Just VISITING Hawaii is a romantic gesture in itself (in the right company, of course). But, when you take your sweetheart to a romantic restaurant in paradise, you’ve just upped the ante!
If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in Hawaii, many of the top romantic restaurants will likely be booked-up many months in advance. But, that shouldn’t stop you from doing your research now for next year.
So, check-out our top 5 romantic restaurants on Oahu and make next year’s reservation now!
1. Chef Mavro: USA Today describes Chef Mavro as a “Hawaiian-French fusion restaurant helmed by owner and chef George Mavrothalassitis who masterfully combines fresh, local ingredients into inventive dishes.” Favorites include onaga, a long tail snapper baked in a salt crust with a tomato-ogo-fines herbes sauce, and the house-made lilikoi malasadas with guava coulis for dessert. My experience was phenomenal, featuring an abundance of small, delicate, delicious plates, instead of a few larger dishes.
2. Vintage Cave Club: Owned by Japanese businessman Takeshi Sekiguchi, the Vintage Cave Club is a romantic hideaway catering to those who can afford a taste of luxury and decadence. Choose between the Sushi or French-Japonais Menu, and begin the extraordinary journey. The French-Japonais Menu features items like Whole Kasugodai with White Sturgeon Caviar, Kona Maine Lobster Bisque, and A5 Wagyu Filet Steak with Green Peppercorn Sauce. Part of the experience is the pace — servers give you plenty of time between courses to savor the conversation AND the wine!
3. Michel’s: USA Today advises diners to start off their romantic evening with an order of helix escargots bourgogne drizzled in herbed-garlic butter. Then, move into the equisite entrees, which include steamed onaga with somen noodles, beef tenderloin with a black peppercorn crust and Michel’s Ocean Bounty, featuring an assortment of fresh seafood including grilled mahimahi, oyster Rockefeller, blackened ahi, Tristan lobster tail, scampi-style caledonian and Kona baby abalone. Save room for a dessert to share, such as the Hawaiian apple-banana flambé made with locally grown bananas flambéed in dark rum.
4. Roy’s: Chef Roy Yamaguchi has opened several Roy’s restaurants both in Hawaii and around the world. But, the Roy’s in Hawaii Kai is the original. There, you’ll find a less assuming romantic atmosphere featuring an open kitchen and boisterous ambiance. Kick off your romantic night out with an order of sushi or Roy’s dim sum style canoe for two which comes with mini crab cakes, miso salmon tempura roll, Szechuan pork ribs, shrimp sticks and Chinatown chicken spring rolls. The “ocean” entrees feature seared butterfish, blackened ahi, pan roasted ehu and mochiko crusted Kauai prawns. “Land” dishes include veal tenderloin Milanese, Jidori chicken and honey mustard grilled beef short ribs.
5. Paakai: In Hawaiian, paakai means “sea salt,” and the appropriately named Paakai restaurant in Turtle Bay Resort on the beautiful North Shore features sea-to-table cuisine. USA Today reports that “the upscale restaurant prides itself on offering fresh, locally caught fish, Kauai prawns, farm-raised lobster, sea asparagus, and, of course, dishes prepared with Hawaiian sea salt.” One of its signature dishes is the crispy whole Big Island Kampachi with hearts of palm and shiitake mushrooms. Ask for a table near the restaurant’s floor to ceiling windows for a stellar view of the Pacific Ocean as you dine. Paakai is a great place to unwind after exploring Oahu’s North Shore.
It’s not hard to create romance when you spend Valentine’s Day in Hawaii — just being here is a gesture in itself! But, add one of these romantic restaurants on Oahu to the itinerary, and your sweetheart will be eating out of your hand!
Posted by: Bruce Fisher