Because we were staying at the Hotel Lana'i, it only made sense that we had dinner at the Lana'i City Grille, since it's located in the Hotel Lana'i.
After all, the restaurant's menu is designed by Beverly Gannon, one of the 12 original members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine Movement. I'd missed out eating at the Haliimaile General Store a couple of years ago, so this was about as close as I'd get for a while......
The dining area has a nice relaxed and warm feel...
Sorry to say, that photo was taken the next morning......the following photos just don't do the food justice, mainly because it was so darned dark in the room during dinner. Also, I'm pretty discrete, in other words no giant DSLR and especially no flash. I really don't like the attention.....
Anyway, the dishes seemed a bit heavy, so we went with just entrees, which turned out to be a good move. The Missus went with the Pecan Crusted Catch of the Day ($34) which was Ono, served with chorizo mashed potatoes and a chipotle honey butter sauce.
The fish was dry and overcooked, the pecan crust under seasoned and bland. We really enjoyed the mashed potatoes, which were smooth, but not too creamy. The spices of the chorizo came through as the the sauce balanced out the spiciness with a touch of sweetness.
I ordered the Pan Roasted Venison Loin ($38).
The venison was cooked perfectly, it was a loin cut which meant that we were talking about a lean cut of already lean venison. Yet this was toothsome, but not tough. Loved the venison flavor as did the Missus. We were worried that the fruit compote would kill the dish with sweetness, but unlike that now defunct San Diego restaurant that used to dump so much fruit on protein it looked like a fruit cocktail, the stewed fruit appropriately complemented the gamey venison. The mushroom risotto had more than a few hard grains, it was obviously cooked ahead and heated to order. The flavor was very mild and the Missus didn't care for it. Of course, before we left on the trip, I'd been making mushroom risotto just about every week at home. In other words, there wasn't any porcini in this......
Overall, this was a good meal, but nothing particularly outstanding. Our favorite part of the evening was when we got around to chatting with our server, who had a distinct Eastern European accent. We found out that she was from Poland! So how did a young woman from Poland end up working at the Lana'i City Grille? It turns out she came to visit some friends working at the resorts...and ended up staying! As often happens, the food is important, but it's the people and their stories that make the moment. We talked about the very small town/small island life, which is not for everyone, to which she lent insight..."we usually go camping or hiking on our day off....and there's the ferry to Maui. You would not believe how fantastic Costco sounds when you've been here for a while!" She actually made our night.......
Lana'i City Grille located in the Hotel Lana'i
Open Wed - Sun 5pm - 9pm
One morning, while the Missus was taking a nap, I walked over to the old Dole Administration Building. The Lana'i Cultural and Heritage Center is now located in the building.
There's no entrance fee, but donations are welcome. The little two room display area show photos and artifacts in a timeline fashion form the days of the original inhabitants to now. The young woman here was very friendly and took time out to chat with me....she also knew my family as well.
I'm old enough to remember using some of the items in displays....which I guess makes me sort of an artifact as well?
I found this aerial photo of Lana'i taken in 1929 to be very fascinating. Even though the now tall pine trees look like, and were tiny plants, you can still make out what today's Lana'i City still looks like.
What was even more funny is that I saw a photo of my Aunt and Uncle posted on one wall!
Love this sign........actually I believe it used to be posted on the way to Lana'i City from the airport.