Maui Food and Dining

16 Maui Restaurants Earn 2016 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award

July 17, 2016, 3:46 PM HST
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Wine Spectator released its 2016 Restaurant Awards this week, which included 3,595 restaurants in 50 states and 72 countries.

The restaurants are recognized as top destinations for wine lovers and have been honored for their outstanding wine programs in Wine Spectator’s 2016 Restaurant Wine List Awards. 36 Hawai‘i Restaurants made this year’s list; 16 from Maui, 12 from O‘ahu, 5 from Big Island and 3 from Kaua‘i.

Wine Spectator's 2016 Restaurant Awards List featured 36 Hawai'i restaurants, including 16 on Maui. The magazine will hit newsstands July 19. Photo Courtesy d.k Steak House, Waikiki.

Wine Spectator’s 2016 Restaurant Awards List featured 36 Hawai’i restaurants, including 16 on Maui. The magazine will hit newsstands July 19.
Photo Courtesy d.k Steak House, Waikiki.

In 1981, Wine Spectator began its program to recognize the world’s best wine lists. There are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award with 2,414; 1,093; and 88 winners this year in each respective category. Wine Spectator magazine reaches out to more than 3 million readers worldwide.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

Three d.k Restaurants won the award; Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Kapalua, d.k. Steak House in Waikiki and VINO in Honolulu were among 36 Hawai’i winners.


“On behalf of Wine Spectator, I’m thrilled to congratulate each and every award-winning restaurant. They should be very proud,” said Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator.


“We are thankful for this recognition,” says d.k Restaurant Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya. “We work hard to find interesting and food friendly wines for our guests to enjoy. And we love introducing them to new and exciting food and wine pairings.”

Other Maui restaurants that won the Award of Excellence included; Fleetwood’s on Front St., Gannon’s, Gerard’s, Hali‘imaile General Store, Honu Seafood & Pasta, Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a, Mala Ocean Tavern, Morimoto Maui, Pacific’o and Pūlehu, An Italian Grill.

The Best of Award of Excellence restaurants offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions. Eight Hawai‘i restaurants received this award; 5 are located on Maui.


Nick’s Fishmarket, Lāhainā Grill, Longhi’s Lāhainā, Longhi’s Wailea and Merriman’s Kapalua were all recipients of the award.

No Hawai‘i Restaurant earned the Grand Award for 2016.

For this year’s awards, Wine Spectator also launched two new entities—the official Restaurant Awards app and the newly-minted—which together provide wine lovers the best guides to restaurants that deliver exceptional wine experiences.

Available for free in the App Store, the Restaurant Awards app allows iPhone and iPad users to easily find nearby award-winning restaurants, plus helpful information about cuisine, wine and pricing.

The complete list of award winners will be available on newsstands Tuesday, July 19 in the Wine Spectator’s August issue; online at, where visitors can search and access exclusive content on the more than 3,500 restaurants; and on iOS via the Restaurant Awards app, which allows users to look for dining spots in any location, choosing by wine strengths, cuisine type, pricing and more.

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