Ferraro’s at the Four Seasons Wailea offers a spectacular setting in which to immerse yourself in the creative Italian cuisine of Chef Craig Dryhurst and Sous Chef Marco Calenzo. The restaurant is nestled into the property’s northwest corner, requiring you to take a romantic stroll through the lobby and past their fountain pool under the stars in the evening, or bright azure skies if it’s day. The restaurant does lunch and dinner nightly.
The decor is modern but has hints of European influence are seen in the wrought iron furnishings, columns surrounding the bar and sculptures. The pretty warm colors coming from the open fire in the kiawe wood burning oven adds ambiance, and the smells of fresh dough and flatbread baking inside are marvelous. The blanket of stars overhead are the real stunners–that is, until your food arrives.
The menu is very cleverly lit up at night, almost like a tablet screen. Since you’re dining by candle and starlight, this proves to be their high tech solution, and makes for fun conversation. The menu starts with antipasti, then moves through primi and secondi. Chef Dryhurst has also designed a Wellness Menu with amazing vegan and vegetarian dishes, and while it doesn’t light up like the other one, it includes some great dining options as well.
I started with the crudos of ahi, ono and salmon and the Ferraro’s salad. The crudos is one of my favorite dishes here: simple raw fish, but each fleshy bite is paired with a seasoning to bring out the flavor–ahi with mint and ginger, ono with cucumber celery and meyer lemon and salmon with sweet sour shallot. Ferraro’s endive salad has crunchy hazelnut sprinkled over gooey dates and pear slices. I like the way bitter and sweet play together in this starter.
For primi, I went with the lobster gnocchi sardi. The pastas are housemade by Calenzo, and the gnocchi sardi is a delectable ribbed shell shape. I know you were thinking that gnocchi is a potato dumpling sort of a pasta, right? Well, the Italians are full of surprises. In Sardinia, the gnocchi sardi is short for gnocchetti sardi–a pasta. Regardless, it’s a delicious dish with large chunks of lobster and a creamy sundried tomato vodka sauce.
On secondi, their porcini dusted seared ahi was a gorgeous dish. The semi raw filet came on a bed of Swiss chard and fregola pasta. Fregola resembles quinoa, but it’s a tiny rolled pasta also from Sardinia. It takes a big appetite to dine like an Italian with primi and secondi courses following antipasti, but Ferraro’s will let you do it with style (you can also split plates for family members if you wish to share).
If you’re eating from the Wellness Menu, the kale strawberry salad is locally sourced and delicious. The Trio of Cauliflower entree is also fabulous, while the Hamakua mushroom fettucini with cashew cream Alfredo sauce will make you wish you were vegan–it’s that good. The mushroom pasta Alfredo is one of those dishes that proves eating vegan can be really filling.
At lunch, Ferraro’s menu changes, and the dining room transforms under giant shade umbrellas. You will still see the stone baked pizza, pastas, appetizers with Italian flair. But with lunch entrees they also add sandwiches and some non-Italian entrees. The foccacia bread they serve is wonderful and features in a few of their sandwiches like the grilled mahi. That’s served with your choice of a side, salad, onion rings, fries, grilled veggies or fresh fruit. Wraps are also an option. Ferraro’s keeps the children’s menu the same for lunch and dinner; they have so much to choose from the kids won’t be disappointed.
Ferraro’s has a great buy-one-entree-get-one free deal for kama`aina. They also have an 8 Till Late promotion where wine is half off after 8pm, but the two deals cannot be combined. The 8 Till Late deal is also available to everyone, not just kama`aina.
For reservations, call the resort at 808-874-8000.