After freezing our buns off at the top of Haleakala with nothing but a long sleeved shirt, jeans and a beach towel we agreed we deserved a nice lunch. Its probably the only place on Hawaii where a winter parka, gloves and a toque makes a lot of sense. We had worked up an appetite running in place to stay warm - and got an interesting mixture of incredulous/amused looks and comments as we were probably the only tourists up there not dressed for the hurricane strength icy cold winds, which changed to looks of understanding and respect when we mentioned we were from Canada. So we headed to Longhi's, a place we had our eye on for dinner that night, but hey.. after waking up at 3am to head out to watch the sun rise at 5am... we agreed it was going to be a very very nice lunch. We plunk bonelessly into the large sunbathed patio, preferring it over the dim interior to defrost our frozen marrow. Service was exceptional, friendly and the kitchen kindly made us a dinner item when our eyes fastened upon it in the menu. Well known for its seafood and Italian fare, we picked a marriage of both. We relaxed in the sun while little birds flitted about while we awaited our lobster feast.
One of the chefs came out and we had our pick of two medium sized lobsters - seeing it was just the two the of us, and the medium sized lobsters were little 3-5 lb runts, the chef grinned and asked if we'd prefer to have one of their gargantuan sized 10lb+ lobsters instead of two medium ones for the same price. Less work and a lobster the length of my forearm.. how could we say no? After a bit of splashing, our feisty crustacean was fished out, passed a visual inspection, plunked into a large basin and trucked into the kitchen. Sorry mista lobster.
Mista lobster came out garnished with clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari served on a bed of linguine and marina sauce. The lobster was perfectly cooked, and succulent. The clams and mussels became a bit lost in the in house marina sauce redolent in ripe tomatoes. Calamari was nice and tender-chewy, absorbing nice flavors from the marina sauce and seafood sauces. The shrimp was sadly overcooked, and linguine while al dente, was lacking a bit in the sauteed garlic department. Strange, I would have thought Hawaiins' loving traditions, would enjoy their pasta with a good smash of garlic. Luckily, the kitchen agreed with us, and almost gleefully remedied us with a several heads of sauteed garlic for us to mix into our pasta.
Overall, I was impressed with the impeccable friendly yet not intrusive service and fresh seafood. Quibbles - perhaps cooking some of the seafood elements separately so the fast cooking seafoods like shrimp doesn't become overcooked, and don't be ashamed to toss in a good mess of garlic into the pasta - especially if the menu description claims to have garlic inherent in the dish... garlic is a one of the holy ingredients in Italian cuisine. Probably one of the most expensive lunches I've had, but oh so satisfying. Now off to scare some vampires! Phhheeeeew!
Longhi's Kihei Maui
Address 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr #B22
Phone (808) 891-8883
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