If you’re taking your mom out for Mother’s Day, May 11, you can’t go wrong, no matter where you go.
There are plenty of places to try and you and mom will leave happy and full.
Let’s start with one of Kauai’s oldest and most beloved restaurants, Tahiti Nui in Hanalei. The iconic bar is known for more than its fabulous food. It’s the atmosphere and the ambiance that make it one of those special places the moment you step in the door. Whether you’re sitting around the bar (which is great for people watching) or sitting at one of the tables (which is great for watching the musicians who play there each night starting at 6 p.m.) It can be a bit loud sometimes when the tunes roar to life, but you’ll soon find yourself soaking in the decades of dining and celebrating that have gone on at “The Nui,” as regulars call it. Be sure to check on the pictures on the walls, and chat with some regulars, to get a sense of the history of this place.
But since it’s the food you’ll be after on Mother’s Day, the offerings are many. Some highlights from the regular menu include slow roasted baby back ribs ($21); 14-ounce black angus grilled rib eye with gorgonzola cream sauce and fried onions, ($30); 12-ounce Nui burger on brioche bun with fried onions, ($18) and fresh seared island ahi steak with wasabi cream sauce ($25).
Another longtime popular eatery is the Bull Shed in Kapaa. If it’s steak and seafood you want, along with an unrivaled oceanview, and friendly, fast service, stop in. It’s clean, comfortable and relaxing.
The menu includes favorites like prime rib, New York steak, lobster, rack of lamb and seared ahi. Its popular prime rib comes in two sizes, the Bull Shed Cut (with bone) 26 to 28 ounces for $37, and the regular cut (no bone) (12 ounces) $29.
The menu also includes a catch of the day, which is locally caught opah, swordfish or mahi mahi.
The Bull Shed offers surf and turf items, baby back ribs and teriyaki chicken breast.
There’s another main attraction for the Bull Shed: The view. It’s unparalleled. Even if you miss out on one of the premier spots, the elevated dining tables and seats offer an equally wonderful view of the ocean.
Kukui’s Poolside Restaurant & Bar
Kukui’s Poolside Restaurant & Bar at the Marriott on Kalapaki Beach is known for the beauty. It’s here you can experience dishes of the Pacific Rim and island-inspired cuisine prepared in the oceanside setting. Get there early enough to catch the sun as its sets over the bay.
If you’re really looking to pamper mom, stop in and check out the menu. Steak, seafood, chicken and pasta are among the offerings. Depending on your palate, you might want to try the peppered tenderloin, ($38); Kona and Alae Salt crusted prime rib ($34); sizzling mongolian beef ($29); lemongrass chicken ($28) and the popular Hawaiian Combo, which is kalua pork, huli huli chicken, fried chili pepper fish, pineapple teriyaki beef, lomi salmon and buttered sweet potatoes.
If it’s noodles you’re after, try the housemade fettucine for $20 or the Indochina chicken lunguine $24.
And after you eat, be sure to take a walk along the torch-lit path or even a barefoot stroll along the beach and let ocean waves roll over your feet.
The perfect end to a perfect evening.
Naupaka Terrace Restaurant
You’ll be mom’s favorite son or daughter if you take in dinner and views at the Naupaka Terrace Restaurant at the Kauai Beach Resort. Tough to beat the views of torch-lit waterfalls, fishponds, pools and, of course, the ocean. It’s elegant dining, plantation-style, in a peaceful, serene setting, sure to ease any worries of the day. It’s another of Kauai’s hidden gems just off Kuhio Highway and a short drive down a tree-lined road.
The menu features Hawaiian and Pan Pacific cuisine, fresh island catch, aged beef, salads and pastas. You might want to try the Garlic Herb Steak, Sizzling Kalbi Ribs, Bamboo Steamed Salmon and seafood linguini.
Stevensons Library is located at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Koloa. Diners can enjoy the intimate seating areas in the classic lounge with a welcoming atmosphere.
Chef Jay Ledee will be sure to satisfy your taste buds with his nightly sushi creations. Savor fresh appetisers, sushi rolls, desserts and sake. There is also a wide selection of cocktails and spirits. Enjoy a game of pool, backgammon, chess or live entertainment nightly ranging from contemporary Hawaiian, jazz and indie pop.
La Spezia Restaurant and Wine Bar is located in the heart of Koloa town.
Treat mom to breakfast or dinner. With a Sunday brunch from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with eggs benedict, caprese fritatta, french toast, banana pancakes and more, your tummy will surely be satisfied.
If dinner is more of your preference, you can enjoy salads, soup, pizza, pastas and more from 5 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. They also have a dessert menu that changes nightly and will be sure to top off your night.
Café Portofino will make your heart melt with their Italian selections, some of which can’t be found elsewhere on the island. Owner Giuseppe Avocadi and his staff will welcome you with open arms at this Lihue resturant.
Plan a dinner with mom around sunset, so you can capture the moment with the sun dropping into Kalapaki Bay in the distance and watch the sky illuminate with yellow-red hues. Your mother couldn’t be happier with the dinner menu that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Italy in every bite. Whether you desire fish, chicken, beef or a vegetarian option the menu has you covered.
As guests enter the romantically lit setting of Keoki’s Paradise in Poipu, they are greeted with a classical restaurant and bamboo bar coexisting amongst flowingwaterfalls, lush greenery and calm waters.
However, Keoki’s ambiance isn’t its only tasteful feature as the restaurant also serves up a variety of tantalizing dishes. Make mom feel like a queen as you treat her to some of the dishes including their seafood risotto, filet mignon and hoison brazed beef short ribs.
Merriman’s Fish House
Bring your mom to experience a sense of Kauai’s plantation days when you dine at Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu. The tropical, plantation setting offers a relaxing atmosphere with its Hawaiian sunsets, stunning mountain and ocean views and rich cuisine of fresh island ahi poke, Kailani Farms kale and butter lettuce salad and macadamia nut crusted monchong.
For those who would like to satisfy their sweet tooth, Merriman’s offers an assortment of desserts from the Hawaiian chocolate flourless torte to the crunchy Hawaiian molten chocolate purse with Kauai Coffee caramel and vanilla bean gelato.
Kalaheo Steak and Ribs
Any cowgirl would feel welcome in Kalaheo Steak and Ribs. With its Western theme and historical atmosphere, this restaurant and bar is a town favorite. Having existed for over 30 years, Kalaheo Steak and Ribs offers a comfortable, casual setting with a delicious fare of pan fried calamari steak, chicken picatta, fetuccini alfredo and prime rib stir fry.
Bring mom and share your talents on Saturday with karaoke until 7 p.m.
The Westin, Nanea Restaurant and Bar
What could be better on Mother’s Day than sparkling wine and ahi? What could top mimosas and salmon sashimi?
Nanea Restaurant and Bar is offering a Mother’s Day brunch that will be a treat for every loving mom out there. The 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. extravaganza will feature a wide range of sushi, poke, shrimp, mussels, crab legs and even prime rib and pesto chicken.
More traditional breakfast items will also be a part of the spread, for those who prefer waffles and eggs.
The Nanea Restaurant and Bar is located on the first floor of The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas clubhouse and features casual dining atmosphere with distant views of the Pacific Ocean from the terrace and outdoor seating.
Brunch costs $70 or $35 for keiki.