Location: Hanalei Town Center, Hanalei, Kaua’i. 808.826.7081
Date: January 16, 2013
Cuisine: New American
Rating: Best restaurant on Kaua’i?
Hawaii in general, and Kaua’i in particular, isn’t exactly a bastion of fine dining. But with such a bounty of produce and fish great things are certainly possible. Most restaurants aren’t really chef driven, but BarAcurda is far more like a big city place — and it’s located in quaint (and gorgeous) Hanalei on the remote (and wet) North Shore.
BarAcuda is helmed by Jim Moffat, a San Francisco area chef with a great track record. Hanalei is really a slice of paradise, so it isn’t too hard to understand why he might want to relocate there.
Gin Blossom. Boodles gin, muddled fresh basil, fresh lemon juice, club soda, on the rocks.
El Sol. Belvedere vodka, fresh squeezed orange juice, splash of cranberry juice and lime juice, St Geramine float, on the rocks.
Brunello goes with everything. From my cellar (flown across the Pacific), “The Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo is an earthy, herbaceous effort with a dark plum/ruby color as well as a sweet bouquet of cherries, compost, underbrush, and Asian spices. Medium-bodied, dry, and angular, with complex aromatics.”
Marcona almonds roasted and salted.
Medjool dates with celery salad, shaved parmesan, and aged balsamic.
Whole roasted tomato bruschetta with balsamic, scallions, and grilled crostini.
Belgian Endive salad with blue cheese dressing, candied walnuts, gorgonzola and apples.
Crock of roasted beets with goat cheese, balsamic reduction, and orange infused olive oil .
Seared Black Tiger Shrimp with sweet soy and coconut milk. This was one of my favorite dishes, with a Thai red coconut curry kind of vibe.
Slow Braised Short Rib with soft polenta and salsa seca. Rich and yummy.
Banderillas grilled ﬂank steak skewers with honey and chipotle chili oil.
Bacalao. Portuguese salt cod with garlic, potatoes, cream, and crostini. I’ve had this dish a couple of times. In Portugal, in Italy, and at the home of a Portuguese friend. This was a nice version and not too salty. Not as good as my friends, but that’s hardly surprising as that one was amazing.
Pizzetta with sweet onion soﬀrito, prosciutto, roasted cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella.
Seared Mahi Mahi with Big Island mushrooms and marsala reduction.
Local North Shore honeycomb with Humboldt Fog goat cheese and crisp apple.
Peach and almond galette with honey mascarpone ice cream.
Chocolate Pot de Creme with coconut macaroon and whipped cream. Yum!
After so many “casual” placed on the island, BarAcuda (which was still casual, just not in the kitchen) was a breath of fresh sea air. You can be a food snob in paradise!