When you dine at Beverly Gannon’s Haliimaile General Store in Upcountry Maui go with a big appetite and several friends because the food is so good you will want to order everything on the menu—especially lots of appetizers. This proved particularly sage for your LA Travel Nextcolumner who went to the restaurant last night with Richard and two friends from Seattle to dine with the world class chef herself (who ordered early every dish in the house for us to sample and it was all delicious as ever).
We first visited the casual eatery two decades ago when Beverly was an up and coming chef (who today ranks as one of the top in Hawaii if not the world). She and her husband Joe now operate two additional restaurants, Joe’s in Wailea and Gannon’s, A Pacific View Restaurant (to be reviewed).
Back at Haliimaile, which is about a well-worth it 30-minute drive from Wailea, we settled in at the table for one of Beverly’s unforgettable meals. Folks, we’re talking a fantasy of food that almost erotically excites the taste buds. Be warned, you will drool over the slideshow. It is hard to find a restaurant this good at affordable prices.
So what was so amazing? I will tell you:
Spicy Togarashi Shishito Peppers that arouse your senses $10.
Kalua Pork with crispy goat cheese wontons and mango BBQ sauce $12.
Asian pear duck tostada with confetti corn chips, jicama, cucumber, carrot slaw, dried cranberries, toasted macadamia nuts, cilantro, ginger chili dressing, and crispy lumpia shells $16.
And all of the above were just starters. We also had Horseradish crusted Opakapaka with pear chutney, red onion, dried cranberries, golden raisins, apple brandy beurre blanc and crispy leek garnish on mashed potatoes ($44) and a macadamia nut crusted fresh catch.
(There are also carnivore delights on the menu such as grilled flank steak ($34), ribe-eye ($44)and grilled rack of lamb ($38) and other offerings that please and saisfy your inner foodie).
For dessert Beverly served Halimaile pineapple upside down cake with caramelized Maui pineapple on vanilla pound cake topped with whipped cream, and a luscious lilikoi brulee in an almond brittle shell with fresh fruit compote—both were sinfully delightful.
The Haliimaile General Store was actually founded in 1925 as a plantation shop for Upcountry pineapple workers. The Gannons took it over the lease in 1987 and opened it as take-out deli and general store in 1988. The place was such a success they added tables and chairs to serve locals and tourists. It is one of the best known dining spots in Hawaii. One of the original 12 founding members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine Movement, Beverly champions using fresh, local ingredients.
Halimaile GS is located at 900 Haliimaile Road. For more information or reservations go to www.bevgannonrestaurants.com or call 808-875-7767.
Patti Pietschmann's been plugged into the LA scene for years as author of Harper Collins' best selling ACCESS travel, former contributing editor to LA Magazine and various radio gigs. She has traveled the world with her husband Richard, on assignments and for personal pleasure, has enjoyed hundreds of cruises (she and Richard started young), eaten in restaurants around the globe, spa hopped, trekked, hiked and hit the ground running. The former Teen Editor of Newsday in New York, Patti was also a co-west coast editor of Departures Magazine, and a frequent contributor to such diverse media as Cruisecritic.com, LA Times, Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Virtuoso's Voyage, Luxurydomain.com, Bel-air Magazine, Priority Magazine, dozens of in-flight magazines, and more.