Firstly, props go out to Plantation House for staking claim to a truly dynamite location. It sits high up on a West Maui foothill surrounded by pineapple groves and golf holes, with a tremendous view of the ocean and outer islands.
Inside it’s pretty swift, too. The place has the grandeur of a swanky country club, with an elegant entrance, pro shop and big, cushy locker rooms downstairs. The interior of the restaurant is dark and sophisticated with large windows letting the night flow inside. Overall, it has a very romantic feel.
Except that I was there not with a date, but a large group of friends from land-locked Colorado. I sat near the kiddy end of our long table, so my dinner experience was a dichotomy of adult conversation and little boy horseplay.
The kids were sucking down virgin daiquiris and the particularly favored Green Gecko, a carbonated neon green soft drink that shot sugar right into their veins and significantly escalated their hyperactivity. But it worked out to my advantage in that Andrew kept running to the bar to check the score of Game Three of the World Series.
The appetizers revolved mainly around sashimi, crab cakes and scallops. A half dozen salads, all under $10, each looked colorful and delicious. Mrs. Lochmiller and I started with the panko-crusted goat cheese salad, which had mixed Kula greens, Molokai tomatoes, Greek olives, Maui onions and passionfruit vinaigrette. Mr. Lochmiller and I also shared the watermelon and toasted walnut salad with Kula greens, shaved red onions and ginger-soy vinaigrette. It was almost too pretty to eat, but tasted enticingly sweet and salty.
Chef Alex Stanislaw really outdid himself with the entrees: a mighty selection of scallops, prawns, tenderloin, rib-eye steak, duck breast, filet, lamb and New Zealand lobster tail. The two fish options were Ono and Papio and you could plug your choice into whichever style of preparation tickled your fancy.
Needless to say, I was torn so I consulted our server and ended up selecting the Plantation Oscar special with Papio, sauteed and accompanied by butter-braised asparagus spears, sauteed crab meat and lemon beurre blanc atop garlic mashed potatoes.
What a mouthful. The fish was delectable, the crab meat savory and I cleaned up the garlicky mashed potatoes. I even rose above my aversion to asparagus by lathering it in the sinful beurre blanc sauce.
Enough about my meal. Mrs. Lochmiller tried the Fish Special, also with Papio herb with bacon wilted winter greens and topped with roasted artichoke and Kona crab salsa. It was delightfully different than my meal and equally bewitching.
Even the keiki meals were large and lavishly prepared. To ice the cake, we ordered a creme brulee and shared a bite with everyone. It left the perfect bit of sweet pudding and carmelized sugar resonating on the taste buds and we all avoided the regret of splurging on a gigantic dessert, though I was devilishly eyeing the Bananas Foster. MTW