Eat Me: Joe’s in Wailea
By Kristin Hashimoto
Take a ride on a golf cart and eat amidst the green of tennis courts and lawn. Overlook an impressive Maui sunset through 270-degree panoramic windows that open up to island trade winds, and know that you’ve been transported to a timeless Maui moment.
Except for the din of voices, the clatter of silverware, and the dispersed art-type lighting that is a bit too warm for the space, Beverly Gannon’s Joe’s is yet another locale with good food and great views.
This clever woman pairs her food with vistas that enhance every dish. The crab dip with won-ton style chips is okay. It’s creamy and has a bit more seafood-y flavor than is preferred, but many patrons order it for an appetizer and find it to be impeccable. The ahi carpaccio was a delicious surprise, as thin pieces of fish were topped with capers, ribbons of Parmesan and a creamy white aioli.
The menu has a doppelganger from Hailemaile General Store. Gannon brought the rib dish over from her upcountry restaurant and offers it to Wailea patrons. These pork ribs are large in portion size and come with a little cob of sweet corn and steak cut French fries. The ribs are slathered in sauce, which sadly, do not fall off the bone. You’ll have to work a little, do some pulling and extra mastication. Expect to get your hands dirty. In fact, the staff encourages a hands-on approach as they hand you extra cloth napkins.
The crispy chicken with fingerling potatoes, balsamic and mushrooms has a taste and texture combination that is very worth the $34 price tag. The chicken is seared crisp on top, with its oily skin adding a crunch that is highly satisfying as you bite into tender, juicy white meat.
Eye-candy is everywhere as plate after plate of food comes to adjacent tables. If you begin to wonder if you ordered the right dish, just make mental notes for what you’ll get next time. The meatloaf looked very good and the prime rib also seemed tender and juicy. For dessert, try Gannon’s interpretation of classic crème brulee. The deconstructed dessert has a sugar crusted phyllo shell with creamy custard and berries.
As an aside, this restaurant’s women’s restroom has only one stall. For the space and the amount of custom they serve, this was a bit of a surprise to four women who waited for their turn. It was also a rather warm wait with the theater style make-up mirror, lined with incandescent bulbs. With the dinner rush and bar drinks flowing, expect a wait for the single stall.
Dinner hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. nightly. Call 875-7767 for reservations, or visit http://www.restauranteur.com/joes/email.htm for more information. Located at 131 Wailea Ike Place Wailea, Hawaii 96753.