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Bad experience at Pineapple Room

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Bad experience at Pineapple Room

Otis Maxwell | Apr 19, 2006 07:20 PM

After reading the great reviews in several guidebooks, we planned a special meal at the Pineapple Room for our last night in Oahu. Big disappointment.

First of all, fine dining and malls have a tough time coexisting when the restaurant is rushing to shoo people out by closing time. We ordered the six course tasting dinner and the waitstaff were constantly grabbing at our plates while we were still eating so as to move on. Wine pairings for the next course arrived when the previous course was on the table, very confusing.

Second, the wine pairings ranged from sweet to boring to astringent, making us wonder if wine and Hawaiian food can actually coexist or if beer (especially a robust IPA) might not be a better choice. The final wine in the set was so jarring we commented to the waiter. He came back and said he'd actually poured from the wrong bottle! But did not offer to bring the proper wine nor to adjust the bill.

Finally, as to the food. Anything with fish worked great. A fish cake, a seared native fish filet and a lobster tail on wild mushrooms were all excellent. But the grass fed New York steak was lost in an overpowering mustard peppercorn sauce (and made worse by that bitter wine, a Grenache, served by mistake). And the fiddlehead fern salad looked like it had been plated at a salad bar--a pile of greens soaked in a bland dressing including a few fern sticks and chunks of tomato that tasted as if they had been refrigerated from a previous meal.

The tasting menu is $80 with wine. The fiddlehead salad was $7. Go to Helena's instead.

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