100 Wines, One Wonderful Cheese
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Before he set a wheel of Brie ablaze for the test-kitchen crew, Chef Lyndon Honda and I enjoyed a laugh or two in the chic, dimly lit bar of 100 Wines, where he shared the story of his progress from beach bum to executive chef for Maui’s most exciting new eatery.
“I was the typical teenager who would rather surf and hang out than study. College was not in my plans, but my mom urged me to go. I signed up for the liberal arts track at Kapiolani (Community College) on Oahu, but at the last minute decided the culinary arts program would be better, mistakenly thinking I wouldn’t have to study or write papers,” Honda laughed. “Of course, becoming a chef was really hard work and I had to take all the core classes, too.”
Chef Lyndon eventually came to Maui, at first to work for the Hoaloha Na Eha group as manager of Aloha Mixed Plate, ultimately serving as designer of their corporate kitchens before being tapped to oversee the kitchen of 100 Wines.
The new restaurant is the latest concept from Cohn Restaurant Group, which also manages and owns Pineapple Grill in Kapalua and the Melting Pot in Lahaina Gateway Center. The latter was recently divided into two separate spaces to make room for the new eatery; the makeover is dramatic.
San Diego-designer Philippe Beltran conceived the concept and decor for 100 Wines. He has hit the mark in creating an urbane ambiance on Maui, starting with what may be the best lighting for an island restaurant. A far cry from Maui’s typical sunlit oceanfront venues, the cozy booths and dark, hip decor of 100 Wines provide the in-crowd with a place to tete-a-tete far from the throngs at the beach.