Just going to Maui for an anniversary should be special enough. “I know,” says this very spoiled North American. But, we were going to be there ON THE ACTUAL DAY of our 44th wedding anniversary. Surely that deserved an EXTRA-special dinner. I — long since recognized as the Family Planner — started reading reviews, asking friends, and doing research. We were not disappointed when we chose to celebrate the occasion at Mama’s Fish House in Pai’a, on the North Shore of Maui. Check out the website here. The location is incredible, the atmosphere is romantic and exotic, and the food is to-die-for.
We called for reservations several weeks before flying to Maui, and our table, along with a personalized congratulations card from the restaurant, were waiting and situated in probably the best location in the house — overlooking crashing waves, swaying palm trees, and lush landscaping. Even though the restaurant was filled, our table had an intimate feel to it since it faced outward rather than inward toward all of the other tables. Right about now, our children are reading this and screaming “TMI, TMI,” but, too bad. I’m just reporting the facts. 🙂
Those who know my Silver Fox and me can testify that we don’t often “go for broke” in even upscale restaurants. This time we did. Our previous “splurge of all time” was when we dined at Windows on the World (102nd floor of the World Trade Center) in New York City for my 50th birthday in May of 2000, a year and a half before 9-11. At Mama’s Fish House we beat that splurge by about $30, and both times we drank WATER. No alcohol.
Listen to the descriptions of these menu selections:
Our appetizer — Crispy Mahimahi Roll with Hamakua mushroom sauce and poha berry jam. VERY special.
Our salad — Waipoli Farm’s mixed greens, heart of palm, pineapple, goat cheese and candied macadamia nuts with Tahitian vanilla vinaigrette.
Our entrees — Ono sauteed with Hamakua Ali’i mushrooms in garlic butter, white wine and capers for him, and Monchong pan seared with Maui onions, Kula watercress and avocado for me. Ono and Monchong are fish that we’d never tried before. Both were amazing.
For dessert, we ordered a banana nut crisp with vanilla bean ice cream, but as a surprise, they also brought us homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream with fresh strawberries as a complimentary anniversary treat.
I particularly enjoyed the relaxed pace of the meal. We had time to truly savor each course before the next one arrived, and our water glasses were continually refilled.
Do I recommend this place? Unequivocally.
Would I want to visit again? Absolutely . . . when I’ve had time to save some money.
You’ll enjoy it. I promise.