Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
808 661 8939
He leers towards her, caught irrepressibly in her spell. She tips her martini glass – salut! Through fluttery false eyelashes, grown a bit heavier with the effects of gin, the femme fatale plays coy. After all, she hasn’t had her foie gras yet.
The cover of Gerard’s menu suggests this classic French notion of romance wrapped in mischievous tease. Gerard’s food isn’t as elusive or confusing as the lady, although it’s every bit as alluring.
The restaurant is housed in the Plantation Inn, a turn-of-the-century style structure with a broad front porch and Victorian gingerbread features located smack in the middle of Lahaina. Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra croon their respective interpretations of the glories of Paris while bow-tied waiters in starched white shirts (all tall, slim, and handsome) carry on the business of delivering award-winning cuisine as if it were a simple walk down the Champs Elysee. Or in this case, ripping the waves at Honolua Bay.
Gerard Reversade hails from the Gascony region of France and developed his craft painstakingly through years of apprenticeship with of some of the country’s top chefs. For over 25 years now, he’s lived in Maui and managed to bring a new approach to classic cooking to the island – he uses the best ingredients available from Maui farmers and producers, turning the raw material into fabulous dishes.
So wonderful are his culinary creations that he regularly earns a spot on Hawaii’s top-ten restaurants lists and numerous awards for his artistry in the kitchen. To back up the claims, let’s examine Gerard’s tuna tartare, a dish common on fine dining menus everywhere these days. However, only Gerard’s tastes like this, the perfect melding of Dijon, soy, and je n‘est sais quoi. Likewise, the spinach salad with scallop is so perfectly balanced it could pass for a satisfying main course itself.
After tasting nearly everything on Gerard’s menu during my tenure in Maui, I am hard pressed to identify favorites. For one thing, everything Gerard turns out is at least better than you’ve had it elsewhere. The yellow fin tuna and smoked salmon carpaccio is tres elegant and the caramelized pork loin with rhubarb compote is simply irresistible.
The biggest question is how a four-course meal at Gerard’s leaves one feeling absolutely fabulous and fit for the beach tomorrow? As Gerard explains it, the secret lies in the exquisitely fresh ingredients, de-fatting every dish, and the no-artificial-anything approach he takes to his lovely cooking. Recalling the heady scent and delightful flavor of Gerard’s red snapper with star anise, I‘m inspired to make another reservation, tout de suite. (On the last visit, I netted a $25 gift certificate on the frequent diners program.)
Ahhh, la vie est belle, non?