100 Golf Club Dr., Wailea
Acclaimed Chef Bev Gannon is noted for being one of the founders of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement. On Maui, she’s the force behind the famous Haliimaile General Store and Joe’s Bar & Grill in Wailea. Given her reputation, her new South Maui venture—in the former Sea Watch location—has a lot to live up to. The good news: it meets, and perhaps even exceeds, expectations.
Upon entering, you’re greeted by ultra-modern décor and a warm, inviting atmosphere. The light fixtures alone are something to marvel at. Bev credits this feature to her husband, a lighting technician who spent his career lighting rock shows.
Seating is either inside or out on the lanai. If you come before 6:30pm, choose the lanai for a blazing Wailea sunset and spectacular view of Molokini.
If you’ve dined at one of Gannon’s restaurants before, you won’t be let down; if this is your first experience, you’ll be wowed. A must-try is the crab, lobster and tomato tower. Cucumber avocado rolls are topped with a wasabi-vinegarette glaze and succulent crab salad, fresh heirloom tomatoes and, finally, lobster. Cutting into the tower gradually is “the only way to fully enjoy the richness of each layer,” Gannon says.
The wine list is extensive enough to satisfy even the staunchest connoisseur. If you like reds, the Sinskey Merlot is a full-bodied selection that will compliment any of the meats on the menu. If you lean more to the white side and/or are ordering fish, I’d recommend the crisp, sweet Laird Family Estate Pinot Grigio.
On the night my date and I dined, the special was walu (Hawaiian Butterfish), seared and served with mushrooms, bacon and onions, plus mashed potatoes drizzled in a lemon butter sauce. Never having tried walu before we didn’t know what to expect. It was succulent, flaky and cooked to perfection, while the mushroom, bacon and onion gave it that little extra kick. For the second entrée, we went with the venison loin with Parmesan risotto and smoked corn nage. The venison was cooked medium rare—a little too rare for my taste—but was tender and juicy, letting the full flavor of the meat come through. The creaminess and richness of the risotto provided the perfect complement.
Last stop, dessert. I have a huge sweet tooth anyway, and it doesn’t help when the menu has treats like chocolate cake, Kailua black coffee mousse and vanilla bean ice cream cake. For research purposes (of course) we decided to cave in to the chef-recommended ice cream cake with cherry compote. It tasted great, and revealed an unexpected fact about Gannon.
“I remember growing up with vanilla bean ice cream cake and it was my absolute favorite,” the famed chef told us. “Plus, I’ve never really been a big fan of chocolate.” Who knew?
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