Food is Better When Shared
If you are like most people on this planet you enjoy traveling and dining out. And of course, the more unique and specialized the experience, the better. For visitors seeking just that, here are three winning options on Maui.
Held at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Wailuku, the event is the brainchild of chef Jeff Scheer, who was inspired to create a more intimate dining experience after working several gigs in San Francisco where people were doing little chef’s tables inside their kitchen during service. At a standard Maui Chef’s Table guests are encouraged to get up out of their seats, come to the “Chef’s Table,” see the action, take pictures, and get to know the chefs, as the kitchen is in the room. Seating is communal, offering diners the opportunity to connect with fellow food and drink enthusiasts, and to ensure the good mood keeps going, there is always a wine manager is always on hand with a recommendation ready. Throughout the evening the chefs and M.C. will speak about the courses, the farms, and offer tips and anecdotes.
This crazy-popular noodle house sits at the northern end of Lahaina, in a business park just below the town’s giant hillside. It was launched in 2010 by a team that included Top Chef fan favorite Sheldon Simeon. (Simeon eventually left to run the now-closed Migrant and other projects, including the new Tin Roof in Kahului.) Star Noodle is long and narrow, with two- and four-tops lining the walls and a long communal table running down the center. If you don’t have reservations, this is likely where you’ll sit — and it’s a great spot for a simple reason: Communal tables lend themselves to camaraderie — and it’s easy to eyeball what everyone else is having.
Chef Peter Merriman is trailblazer. Part of the wave of chefs who changed the tide of Hawaiian cuisine, Merriman’s vision for the growth of local agriculture and the potential of Hawaii’s rich volcanic soils has come to fruition and nowhere is this better exhibited than at his eponymous restaurant. The menu is comprised of artfully curated local fruits, vegetables, and locally raised meats. Bringing a group? The best way to experience the bounty than with the “It’s Nice to Share” dinner offering. The menu is served family style and the entire table must participate as no modifications for tasting menu will be made. Menus items often included span Tamimi Farms cucumber, Kauai shrimp, Maui onion, and of course, malasadas.