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“Longing for Warmth of service”
Review of Waterfront Restaurant - CLOSED

Waterfront Restaurant
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Route 30
Transit: Maui Bus drop off and pick-up within 50 feet of entrance.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Sitting here enjoying the magnificent view of Maalaea harbor, I found myself at a table dwarfed by the extra-large menu place before me. Being large both in size and selection of menu items available, I figured I would be sure to find something here to please my palate. My dh was excited to discover Caesar salads being prepared tableside at the Waterfront though it requires that two or more people order to enjoy this service display so he missed out on that since salads don't love me. His behind the kitchen Caesar was mild in flavor and contained grated parmesan. He chose the short ribs and though he polished his plate out of sheer hunger he wasn't thrilled about them and rated them a 2.5/of 5. I opted for the surf and turf/Mahi and was disappointed by both the incorrect temperature serving of my Fillet and by the very off fishy taste of the Mahimahi. Apart from that the sauce and prep on it was yummy and the mashed potatoes were the best thing on my plate. Sadly things don't improve much from there. Our server and neither the hostess failed to promptly greet my mother who joined us for dinner and my mother was rather put off by this. My dh had to get up himself to fetch her a menu. At last there was redemption when her Opaka arrived scrumptiously delicate and moist. We ordered the mango upside down pie with praline crust which was the primary item from the menu online and still on printed table side menu to have caught my eye. To my dismay it had been discontinued so we settled for the apple pie replacement. This pie was full of ripe and well done apples though the crust left me wanting to throw it back in the oven. The specialty Mac nuts didn't really add that much in flavor or crunch to the pie. Our favorite thing about the experience, ..and that's not saying accolades.. was the finely tender brioche appetizer and the perfectly served strawberry-mango daiquiri. Points given for the bartender and a kind server’s attendant clearing our plates that was the most showing of genuine care we received in his two sentences of conversation with us. "How are you doing this evening" “did you enjoy your dessert?" he said and that was all it took to make us feel like someone actually cared. Though our server went thru the general motions we overheard other tables with much more conversant and pleasant service. Best thing is she was kind enough to offer ahead of time to remove the unappealing item from our bill and offered complementary coffee when the espresso I requested was unavailable due to 'machine not getting turned on in time for dinner service'. Other points withheld were for the lack of viewing pleasure in the open style kitchen depicting sloppy attired cooks and general lack of order observable, bus stations mid-dining room. I did not care for the presentation of the bread loaf on a board. This causes quite a table mess with the requirement that the guest should cut the whole thing themselves. You should also realize that being an open air restaurant naturally puts hot food at a cold air disadvantage and a bread basket would be best suited. The question remains. Would I return? Probably. For a fresh fish entree, wonderful ambiance and some quality cocktails I would give the Waterfront another chance.. If the hostess can get off the phone long enough to greet and seat us. They do tend to get busy.

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1  Thank MidnightButterflyIJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (268)
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88 - 92 of 268 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2013

Just don't take my seat at the bar.... I'm sure this will start to fill up soon as people catch on. I'm hoping they add the fried oysters to the happy hour menu.... In fact a few more exciting things on the Happy Hour menu would be nice. I think the restaurant looks excellent. I did flip through the regular dinner menu a bit and believe the menu needs to be a little more slick looking... The plastic covered sheets felt a little cheap, BUT my complaints are minor in comparison to what they've accomplished so far. It is definitely a gigantic improvement over the previous Waterfront restaurant. I'll be at the bar on sunday enjoying a draft beer....

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Thank TravellingGormound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

Yikes!

We went for lunch and the only we enjoyed was the comedy of errors and entertainment of the people watching.

Our server was disengaged and totally in the weeds. The bartender was taking tables so the servers were making their own drinks...

The hostess was totally irritated because none of the tables were getting reset.

The manager had no clue and it seemed that everyone in the dining room was having the same experience.

We had a poke duo that mentioned nothing about lomi salmon. Not a poke dish... And we don't like salmon, especially dry salmon. Server could have elaborated on this dish.

We were maybe three bites into our apps and the server brought out our entrees. She pushed our apps out of the way instead of offering to bring entrees back.

My pasta salad with the Cuban sandwich was covered in balsamic vinegar... Indelible.

We had to get up and ask to pay our bill because the server was so backed up. She said "I don't see anything left on your plates, you must have loved the food". That is how attentive she was. Our appetizer plates AND entree plates were still on the table and full of what we considered to be food we could not eat.

She gave me the bill, and we couldn't wait to pay and get out.

Too bad because we live here and used to love this place.

An attentive server or manager might have saved the day, maybe this will help for next guest.

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3  Thank MauiDiner33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rick S, Owner at Waterfront Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2013

I am very sorry for the poor experience you had at lunch on Thursday. I was the manager on duty, and yes, we were much busier than normal. I remember where you were seated, and when you arose to pay your tab. I, unfortunately, have a broken ankle that does not allow me to provide the kind of service I would like to give. This is not an excuse for poor service. Obviously, we were short staffed and should not make the guest suffer. We have adjusted our staffing for next week, and the future, to aleviate this problem. Please do try us again, I think you will enjoy the service and food we can provide.

Rick Smith Owner

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

We had dinner here on our first night. Staying in N. Kihei put this restaurant in excellent proximity to us. My only regret is that we were here at night; I'll bet the views are amazing by day.

Our server was excellent and friendly. She was also an accomplished ceasar salad maker. I love tableside prep and I love ceasar salad. I also know what ingredients a traditional one has and was so happy to see they use all of the traditional ingredients. Our salads were terrific! Entrees were also great. My daughter had cioppino (excellent choice), my husband had mahi mahi in a potato basket, I had monchong over lobster mashed potatoes. Everything was very well prepared.

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1  Thank Plumeria D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This is a special place. Nice bar. Super groovy menu. The wait staff is very well versed on gluten free and will point you in the right direction. Expect to spend. Expect to leave with a smile on your face.

Thank Jazzkitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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