The food here is very good across the board. The ambiance is spectacular (as you would expect on Lanai). I am usually hesitant to eat at Italian restaurants in general (being that my family is originally from Italy), but the menu looked appealing and the location offered great views and music.
The staff was originally slow to greet us at the host stand, we waited several minutes until we were noticed by other wait staff and they summoned the hostess. Once seated, the wait staff was excellent. They were attentive but not over bearing, they provided timely service and were very friendly.
The food was very good from beginning to end. We started with the Caprese Salad and the Bucatini with three meat ragu. The tomatoes were local and very sweet and fresh tasting and were complemented by the burrata chees perfectly. The Bucatini were cooked to a perfect al dente and the meet sauce was excellent. The amount of sauce to bucatini was also perfect, as in Italy, the pasta was the star of the dish - the sauce complements the pasta.
For the main course, my wife had the Risotto and I had the Cioppino. Both were prepared perfectly. The Risotto was cooked expertly and mushrooms along with the Grana Padano cheese came together for a earthy taste that left us wanting more!
The Cioppino was very good. All the fish and shellfish were cooked to the right doneness, which is not an easy task. I would have preferred a bit more heat in the broth, but it had a good depth of flavor, perfect for dipping the bread in it.
For dessert we went with the Tiramisu, which was light, along wiht the right amount of coffee flavor and a creamy mascarpone layer along with a coffee meringue (not typical, but worked here).
The only issue I had with the restaurant was the music! The two man team sang mainly Frank Sinatra songs all night long! IN HAWAII, really???? I wanted Hawaiian music to fit the views and setting. We even requested two fairly popular hawaiian songs and they did not know them.... they tried to look them up on the Iphone, but still could not play them for us.... we need Hawaiian music in Hawaii..
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 12, 2013
Aloha Bart F,
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Thank you for taking the time to review your dining experience. We are pleased to learn that we met your expectations for the Italian cuisine - especially, as you noted, because of your high expectations due to your Italian heritage. However, I'm truly sorry to read about the slow service you initially received and appreciate you noting how the service was very attentive for the remainder of the evening. This feedback is much appreciated and will most certainly be reviewed with the team in an effort to constantly perfect the service we provide.
The Bucatini dish you speak highly of is actually a recipe from Chef Dario's Italian grandmother! As you can imagine the house made bucatini noodles are made with love and it is one of Chef's personal favorite dishes. Using the Maui Heirloom tomatoes give us the opportunity to create the fresh caprese salad you were able to enjoy. The burrata cheese is a twist on the traditional caprese however this cheese is magical! The local seafood in the Cioppio dish makes this dish one of my personal favorites and I am pleased to hear you enjoyed this dish as well. For extra heat chef recommends adding a little extra red chili flakes which is an easy request to accommodate.
The way Chef Jeremy Choo has created the Tiramisu really does work for the restaurant. And what a special surprise with the Kalua rum at the bottom of the dish! Chef Choo will be delighted to hear of your positive feedback on his Tiramisu.
I am terribly sorry you did not care for the music selection at Kailani the evening you dined with us. Please know that your feedback is very valuable and we thank you for that. This feedback has been shared with our leadership team in efforts to perfect our music offerings at the hotel.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the island again soon!
Jeremy R. Sidman
Food & Beverage Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.