2511 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei
Open 5-9pm daily
You probably know Josh Richardson and Mitch Edwards as the guys behind 808 Deli, the popular little sandwich joint next to Fred’s/Moose’s on South Kihei Road. Now they’re branching out, moving into the spacious confines formerly occupied by the now-defunct Greek Bistro. The new venture—dubbed 808 Bistro—is good enough to lure patrons away from the long wait for Taco Tuesday at Fred’s.
808 Bistro has open-verandah seating with modern, sleek wooden tables and nice sunset views. Once seated, you’re served toasted bread and exemplary creamy pesto butter. Appetizers run the gamut: baked crab dip, buffalo shrimp with gorgonzola cream dipping sauce, Johnny Wellington, smoked salmon and steak kabobs.
There were three in our party, so we opted for the crab dip, served with a toasted baguette, and the Johnny Wellington. The dip was rich, with the shrimp flavor standing out the most. Though it paired well with the crunchiness of the baguette, I preferred the dip by itself to let all the flavors come through. Meanwhile, the Johnny Wellington—lamb in a puff pastry served with tzaziki (yogurt and cucumber) and mint sauce—was delicious. The lamb was cooked to perfection and paired perfectly with the tzaziki sauce.
Richardson suggested the Maui Cordon Bleu—herbed panko-crusted chicken breast stuffed with ham, Swiss, spinach and a fresh pineapple glaze. The ham, Swiss and spinach complemented the juiciness of the chicken, but it could’ve used more of the pineapple glaze. We also tried the mahi mahi, served with jasmine rice and vegetable du jour with a choice of three sauces; we selected the restic tomato buerre blanc. Fish: flaky and cooked perfectly. Vegetable du jour: delicious, sautéed veggie sticks. Sauce: creamy and ties it all together.
Finally, we sampled the New York Steak, served with bleu cheese apple gratin and vegetable du jour. The steak came medium rare and was accompanied by a balsamic vinaigrette mushroom reduction. It was one of the best sauces I’ve tried on Maui—and I’m not usually a fan of mushrooms.
For heart-healthy foodies there are a variety of soups (the carrot, coconut curry sounds the best) and salads. Have a sweet tooth? How does lilikoi cheesecake or sorbet sound? Macadamia nut gelato? Sweet Hawaiian bread pudding?
During dinner, I spoke to a couple that has been to the restaurant three times since it opened (808 Bistro is only three weeks old). I asked them what brought them back. “It’s like eating at a gourmet restaurant at half the cost,” they said. They also praised the staff, and even said they liked the current BYOB policy.
Richardson and Edwards personally visit each table with a smile; you truly get a sense of the owners and the restaurant. “It’s about the atmosphere,” Richardson said. “We greet everyone, serve excellent ingredients and bus tables ourselves. Everyone leaves happy.” Sabrina Dreyer, MauiTime
Got a hot food scoop? Contact Jen Russo at 808-280-3386 or fax to 808-244-0446