The first time we went to 808 Bistro – the new restaurant that took over after The Greek Bistro closed – we were thrilled to see our friend Kristine already seated with her husband, Dan.
Kristine is not only an excellent harpist (if you’re getting married here, seriously consider hiring her for your ceremony); she is a fantastic cook. She’s won hundreds of thousands of dollars in national cooking contests, including Grand Prize on the Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown. When she talks food, we listen.
Turned out it was her first time, at 808 Bistro, too – but later when we compared notes, we all four agreed: 808 Bistro is doing some really great things.
(Keep in mind that this post is not a full review, but just our first impression of the restaurant. Full reviews get at least three visits and are written and rewritten before being published in Top Maui Restaurants.)
It’s downright refreshing to see entrees (including starch and vegetable) for under $20. Not everything bowled us over, but we felt like we were getting a very good value.
The pork chops were tender and flavorful due to a brining they receive before cooking. The caramelized onion topping was sweet, but cut by black currants. We also had the short ribs, which come fork tender with a whole grain mustard barbecue sauce. For me, the sauce was a little schizophrenic; either the mustard came through or the sugar. I wanted something in the middle to bind the flavors a little more. But overall a solid dish. Mashed potatoes were just a tad on the gluey side – but still well-seasoned. The ratatouille and bread stuffing had good flavors, but suffered from poor knife skills. (If you cut veggies unevenly, they will not cook at the same rates.)
They could work on plating the food so that it looks more appealing, and the dim lighting could use a few candles on the tables (we know it’s breezy, but the battery-operated ones work fine). The service, while genuine and friendly, needs some polishing – there were too many times we had to ask for something (like a refill on water) two or three times.
There has been no effort to update the decor from the previous owner, but we certainly appreciate the far superior food, and that’s why we will return for future visits.
It’s still BYOB while they get their liquor license, so bring your libation with you. With its outdoor seating, partial ocean views, and solid menu, this could turn out to be a good, moderately priced addition to Kihei’s dining scene.
Please let us know what you think when you visit.
(Behind Fred’s Mexican Bar & Grill)
2511 South Kihei Road, Kihei