Nanea Restaurant and Bar: A north shore tasting journey worth the visit

There are plenty of memorable places to eat on the North Shore of Kaua’i. Hanalei Town is full of casual eateries at which to get the best fresh caught seafood, and the Jean-Georges Vongerichten outlet Kaua’i Grill at the St. Regis Princeville is one of the finest dining experiences on the island. However, tucked away at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas near the entrance to the Princeville Resort complex is Nanea Restaurant & Bar, home to one of the only tasting menus offered on the island. At $55 for five courses and a wine pairing for $20, this rare-to-Kaua’i tasting menu is also one of the better dining values to be found, particularly on the luxe North Shore.

In addition to the tasting journey, there’s additional value in the ability to pair half portions any two entrees from the daily “fresh sheet” of that day’s seafood catch and most selections from the regular entree menu for $45. Fans of Westin’s SuperFoodsRx program will find their favorite super foods denoted on the menu in green, and they’ll find liberal application of colorful, antioxidant-rich favorites such as avocado, apples, spinach, walnuts, and wild salmon.

Reservations are available via OpenTable, and the Tasting Journey is available nightly for dinner.

Mahalo nui loa to Nanea and the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas for furnishing some meals in preparation for this story. 

Roasted beet salad

The roasted beets here top peppery arugula with Kunana Farms goat cheese, with beet chips, walnut dust, and parmesan. On the drier side for salads, but beats something heinously overdressed. Because it’s a bit drier the flavor of the arugula is much more prominent. Enjoyed with a lovely summery Italian Pinot Grigio.

Loaded baked potato soup

Loaded baked potato soup is usually a mainstay of the mass market steakhouse because it’s a good way to get rid of leftovers. Also may seem rather odd for a tasting menu, but it’s much appreciated here. It can actually be slightly exhausting trying a tasting menu of new and exotic flavors, and it can leave one feeling full, if not particularly sated. The loaded baked potato soup here has certainly gone upmarket with a creamy puree of potato that has been expertly flavored by a tenured culinary professional. The server was also at ready with an alternate wine pairing, mentioning that several guests preferred a dry red rather than the suggested Australian Sauvignon Blanc (although that turned out to be just the ticket anyway).

Herb-seared fresh catch

The fresh catch that day was Opah (moonfish), herb-seared with seasonal vegetables, citrus beurre blanc, roasted cherry tomato and caper relish, paired with a French Chardonnay that was remarkably balanced.

Braised shortribs

These braised short ribs were generously portioned and tremendously well flavored, topped with fresh apple salad atop a celery root puree with a stone ground mustard sauce, enjoyed with a voluptuous North Coast Zinfandel.

Chevre cheesecake

The cheese in this goat cheesecake is a chèvre from Kunana Farms, whipped into a honey almond cheesecake, lemon cream, paired with non-vintage Chandon bubbly.

More photos of the visit can be found on my Instagram.

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One thought on “Nanea Restaurant and Bar: A north shore tasting journey worth the visit

  1. Pingback: Starwood looks back with #StarwoodProud, and so do I – AbFabSkyLife's Adventures in Travel and Dining

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