple of days. While the rest of the food was disappointingly overpriced at this resort, Brown's Beach House- their signature restaurant- was really tasty and plated beautifully. The ambiance was great, as our table was candle lit and nearly on the beach, and the service impeccable. I had phyllo wrapped tempura prawns as an appetizer, and braised short ribs on risotto for my entree. I was very happy. I believe they have a local ingredient standard.
Pahui'a at the amazing Four Season's Hualalai resort was by far the fanciest dining we did. In fact, the prices were so high here that rather than dinner we went for cocktails and appetizers. Even so, the bill for 5 people was still over $300. It's more than worth it, though. Pahui'a certainly lives up to its Four Seasons name in quality and price. The Hawaiian/Asian inspired menu was creative and fantastic.
Lastly, the biggest must eat on the island is Merriman's. You know you're at a good restaurant when the specials on the menu are foods that the owner chef hunted and fished himself that very day. There are not enough words to describe how much I love this place. Everything that comes out of the kitchen has been grown in Hawaii by small local farmers. Every. Single. Thing. The freshness of the ingredients combined with a creative chef make for one of the most spectacular meals I have ever had.