I spent Valentine's Night 2013 at I'O with my wife. We had gone to Pacific'O in summer of 2011, so we knew what to expect from the view. Of course, the sunset at I'O is fabulous and no doubt you pay for it. Overall, we had a very romantic evening in paradise with great tasting food. The thing that sticks in my mind is that there was no salt or pepper (or condiment of any kind) on our table. I assume that means that Chef James McDonald wants you to taste the ingredients and preparations that he presents. The ingredients were top notch, so the food was fabulous.
We had the Crispy Ahi and Cowboy Ribs as an appetizer. The Ahi made my wife an Ahi fan and it was probably the best bite of the night. The Ribs were tasty and featured a great hoisin based sauce that was finger lickin' good. I'm from Texas so I couldn't pass on the ribs. They were a great Hawaii interpretation of BBQ that I know.
As our main course, we got the Royalty Risotto and the Pan Seared Scallops with Lobster Sauce. The Risotto was perfectly cooked (slightly al dente) and very creamy. The Ali'i mushrooms were great (taste and texture) and the scallops were prominent. I loved the taste and my wife, who doesn't like mushrooms, couldn't get enough. The scallops were perfectly cooked an sitting in an appropriate amount of velvety lobster sauce. Although we did not order a complete plate entree, there was enough food in the four dishes to fill both of our bellies. And since it was Valentine's Day, it was nice to share the plates and enjoy all of the food...and each other.
To cap off our night, Chef McDonald came out and watched the sun dip behind the island of Lanai. Thanks Chef and I'O for an unforgettable experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.