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With its vintage photos of the North Shore, beamed ceilings, and light interiors, this plantation-cottage restaurant has a menu stressing seafood but also offering additive-free vegetarian and vegan options. But don't get the wrong idea—this isn't simple cooking: specials might include taro fritters or fresh fish served with peppered pineapple-sage sauce, or blackened ahi. Desserts are made without refined sugar. Try the chocolate silk pie made with barley malt chocolate, pure vanilla, and creamy tofu with a gingery crust. This charming restaurant is one of your best bets for dinner in Hanalei town. www.postcardscafe.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
Families may find themselves returning for multiple meals at this all-day casual restaurant, with its children's menu, simple food, and low prices. Veggie, fish, and gourmet half-pound beef burgers are the mainstay, with fresh fish and other specials added at dinner and sandwiches, soups, and hearty salads rounding out the choices. Bottomless soft drinks and milk shakes are a nice touch for the kids; adults can order wine, draft beer, and exotic drinks. Dining rooms at both locales are airy, cheerful, and casual. Credit cards accepted.
Two walls of windows brighten this intimate second-story restaurant in the heart of Kalaheo, where there's good food at reasonable prices. Begin with prosciutto and melon, then proceed directly to the multilayer meat lasagna, a favorite of the chefs—two Italian-born brothers. Other highlights include eggplant or veal parmigiana, chicken saltimbocca, and scampi in a garlic, caper, and white wine sauce. www.pomodorokauai.com. Credit cards accepted. Closed Sun. No lunch.
A historic plantation manager's home has been converted to a restaurant that serves seafood and kiawe-grilled meats with a Pacific Rim and Italian influence. You'll walk through a tropical setting of torch-lighted orchid gardens and lotus-studded koi ponds to a cozy, European-style dining room with cherry wood floors and a veranda. The menu is based on fresh, local foods: fish right off the boat, herbs and produce picked from the plantation's gardens, fruit delivered by neighborhood farmers. The result is cuisine with an island flair—seafood laulau (seafood wrapped in ti leaves and steamed)—served alongside traditional classics such as sugar-cane-skewered pork tenderloin. Definitely save room for dessert: The lilikoi cheesecake is a dream. In short, the food is excellent and the setting charming. www.pgrestaurant.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
Solid food characterizes this family-style Italian restaurant, which serves up hearty portions of pasta, lasagna, and eggplant Parmesan, along with calzones, pizza with numerous toppings, and salads. The atmosphere is casual and lively and the food is good, especially for the price. Neighborhood delivery is available. Credit cards accepted.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens