For starters, a Mai Thai at The Nui is a must!
We had a great dinner at Bar Acuda in Hanalei Town offering small plates sourced from Island Fisherman + local organic farmers.
We ate Papas Ajo - fried marble potatoes tossed in fresh garlic with paprika aioli which were basically the local version of my favorite tapas - Patatas Bravas! There were tender Banderillas - grilled flank steak skewers rubbed with ancho chile coffee spice and a chipotle honey sauce, and a beautiful piece of Hawaiian Ono with roasted corn puree, grilled summer squash, green coriander + True Leaf farms sunflower sprouts.
And a Lilikoi Cheese Cake with graham macadamia nut crust and lilikoi curd for dessert!
It was so nice to have the gorgeous St.Regis luxury resort just a ten minute walk away. We fell in love with their Macadamian Old Fashioned. It was one of the best cocktails on the trip!
On our first night we ventured in to a lively bar crowd. The whole place was dancing to a husband wife duo who played local instruments and killed it with the cover songs. We grabbed a front row table and orderd dinner. The bar menu features Japanese plates, offering really good sushi, sashimi, miso soup, edamame and more. We were delighted with out first experience here and knew we'd be back.
A couple days later we dined at Makana Terrace. The views over Hanalei Bay are incredible, but that was about all. The menu was lacking - they were out of a lot of items we wanted to order, and we weren't overly impressed with the food or service. We got the vibe our waitress didn't like us - never a good feeling on your honeymoon or at an exceptionally luxe venue.
The bad experience at Makana didn't outweigh our love for the good vibes at the bar. We came back on our last night for a final round of Macadamian Old Fashioneds at sunset.
Tahiti Nui or the Nui is the local Hanalei dive. Live musics plays late into the evening and the Mai Thais are flowing. The food was decent. We had coconut shrimp (can't go wrong), beef poke (not my favorite) and a local fish and rice dish (average).
Piazza was a real treat and somewhat of a surprise! Serving local Italian cuisine in a polished atmosphere in the Princeville Plaza (next to Foodland) we came in on our last night in Kauai and were very impressed. We sat at the bar, where the staff was fun and attentive. To start - Ahi Tuna Carpaccio with a deconstructed tapenade, lemon confit and black lava salt was one of my favorite plates in all of Hawaii. The wine list and cocktails were on point - take my Vespa with Aperol, lychee puree and prosecco - the perfect blend of Italia meets Hawaii! My Kauai Shrimp Scampi with handmade squid ink linguine, garlic butter, tomato, lemon preserves and chili flakes was a terrific entree.
Overall, we had some pretty great food on Kauai's North Shore, but not without a couple misses in the mix. If you've visited this part of Hawaii, where are your must eats?!