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Anniversary dinner, Lahaina-area, Maui

We're going to be on Maui for our anniversary this year, and have lined up a sitter for our two young-ish kids. We're looking to book a special anniversary dinner, with three main factors:

1) the quality of the food (of course!),
2) the ambience (preferably not a room filled with kids, since we'll be on break from ours...), and
3) the convenience.

We're staying at the Sheraton in Kaanapali, and would like a non-driving option (so that we can both have wine). There's a free shuttle to Lahaina, but I assume that we can instead get a taxi pretty easily to/from the Kapalua area.

After reading through pages of past reviews on this board (as well as on other sites), it appears that the best option for us is the Pineapple Grill, where I have booked a reservation. Now, as we get closer, though, doubt is beginning to set in! Merriman's has been getting a lot of good posts, and I'm also intrigued by the Lahaina Grill. I *think* that Pacific'o and I'o are not the same level of quality, but their location on the water is very nice. I would very much welcome any thoughts/opinions. Thanks!

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  1. OK, let's try this again. CH's server croaked on the last attempt.

    I'd do these, and in this order:

    1.) Merriman's Kapalua
    2.) Banyan Tree @ Ritz Carlton Kapalua
    3.) Gerard's Lahaina

    Of these, Gerard's is in Lahaina and probably on the Sheraton's transit loop. The others are in Kapalua, so a taxi ride would probably be in order. Do not know the transit options on Maui, so others will have to instruct you. There are some recent reviews of both the Banyan Tree and Gerard's. My reviews are to be found on: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/598400

    I did not observe any children at any of these three.

    Lahaina Grill was very good, though we did hit them on a very bad night. Still, for me, the romance factor would be lacking. I'd say the same for Pacific`O's, though the food was good, when we last dined there. We've never been to I`O, so I cannot comment.

    I understand your concer, regarding driving "home," after a wonderful meal with fine wines.

    Happy anniversary, enjoy, and please let us know what you decided on.

    Hunt

    1. For some odd reason, the Link to Place is not behaving tonight. Here are the links, to perhaps help you decide from the respective Web sites.

      Hunt

      [Edit] The Banyan Tree link is just flat not going to work. Here is the URL:
      http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Propert...

      -----
      Gerard's Restaurant
      174 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

      Merriman's Kapalua
      , Lahaina, HI 96761

      1. Lahaina Grill is our favorite, be sure to mention that you are looking for a "romantic" table - celebrating, etc, that way you get a back table... they are consistently fantastic food & service...

        -----
        Lahaina Grill
        127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina Maui, HI 96761

        1. Hi mechteach -

          The Pineapple Grill is nice and has a great view of the golf course - but it's not so romantic IMHO.

          My first choice would be Merriman's - the view is stunning, the food is great, and they have a very nice wine list.

          My second would be The Banyan Tree at the Kapalua Ritz. - for the same reasons.

          1. Thanks, everyone, for the feedback. We've decided to do the Lahaina Grill with the kids at an early seating on another night. For the anniversary dinner, we're booked into Gerard's, mainly due to the taxi vs. hotel shuttle situation. There's still availability at Merriman's, though, so I'm wavering a bit....

            1 Reply
            1. re: mechteach

              We went to Merriman's last night ourselves for an anniversary dinner. The food was good, not spectaular. The views were nice and the service was okay, not outstanding. The desserts were the star of the show with the sorbets and gelatos being delicious. The most disappointing was the prawn appetizer...3 crawfish-sized "prawns' cooked sous vide and served head on (it looks way bigger that way) with a few grapefruit segments. Okay but not outstanding but pricey at about $16. All in all, a nice dinner but not swoon-worthy by any means, especially for the price.