KAPAA — Lucas Sautter sat at a table on the outskirts of Voyager Lanai Dining, of which he is the executive chef, with a hospital bracelet on his right wrist this past Wednesday morning. His wife had just given birth to a baby boy Tuesday evening.
It’s been a busy time for Sautter as he not only became a father to a newborn son, but also because his restaurant has taken off.
A month ago, business on Saturday nights at Voyager Lanai Dining inside the Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach was steady. Not too crowded, but empty tables were present. But in the last three weeks, that all changed.
Why? Because Saturday night is now “Prime Rib Night”.
“We’ve been doing this for three weeks now,” Sautter told The Garden Island. “I’d say that it’s increased the business substantially. Our coverage was normally 20 to 30 people but now we’re in the 80s every Saturday.”
Prime rib Saturday nights have been great for business, Sautter said, as residents and visitors come to just sample his steak.
“We do three different cuts of prime rib. It’s a la carte, so we still have our regular menu available,” Sautter said. “We have a 12 ounce, 16 ounce and a 20 ounce cut. We serve each cut with basil goat cheese mashed potatoes, lemon roasted broccoli, housemade au jus and horseradish cream.”
The display of the prime rib looked exquisite, almost too good to eat. With other popular, quality steakhouses such as The Bull Shed nearby, Sautter realizes his prime rib has to stand out from the competition.
“One of the things that we do that’s different is buying some really high quality meat,” Sautter said. “So we use certified Angus beef, and that puts it in the top two-thirds of almost prime. All of our meat is really good before we even slow-roast and season it. It’s like melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Even my sous chef came up to me the other night and took a bite and said ‘this is really good!’ and then I tasted a bite and was like ‘it is really good!’”
The three cuts, the Kauai 12 ounce, Maui 16 ounce and Big Island 20 ounce, are cooked to the customer’s specifications. But for the best flavor, Sautter has a recommendation.
“To get full flavor and to get the maximum tenderness out of the steak, mid-rare is the best way to go,” Sautter said.
The Kauai cut is listed at $25 while the Maui cut and Big Island cut are $29 and $33, respectively.
“It’s a really competitive price. We really just want to get the word out of what we’re doing,” Sautter said. “The culinary program has improved greatly over the last year that I’ve been here, and more people have come and experienced the food and realized that what we’re doing is really good.”
Dinner is served between 5:30 to 9 p.m.