Posts tagged with "Manta Restaurant"

Big Island Romantic Dining

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the Big Island of Hawaii where he discovers a romantic dining destination at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast.

 

Manta is the Mauna Kea Resort's fine dining restaurant overlooking Kauna’oa Bay

Manta is the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s fine dining restaurant overlooking Kauna’oa Bay

Everyone I’ve ever met who’s stayed at the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii —invariably speaks in reverential tones about the place, and they’re quick to voice a desire for a reprise visit. And those who’ve never had the pleasure of making a date with the Mauna Kea, often mention the resort as tops on their must-do list—typically inspired by the raves of their friends who who’ve been there, done that.

 

Kauna’oa Bay at Mauna Kea Resort. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Kauna’oa Bay at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel                                     Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a special destination-resort that touts an astounding multi-generational fan base. There are many who’s grandparents stayed there in the 1960s, and their parents first took them there as kids, and now they are making pilgrimage-holidays with their kids at the Mauna Kea.

 

Tranquility envelops the spirit upon entering the Mauna Kea's guest check-in reception area

Tranquility envelops the spirit upon entering the Mauna Kea’s guest check-in reception area                                                          Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The centerpiece of the resort’s setting is the seductive beauty of crescent-shaped Kauna’oa Bay–and the fine-dining establishment, Manta, overlooking the bay with ultra-romantic al fresco dining.

 

An LGBT couple enjoys brunch at Manta Restaurant at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island, Hawaii. zachstovall.com

Brunch at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Manta restaurant out on the Pavilion. zachstovall.com

Whether or not you’re staying at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Manta is a killer place for a bayside buffet breakfast, Sunday brunch, and of course a romantic dinner date—ideally out on the pavilian overlooking the bay, framed by palms and plumeria.

That’s the big story—the nuances that make Manta a must-do are predicated on the chefs’ culinary philosophies that honor and meld the multi-ethnic roots of the islanders, along with paying homage to the Hawaiian’s Polynesian roots through utilization of “canoe crops”.

 

Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar sunset dining

Manta is Mauna Kea Bech Hotel’s fine dining with sunset a most romantic time

Sourcing local/fresh from the farmer and sea are anchors of the culinary arts at Manta.

Manta sources everything imaginable from Big Island farmers, and the restaurant even put on special dinners—shades of a wine maker dinner–where a farmer or two will join the festivities and talk-story about their passion for producing fresh, local, healthy food with Manta’s dinner guests.

Seafood doesn’t get any fresher, as the local fishermen’s catch is delivered daily to the kitchen’s back door.

 

Mauna Kea Resort's Rio Miceli, Executive Sous Chef. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Rio Miceli, Executive Sous Chef. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Executive Sous Chef, Rio Miceli was raised on the island but honed his craft in Healdsburg, California, and subsequently fine tuned his skills at the New England Culinary School before returning to settle in on the Big Island.

Miceli’s duties include menu development, and innovations at Manta as well as the resort’s other dining venues.

A taste of Manta’s culinary offerings include a killer Kona Kampachi Sashimi and the Keohole Lobster Papperdelle with garlic cream, summer squash and pork belly lardon for starters.

Tempting entrees include Hawaiian Sweet Potato Encrusted Ahi, and the Mac Nut Encrusted Mahi Mahi.

 

 

Wendle Lesher Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea Resort and neighboring Hapuna Resort

Wendle Lesher Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea Resort and neighboring Hapuna Resort

 

Wendle Lesher, Director of Food & Beverage at the Mauna Kea and the neighboring sister property Hapuna Beach Resort, works with Miceli developing innovative new dishes.

Lesher also drives creativity in partnership with the mixologists, and plans special culinary events. Lesher’s latest passion is working with local beekeepers.

In addition to doing his part to provide onsite beehive habitats, the distinctive and incredibly flavorful Mauna Kea honey is utilized by the chefs and is available for purchase by the guests.

Click here to listen to Rio Miceli and Wendle Lesher talk about their culinary passions on the KCBX/NPR podcast.

 

 

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Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013

 

Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar at Mauna Kea Resort

Manta and Pavilion Wine Bar at Mauna Kea Resort

Lim Family Luau dancers at the Mauna Kea Resort Hotel

The Big Island’s Luau at the Mauna Kea Resort—a reverence for Hawaiian song and dance

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from the Big Island of Hawaii–

 

The Lim family Luau has been performing at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel since Laurance Rockefeller opened the resort in the mid-1960s. Today the luau is the oldest, continuously operating show on the Big Island of Hawaii.

 

Lorna Lim talks story about her family’s passion (3rd generation) for performing authentic song, hula dance, and tales of old Hawaii. You don’t have to stay at the Mauna Kea to attend the luau, but the resort hotel is a highly recommended place to stay if you’re planning a visit to the Big Island.

 

Located on the Kohala Coast approximately 24 miles from Kailua/Kona Airport, the Mauna Kea has the insular feel of a private island oasis.

 

Highlights of the resort include its eye-catching mid-century architecture that has deftly not only stood the test of time, it remains a classic, and its lines are timeless. A big draw is the location, as the resort fronts on one of the Big Island’s most beautiful beaches. The beachfront is wide and sprawling but intimate at the same time.

Sundown at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Sundown at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Culinary offerings are outstanding as well. Manta is the fine dining establishment, but like everything in the islands, casual is the rule. Back in the day, ties for men were requisite for dinner…but fortunately that’s a page from the past.

 

Speaking of dining, the luau includes a killer buffet dinner. The sprawling array of fresh, local faire is worth the price of admission all on its own.

 

The offerings are equal if not better than what you’d find at a fine sit-down restaurant almost anywhere on the island.

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