For the most part I selected moderate to inexpensive restaurants to try on Maui. However, I did want to have one “splurge” meal while there. There is no shortage of these elegant restaurants so I asked on travel boards for recommendations for a fancy meal, complete with an incredible view. Multiple people mentioned Merriman’s and after checking out its website, I was sold.
Merriman’s is located within Kapalua Resort, directly on the ocean. Although the restaurant does not open for dinner until 5:30 PM, there is a wine bar that also serves small plates. D and I arrived early for our reservation, but opted to sit outside on the terrace admiring the view, while I took photos.
Tables for two were the closest to the restaurant’s edge, so we lucked out in securing one of them with our earlier reservation (after 6 PM it appeared that all the tables in the restaurant were filled). I was a bit dismayed with the number of small children dining there, but I supposed that being located in a resort, there would always be a large number of families staying there, and dining at the restaurant would be a matter of convenience for them. Thankfully no children or babies were crying and/or screaming. (That was a facet though on each of our flights.)
We started our meal with the “warm crusted surfing goat cheese” plate that featured Kula strawberries (Kula is a town in an area of the island called Upcountry where much of the island’s produce is grown), Maui onions, and strawberry and garden mint vinaigrette for $13. I have really grown to like goat cheese and paired with the sweet and sour taste of the vinaigrette, it was a great dish to begin with.
For my main course I ordered the “crispy day boat mahi-mahi ponzu” that came with sesame grilled shiitake mushrooms and Hana hearts of palm. (Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine.) For a number of its entrees, Merriman’s offers the choice of full or smaller portions and since I often don’t finish all of my meal, I ordered the smaller one for $29 (the full is $36). Although I am not a regular fish eater, I do order it occasionally when dining out, and absolutely wanted to try some in Hawaii with its incredible array of sea options. I really enjoyed it and wasn’t stuffed upon finishing it.
D ordered the “peppercorn-garlic rubbed pan seared grass-fed rib eye” that was accompanied with chili pepper green beans, jalapeno taro fritters and marinated tomatoes for $47. D had selected this prior to even going to Maui and I believe the dish lived up to his every expectation.
For dessert we split the “Maui Gold pineapple upside down cake” made with Mama Anderson’s Banana Bread, candied macadamia nuts, caramelized pineapple, and Haupia ice cream for $12. Although D wanted something of a chocolate nature, I won out by stating that we were in Hawaii and one must have a pineapple themed dessert while there. The ice cream that came with the cake quickly won him over.
The only downside to the meal was that due to the time of the year we were there, the sun sets early so we couldn’t enjoy the beautiful view for too long. In closing, the service at Merriman’s was excellent, the setting stunning, and the food exquisite, pricey but definitely worth it.
(Merriman’s also has locations on the islands of Kauai and the Big Island.)
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