Ellison's palate informs Four Seasons Resort Lanai offerings

Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai Photo Credit: One Forty at Four Seasons Resort Lanai is led my chef du cuisine Kemar Durfield, who revamped the menu for the February 2016 reopening of the property.
Tovin Lapan
Tovin Lapan

When Four Seasons Resort Lanai closed for eight months of renovations before a grand reopening in February 2016, the upgrades touched on every aspect of the property from the technology in the rooms, to a redesign of the pools. The restaurants too, while not entirely redone, were refreshed.

Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle who purchased the bulk of the island including the resort in 2014, immediately put his stamp on the culinary options, luring in a branch of the well-known restaurant Nobu and courting one of his favorite Southern California restaurants to join the roster, as well.

With few other options for dining on the island, the Four Seasons' five core restaurants offer an eclectic range of foods that will serve both health-conscious travelers and visitors on the hunt for decadent, lavish meals.

One Forty: The resort's signature steak and seafood restaurant with sweeping views of Hulopoe Bay below was technically a holdover from the previous iteration of the resort, but now has new leadership. As chef du cuisine, Four Seasons tapped Kemar Durfield, who had previously served the same role at the Halekulani. Durfield, in addition to overseeing the property's in-room dining, catering and events, refreshed the restaurant menu. One Forty, which is both the rough square mileage of the island and the appropriate temperature at which to serve a steak, has a patio with a retractable canopy to protect from evening showers. The restaurant serves up wagyu beef from Idaho's Snake River Farms, and fresh local seafood. After setting up a small meat processing facility on the island, the resort also now serves local venison.

Nobu Lanai: The first Nobu in a Four Seasons opened in December 2012, and was one of the first new additions after Ellison purchased the resort. During the renovations the Japanese restaurant, open for dinner, was redesigned with an expanded lounge area and new dcor. From chef Nobu Matsuhisa, a James Beard Award winner, the menu showcases Japanese cuisine using ingredients from the restaurant's own farm on Lanai and the other Hawaiian islands. The menu includes lobster ceviche, sashimi tacos, 48-hour teriyaki glazed short ribs and signature dishes like the rich, buttery, black cod miso. The 15-course "teppanyaki experience" ($250 per person) includes a chef's selection of sushi, jidori chicken, kiawe-smoked short rib, Lanai venison, king crab and Kauai shrimp among other dishes.

Malibu Farm: A good spot for a post-workout acai bowl or relaxing lunch, Malibu Farm is reportedly another Ellison favorite that he recruited to the property. The chicken ricotta bacon burger is a crowd pleaser, with the cheese and bacon mixed into the ground chicken patty. Malibu Farm juices, like the calamansi lemonade, are the ideal thirst-quencher after a few hours of fun at the beach. The menu also includes organic salads, sandwiches and heartier plates like soy marinated skirt steak.

Views: This restaurant by Manele Golf Course is situated to be a break from the links, but is worth a visit for the golf-averse for its vista alone. The casual restaurant, open only for lunch, boasts an outdoor dining area with 180-degree views from a cliffside. It serves a range of salads, sandwiches and small bites, including an Angus beef burger, seared snapper salad and kalbi rib lettuce wraps.

Sports Bar and Grill: For a more relaxed atmosphere than Nobu or One Forty (or if you just can't miss the big game) head to the resort's bar and grill, open for lunch and dinner, which features a varied menu, refreshing cocktails and big-screen televisions. Dishes include poke two ways, traditional and spicy ahi poke served side by side with wakame salad, rice and avocado, handmade pastas such as the pappardelle served with venison bolognese, and grilled wagyu skirt steak. To close the meal, don't miss the ice cream sandwiches (also served at Views) with combos like vanilla, macadamia nut, caramel swirl ice cream between a pair of ginger snap cookies. The bar and grill area also houses a small cafe that makes espresso drinks and sells grab-and-go breakfast items in the morning.


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