Story by Shannon Wianecki | Photography by Nina Lee
After a dizzying world tour—and several TV appearances— alongside Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Jojo Vasquez has returned home to the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Banyan Tree. Rather than put up his feet and relax, the chef has devised a sumptuous schedule of prix fixe dinners not to be missed. Each month he spotlights a new winery—Cakebread and Patz and Hall are recent features—and pairs their vintages with envelope-pushing cuisine. Indulge in extraordinary lobster foams, peanut-butter powders, and parmesan crisps; your taste buds will earn bragging rights.
At the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, One Ritz Carlton Dr., Kapalua, (808) 669-6200. RR. International. D. $$$$
Craving fresh-shucked oysters still bearing the scent of the sea? Search no further than the foyer of Duo, the Four Seasons’ fancy steak house. At the new raw bar, an attendant will wrest your Kusshis and Kumamotos open on the spot, for you to dip into a perfect apple mignonette. Iced buckets overflow with delicacies drawn from the deep: mirin-steamed scallops, slipper lobsters, and Molokai prawns. Purchase each á la carte or dive into an all-you-can eat buffet.
At the Four Seasons Resort Maui, 3900 Wailea Alanui, Wailea, (808) 874-8000. Steak/ Seafood. B, D. $$$$
Chef-restaurateur Peter Merriman may be earning praise for his new Wailea watering hole, but “Alcohol Ambassador” Jason Vendrell is the brains behind the bar. Pull up a stool and sample one of his handcrafted cocktails, such as the South Shore Sangria—a tropical delight with Grand Marnier and fresh fruit—or the Rain Tree Elixir, coconut juice splashed with exotic acai-berry spirit and kaffir lime. Looking to keep it local? Sip on a Wild Hog Stout, courtesy of Maui Brewing Company.
10 Wailea Gateway Pl., Wailea, (808) 891-2322. American. L, D, N. $$$