Ask owners Jeff Sacchini and Howard Warner about The Lanai, and they’ll emphasize one thing: quality.
In the food, in the setting, in the service. It’s about quality that is second to none, yet, affordable.
“We are thrilled to be open and feel that we are in the perfect location to embrace visitors and residents with a new dining option in Poipu,” Sacchini said
The Lanai restaurant and bar recently opened at The Shops at Kukui’ula in Poipu.
Part of and adjacent to Living Foods Gourmet Market and Cafe, which the men also own, The Lanai is the result of two years of concept planning, design and construction emerging as a charming restaurant featuring sophisticated island cuisine in an open-air setting.
“The setting, service and remarkable cuisine embody the aloha spirit,” Warner said.
The classic Hawaiian design, blended with distressed Indonesian teak and mood lighting give the restaurant a contemporary yet tropical ambience.
The space features a bar, table seating and rail chairs with great views of the landscaped mall of The Shops at Kukui’ula.
The surroundings set the stage for the inspired cuisine of Executive Chef JP Filion. The general manager is Apryl Whitehead.
The menu was crafted to reflect the commitment to sourcing the highest quality sustainably grown and locally harvested items that Kauai has to offer.
The Lanai specializes in fun and innovative small dishes like stuffed acorn squash, miso baked mahi mahi, Angus burger with Brie, as well as a refined take on the island-style loco moco.
“We try to highlight local where we can,” Sacchini said.
The Lanai also offers an international wine list, which includes wines from six countries.
Both Sacchini and Warner take pride in that wine list that is the result of months of reviews.
“We pared it down to value, for sure, but quality, always, first,” Sacchini said.
Finally, The Lanai offers a playful selection of tropical signature cocktails garnished with Kauai-grown seasonal favorites.
A signature cocktail is the 48-ounce shaka bowl (best shared by several people) for $44, while others include the Molokai Mule, a mix of tequila, ginger beer, candied ginger, lime and mint, and the “Bad Influence” made from rum, peach schnapps, pineapple, orange and cranberry juices, and “a kiss of Bacardi 151 in the straw.”
The juice for the drinks, except for cranberry juice, is freshly squeezed onsite.
There is also a nonalcoholic beverage selection, as well as a lengthy list of vodka, gin, rye, bourbon, tequila, scotch and rum.
Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m.
“The dinner menu is real creative,” Warner said.
Plates are smaller to encourages guest to try and share different items.
The menu includes ocean choices like Kauai shrimp and chorizo bruschetta for $15, miso baked mahi for $19 and shaved ahi for $14. On land, the choices, include loco moco for $22, Angus burger for $18 (“I think it’s spectacular,” Sacchini said.), and roasted Shelton Farms chicken breast, $17.
The quality of their food, both men say, is of the highest quality.
“This concept is not bar food,” Sacchini said. “You won’t find chicken wings and nachos here. It’s essentially a white table cloth food menu in a more casual environment.”
The Lanai restaurant and bar is open seven days a week. Happy hour, from 3 to 5 p.m., includes $3 beers, $5 for tempura fried green beans, avocado croquettes or baked Brie, and $9 for Brie pizza and ono pops.
Lunch service is planned for the near future.
The 1,000-square-foot Lanai has 64 seats, including a nine-seat bar and expects to employ about 30 full- and part-time workers. Together with Living Foods Gourmet, they take up about 5,000 square feet.
Living Foods Gourmet employs about 40. The store has about 3,000 items. Its operations include a full-service bakery, a cafe with breakfast, lunch and dinner, espresso bar, and a juice bar.
“We have a lot going on,” he added.
They brought Living Foods in April 2014 and have since been adding to their lineup and will continue to consider expansion possibilities.
“We’re definitely growing,” said Sacchini, who is also founder of The Kauai Marathon. “We’re coming into 2017 with our eyes wide open,” she said.
Info: (808) 378-4359 or thelanaikauai.com.