Today we enjoyed a culinary high point, Spago Maui. This is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant originally made famous 25 years ago in Beverly Hills. Spago has a lot of locations today in somewhat predictable luxury and high dollar spots like Beaver Creek, CO, Redmond, WA, and Las Vegas.
The one in Maui however, has a committment to local ingredients fusing Hawaiian, Asian, and California cuisine. It was unbelievably good!
We both started with a signature cocktail, Alice with the Cucumber Martini. This is definitely one we will recreate at home! It was cucumber infused vodka and cucumber infused gin (both!) with muddled cucumber, fresh basil, and garnished with slices of cucumber. It was cool and sophisticated!
I had the Haleakala Fire, a mixture of Anejo Tequila, grapefruit juice, fresh thai basil, and jalepeno pepper! Both drinks were exciting and delicious!
For food, I began with their signature dish, the Spicy Ahi Tuna “Poke” in Sesame-Miso Cones. There were so many flavors going on, pickled ginger, Sriracha, a tuna tartare, and the little mini cone was made from sesame seeds and miso, hand-rolled. It was so fantastic I could have gone home at that point and been happy!
Alice started with an amazing salad of warm roasted Kula corn with a macadamia nut vinaigrette and Maui tomatoes. This was so good it could easily have been a vegetarian meal.
Her next dish was so good she (with help from me) ate it before we thought to take a picture! It was a butterfish called Walu and it was broiled with miso and topped with a tiny quail egg, fried. This was drizzled with a sesame aioli. The fish was strong flavored, but not “fishy”. It was so incredibly good!
My entrée was one of the most spectacular things I have ever eaten. The fish was a local fish called Hawaiian Opakapaka (hyphens help, it is O-paka-paka). This was similar in texture to mahi mahi, but richer and more character in the flavor.
The treatment was classic Thai but with Hawaiian ingredients. The curry was spicy and rich with coconut milk, and the topping was lemongrass, cilantro, Thai basil, and ginger. All of these aromatics stimulated the taste buds and worked in harmony. It was served with three different chutneys to sweeten or spice it up as desired. I was in love with this dish and would find it hard now to order anything else on the menu!
The service was over the top from the bartender to the host, to our magnificent server Malissa. Her recommendations were as if she had known us for years, and when she heard we were here for our 25th anniversary she brought out cookies on the house. I was impressed that someone could write happy anniversary in chocolate on a plate!
We enjoyed a phenomenal pinot noir called Panther Creek, bottled back when we were celebrating our 20th anniversary; and we even had a french press of Maui grown coffee after dinner.
Spago is at the Four Seasons and the property next to that is the Fairmont The Fairmont was hosting the IBM Top Sales Award Trip and they had a huge outdoor banquet which featured fireworks over the water. Thank you IBM!
It was a memorable evening in every detail including a special table looking out over the Pacific ocean, the food, the drinks, the service, just outstanding!