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Anniversary dinner on the Big Island

Going to Mauna Lani area of Hawaii over Thanksgiving and seeking recommendations for an anniversary dinner. Thinking of the restaurant at Mauna Kea. Thoughts? Other ideas?

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Mauna Kea
, Kamuela, HI 96743

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  1. I've heard that Monette's at the Mauna Kea is good if pricey. I'd think about Merriman's in Waimea (not the Market Cafe in Waikoloa). Have the seared ahi along with some fresh Waimea produce.

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    Monettes Restaurant
    62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, Kohala Coast, HI 96743

    Mauna Kea
    , Kamuela, HI 96743

    1 Reply
    1. re: hans

      Thanks, Hans. Will definitely hit Merriman's one night while we're there. Just thinking that sitting outside at Mauna Kea might provide a little more atmosphere.

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      Mauna Kea
      , Kamuela, HI 96743

    2. I think Meriman's is a beautiful room and the best Big Island food, although you won't see any romantic sunsets from there. Have eaten brunch at the Mauba Kea, but not dinner at Monette's. Have had great meals at the Canoe House at the Mauna Lani,and the atmosphere there is beautiful....I think better than the Mauna Kea.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jay 1

        I know this post is old, but in case others are searching: We have stayed at Mauna Lani many times and have found the starters and desserts at Canie House to be quite good but the main courses lacking. The atmosphere is lovely, though, especially at sunset. Brown's Beach House at the nearby Fairmont Orchid (take the complimentary shuttles back and forth) has better food, in my opinion, and the same view. However the space is larger and less intimate. Merriman's is excellent, but the space itself is not terribly romantic. Also,you have to drive. At Brown's (or Canoe House), you can have a cocktail, enjoy your wine, and not have to worry about driving back.

        1. re: pickles210

          Thanks for the feedback. Better late than never! My wife and I have now been going the past four years and agree with what you say. We enjoy drinks and appetizers while relaxing at Brown's. We continue to enjoy our actual anniversary dinner at Manta at Mauna Kea. The setting can't be beat and we've had wonderful service. I could do without the cats that wander thru the tables, but this has become a wonderful tradition that we continue to enjoy.

           
      2. where did you dine and how was it?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ibstatguy

          A beautiful grand old hotel and a fantastic remodel to a 60's era landmark. Excellent exterior, fantastic views and beautiful seating areas. We enjoy eating at many of the classics on the Big Island and thought we would try Monettes while renting a home at the nearby bluffs. Our waiter arrived at our table and the first thing we were told was that there were no specials this evening and that the "meat comes alone". A very odd first impression we pressed on with our original expectations. Unfortunately the rest of the evening was a complete disappointment as the quality of the food did not match the quality of such a great hotel and surroundings. The waiter forgot to bring our appetizer and quickly moved us onto our seeming bagged cesar salads. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone.

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          Monettes Restaurant
          62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, Kohala Coast, HI 96743

        2. I'm a longtime resident of the Big Island, and a well-travelled foodie. I second the suggestion of Merriman's, it's certainly some of the best food on the island. While I'm not a fan of the hotel Mauna Kea, I am surprised to see the negative review of Monette's, my experiences there have been quite good. Their wine program in particular is excellent. I cannot recommend the Canoe House, while it's a beautiful space, the food there has not been good for some time. My favorite restaurants are at the Four Seasons, both the Beach Tree and the signature restaurant, Pahu'ia, have excellent worldclass chefs, are committed to local produce, and are generating some of the best food in the state, IMO.

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          Monettes Restaurant
          62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive, Kohala Coast, HI 96743

          Mauna Kea
          , Kamuela, HI 96743

          1 Reply
          1. re: sharkmaid

            Oops, did not see the Pahu i`a rec., so I am just a second to that.

            As for the Canoe House, my last visit was some time back, but we were less than impressed with the food, the service, or their wine program. That is why the "last visit" was awhile ago, I suppose. I have heard that they have improved on many levels, but have not felt compelled to test them out. Maybe next trip?

            Hunt

          2. Along with the other recs., I'd add Pahu i`a at the Four Seasons, http://www.fourseasons.com/hualalai/d...

            Enjoy,

            Hunt

            [Edit] Now I see a rec. for Pahu i`a, so I am just a second to that one.