Edited by Jose Morales
Maui, Hawai’i – Maui, Hawai’i, is referred to as the ‘Valley Isle.’ The island is not only home to the largest dormant volcano in the world (Haleakalā) but is also world-known for its 30 miles of white, black, and red sand beaches. The high number of tourists hoping to enjoy this paradise-on-earth has led the government to consider limiting visitations in order to preserve its natural beauty. However, before this happens, when you visit Maui, you will definitely want to make your way to the famous restaurant founded by Chef Jurg Munch: Lahaina Grill.
Located in Lahaina Town, on the west side of the island of Maui, the location of the Lahaina Grill used to be a 55-seat bistro by another name before becoming the internationally-acclaimed culinary Mecca it is known as today. Officially founded in 1990 by chef/owner Jurg Munch, together with Arnulfo Gonzalez as Executive Chef, the now 130-seat restaurant has collected various awards throughout the years. One of its first and most important accolades was when in 1993 the famous restaurant critic, Mimi Sheraton, bestowed Lahaina Grill with a coveted three-star rating in Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Since then, it has only been up for the restaurant. It has been recognized as the best Maui restaurant for almost 26 years, not only by multiple publications of prestige but most importantly by its guests, who will make reservations at least five months in advance in order to secure a table at the coveted restaurant.
The restaurant offers a serene atmosphere in a classic setting. Paintings of different types of flora by Maui’s most notable colorist, Jan Kasprzycki, decorate its walls. A press tin ceiling adds an extra special touch of subduing grandeur.
Served on fine china, the selection of dishes at the Lahaina Grill is inspired by contemporary American cuisine, but with a touch of Aloha flavors. Some of the must-have signature dishes include the Sautéed Local Mahi-Mahi, (local kula spinach with herb-infused mashed potatoes, gorgonzola cheese, pancetta, and chardonnay beurre blanc) and the Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Seared Ahi (fresh local sashimi-grade ahi steak, served with Tahitian vanilla bean jasmine rice, and apple cider butter vinaigrette). Other dishes to consider when visiting include the Center Cut Filet Mignon ( 7 oz. center cut beef filet, served with herbed mashed potatoes, béarnaise, and whole-grain mustard port wine demi-glace), and the Marcho Farms Center Cut Veal Chop (12 oz. all natural veal chop in Pommery mustard, served with sautéed local ali’i mushrooms, herbed truffle risotto, and balsamic port wine demi-glace).
When visiting with a group of six to eight people, you will be able to book the Chef’s Table. Booking this prime table at the restaurant will grant you an exclusive opportunity of having the chef personally plan and prepare a unique menu for you and your guests, as well as select the wines which will compliment your dinner.
If a thirst for fine cocktails is what brings you to Lahaina Grill, the 16-seat bar will welcome you with a selection sure to satiate your desires. Some favorites include the Maui Mule (local ocean vodka, with fresh lime, ginger liqueur, Maui Brewing Co. island ginger beer, and crystallized ginger), and the Black Manhattan (Bulleit bourbon, with Meletti Amaro, Bittermens Burlesque Bitters, and bada bing cherry).
When visiting Hawai’i, purposely find your way to the island of Maui. You will discover not only beautiful landscapes and breathtaking beaches, but also fantastic food. Of the many culinary options found on the island, Lahaina Grill offers everything your palate desires. – GM
Images courtesy of Lahaina Grill