Observations on Mama's and Gerrard's on Maui
Ate at Mama's Friday night. The amuse was an earthy double sip of soup. A tasty way to start, served with a nice little loaf of white bread. Both salads were good. but not exceptional: baby romaine and the fancy salad with dried cranberries, bacon, feta, etc. Both pieces of fish were exceptional; the best fish I've had since 3-Michelin-star dinners in France many years ago. Nothing innovative, just perfectly fresh and perfectly done. The deserts were good, but not memorable, as was the wine. Entrees about $50-60.
Ate at Gerrard's Saturday night. The amuse bouche was a little toast with green pepper something, parmesan shavings and a bit of Parma ham. OK, but not special. An appetizer of quennels in sorrel sauce had me furiously mopping the plate with slices of the OK bread. You could tell that Gerrard doesn't have the fishing fleet that Mama has. Only opakapaka was available, but we got it both ways it was offered: in a citrus, ginger cream sauce, apparently an old favorite recipe of the chef, and in a rich cream sauce with a fennel and onion reduction. Both were quite good, but a step down from Mama's. ($38 each entree.) Had a dessert of 3 sourbets, cooked rhubarb, and a coconut meringue cookie. Good, not great. However, I had a 2010 Sancerre that was fantastic; layers and layers of complexity. The boss really knows his Loire wines. And they offer a kama aina discount of 20% or so, making the second meal about half the price of the first. Both the meals were worth what was paid for them.
Great report, and mahalo.
I was trying to come up with any memories of desserts, at either restaurant, and could not. I will have to review my earlier notes. At Gerrard's, we did their cheese course, on our last visit, and that was quite good.
At both, the first courses, and the mains, were the most memorable aspects of our last few meals.
Now, I do love the wine lists at both, and we usually visit France via their Montrachets, or Meursaults, opting for bigger, bolder Chards, and have greatly appreciated the offerings at both. Also, both have some great Pinot Offerings, both domestic (US), and French. Do you recall the producer of that Sancerre? I do love SB with much of my seafood, and Sancerre is usually a perfect example, but I often head to the Chards - that is just me, and it DOES depend on the prep. Lighter seafood, with a lighter prep, and in need of a "squirt of citrus," and the Sancerre should be perfect.
We will get around to that, when appropriate.
It is always nice to see a nice Sancerre in a B-T-G offering.
As it's often just my lovely young wife and me, we often seek out both great B-T-G and also half-bottle selections, to have more wines, to pair with each dish. However, on the last two trips, we went with a white and a red Burg, and then shared the "overage" with fellow diners and the staff. That was how I met Chef McDonald from I`o - he was dining with his wife for her birthday, at the next table, and we had more Puligny-Montrachet, plus Gevery-Chamberain, than we could consume (Maui has special wine laws), so I offered some to them. We talked, and he said all the right things, so we dined with him on our next trip.
Even if we do not do a series of half bottles, I still give a big "thank you" to the sommelier, for having them available. Just did four in SF last week, and passed a bit on to our servers, as some had never tasted them before.