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Merriman's Restaurant Review: Merriman's remains a Big Island favorite, both for lunch (a casual sandwich-or-glorified-plate-lunch affair) and dinner (creative, exploding with flavors and unexpected twists). Peter Merriman, a leading pioneer of Hawaii Regional cuisine, opened his eponymous eatery more than two decades ago and has had a loyal following since. White tablecloths and vaulted ceilings bring a casual elegance to the dining room. Starters and salads highlight local ingredients, as in the Nakano Farm tomato, roasted beet and papaya salad with black quinoa, feta cheese from Hawaii and miso-orange vinaigrette. We are passionate about the fresh island corn, served family-style. As for entrées, we always appreciate the wok-charred ahi, a signature dish, and we trust all fresh fish and prime cuts, which are paired with unusual relishes and sauces that match and enhance. For dessert, indulge in the molten Hawaiian chocolate “purse” with vanilla bean ice cream. A three-course chef’s choice menu is available nightly for $67. The wine list includes many lesser-known varietals and a themed wine flight that changes often.