It’s sunset and we have arrived for dinner at the Fairmont’s signature restaurant, Brown’s Beach House. This award winning establishment is consistently rated as a top place to dine on the Big Island, and with good reason. With its expansive ocean views, incomparable cuisine and sophisticated Aloha service, Brown’s sets itself apart as a truly unique dining experience.
Upon arrival we are welcomed by a gracious staff who seem genuinely pleased that we have joined them for dinner. Our table is beachfront and our view of the sunset is perfect. As the tiki torches are lit, we sink down into our seats and take in the natural Hawaiian ambiance. We might as well start things off right, so we order cocktails – a Fairmont Mai Tai and the drink that becomes my very favorite during our stay here – the Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Margarita. I call the Lilikoi Margarita “vacation in a glass” – one sip and you know your vacation has really started! As the crimson sun gently sinks behind the horizon and silhouettes the palm trees, the stars begin to come out against the black Hawaiian night sky. Soft Hawaiian melodies filter through the air as local entertainers take their place on the edge of the lanai. It is a dreamy setting and we settle in for what will be an evening to remember.
Our server is friendly and takes the time to chat with us about all of the different offerings on the menu, which is decidedly “Big Island Cuisine” – Pacific Rim fused with innovative island-inspired/Hawaiian regional flavors. As I peruse the menu, I realize that choosing from all of these alluring dishes is going to be a challenge – but we are up for it!
The chef helps us decide on appetizers, preparing a trio of his most famous for us to sample:
- KAUAI COCONUT CRUSTED PRAWNS with Pineapple Ginger Chutney and Mango Orange Gastrique
- JUMBO SEA SCALLOP – Citrus Crusted with Moloka`i Sweet Potato Puree Wilted Organic Arugula, Wana Emulsion and
- DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE with Lemongrass Aioli, Organic Watercress-Frisee Salad
Each one is divine! Now, it is time to order our next course, and we vacillate over all of our choices which include Plantain Crusted Pacific King Salmon, Alae Sale Roasted Filet Mignon, Surf and Turf with Kona Citrus Beurre Blanc and Truffle Fois Gras Demi, and a Five Mushroom Risotto. Finally we decide on a sampling of three entrees:
- CITRUS LAVENDER SCENTED ONO with Curried Couscous, Edamame, Organic Spinach, Tomato and Red Curry Sauce
- SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD TRIO – Locally Caught Fresh Fish from the Kona Coastline Shutome, Mahi Mahi and Ono Limu, Green Bean Stir-fry, Herb Risotto and Truffle Lilikoi Sauce
- HAWAIIAN WAIALUA WILD BOAR RACK with Pahole Fern Shoots, Waialana Hearts of Palm, Lomi Tomato and Truffle Yuzu
The entrees arrive at the table, elegantly presented and prepared to perfection – this food is beautiful to look at, and even more wonderful to taste! Our dinners are accompanied by some of the chef’s signature side orders – our favorites are the decadent Truffle Potato, Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese, the Sautéed Waimea Sweet Corn and Grilled Asparagus with Lemon-Truffle Soy.
Just when we think we cannot hold another bite, our waiter tempts us with the dessert menu. Brown’s is famous for their Mud Pie, so we have to try it, right? We are also persuaded to try their “Snicker Bar”, named for its resemblance to the popular candy bar but with a unique Hawaiian twist, which marries White Chocolate Mousse with Caramel and Macadamia Nuts. Both desserts are superb and we enjoy unashamedly!
A table-side visit from Chef Darren Ogasawara is the perfect way to end our evening. It is an honor to meet him and he takes a few minutes to chat with us about the innovative menu which has made Brown’s famous. A big Mahalo to Chef Darren and his team at Brown’s Beach House for a truly magical evening!