Ferraro’s is perched above stunning Wailea Beach, poolside at the Four Seasons, a resort that refuses to rest on its laurels. It’d be easy for the restaurant to skimp on quality and simply coast by on their absolutely perfect location — but it doesn’t. Clothed in white linen, tables are tucked under giant umbrella tents on several broad terraces, so just about everyone has a good view of the expansive green lawn rolling down to the ocean below.
The large, columned bar built from warm stone provides sophisticated, no-reservations dining, while the surrounding tables can accommodate large parties. Our favorite meal at Ferraro’s is lunch, because the view is so pristine, the food so lovely, and the service so wonderful. It’s fun to slide on big sunglasses, sip an expertly mixed cocktail and spy on the beautiful people lounging by the pool. Blueberry mojito? Yes, please. The wood-burning oven churns out good pizzas, the sandwiches are made with mostly local ingredients (get the lobster roll or lobster salad), and the salads are big and bold. At dinner the atmosphere transforms (and the prices rise). Live classical music — gentle guitar, violin, or flute — wafts through the air just loud enough to enjoy without interrupting conversation. The sunset view defines the word spectacular.
Service is, to use James’s word, “sterling.” Friendly, knowledgeable, and relaxed, servers manage to guide, inform, and help you without being obtrusive. When they say “It’s no problem,” you actually feel that it isn’t, for them. The pasta dishes are lovely, and all can be split into half courses or appetizer sizes. We absolutely love the lobster linguini. It comes with a savory cream sauce and an incredibly generous serving of perfectly cooked lobster.
The bolognese has very clean flavors: not too spicy, not too sweet, not to salty. The veal, pork, and beef in the sauce are perfectly cooked and tender. For main entrées our current favorites are the sea bass with a slightly peppery watercress butter sauce, and the ciopella di mare, a lovely tomatosaffron- crab broth that is perfectly seasoned, with scallops, shrimp, lobster, calamari, and fish. James is tempted to tip the bowl to the back of his throat.
When the kitchen is having a good night — which is most of the time — dinners are well worth the price. Desserts are traditionally very good, and change regularly (as does the rest of the menu). If they have the cheesecake made with a super-light ricotta cheese and a disk of lemon gelato on top, we recommend it. The sugared pine nuts and rhubarb on the side make this dessert both refreshing and fairy-tale light. Occasionally we are reminded that we are in a resort (not an independent) restaurant. Especially over the last year, a meals have ranked lower in the Love category. Some recipes didn’t sing like they once did, and there were several ice-cold salads. In such a good restaurant, slip-ups and inconsistencies are more noticeable.
The resort setting works to your advantage in other ways, however. If you fancy a wine or dessert served at Duo or the Lobby Lounge, you have only to ask and it will be retrieved post haste. The little things, like the excellent house bread with olive tapenade threaded through it, two choices of sea salts, and the fact that coffee comes in a French press, up the ante for this restaurant making our favorites list. The wine list is good, filled with Italian bottles, but, as we mentioned, you can also order from the more extensive list at sister restaurant Duo. Parents with kids will rejoice to see the familiar, but sophisticated, children’s menu, and be grateful that the more romantic tables are farther down the terraces, closer to the beach — far from their exuberant little dinner companions.
After filling our bellies with prosecco, pasta, seafood, and house-made ice cream, we saunter down to the beach path and listen for the eerie calls of native seabirds returning after their own adventures at sea.
Address: 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, South Maui
Location: Four Seasons Resort
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Hours: Daily 11:30am – 9pm