Hawaii, I think you are the honey bee’s knees. I heart your sunny disposition, the flowers in your hair, and your shaka salutes. May I add, you have crazy amazing rainbows. I was super excited to return to the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival this year. Some of you may remember when I covered it a few years ago. If so, you’ll remember how it was just a love fest of food, wine, and ridiculously beautiful views.
As Anthony Bourdain would say, "This does not suck.” No siree, it does not. We kicked off the weekend of indulgence with a welcome reception at Merriman’s Kapalua, the home of what may be the best view on the island. It sits right on the ocean, and when you’re on "The Point,” the expansive deck where our reception was held, all you see is sweeping ocean and blue sky that stretches into infinity. The reception was a nice teaser of what was in store for us. Wine a plenty... Tasty bites... Fabulous people... And lots of fun to be had over long, indulgent meals. Remember when I first tasted Merriman’s Creamed Kula Corn and wanted to bathe in it? Well, yeah, it is just as good as I remembered it. We had to order double portions of it, because it went too fast. I’m not sure vegetables are allowed to taste this decadent. I adored the chef’s take on "Fish and Chips” – perfectly fried tempura Mahi Mahi and crispy slices of eggplant (grown right in Kapalua). It was served with pickled veggies and a sweet corn tartar sauce. And, it came the cutest brown bag presentation. When dessert rolled around, I quickly learned that anything that comes in a brown bag at Merriman’s is amazing. So, if you ever have doubts...see a brown bag? Order it. Case in point, see this brown bag dessert? Guess what’s in it? Yeah, these White Chocolate Filled Malasadas. The bag comes, your server shakes it up so that the malasadas get a nice even coat of powdered sugar, then you dip them in a little pot of Maui Oma Coffee Caramel Dipping Sauce, and *swoon*. Just be careful not to burn your mouth on the molten chocolate inside! For those confused as to why there seems to be a plethora of malasadas in Maui...there is actually a long history of Portuguese immigrants who settled in Hawaii during the late 1800s to work on sugar plantations. So thank you, Portuguese ancestors, for bringing your delicious food ways with you. Merriman’s malasadas are seriously heaven in a brown bag. Think you have no room for dessert? It doesn’t matter. You will demolish every last bit of this and then kiiiinda want more. Don’t worry, we refrained. After all, this wasn’t our first rodeo. This was going to be marathon not a sprint...you’ll see. More coverage of the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival comin’ atcha. 31st Annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival June 8-10, 2012 The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Maui, Hawaii Merriman's Kapalua One Bay Club Place Lahaina, Hawaii 96761 (808)669-6400 Twitter: @MerrimansHawaii Facebook: Merriman's Kapalua