Alfresco dining in Hawaii with a view
Set on the hilltop overlooking the breathtaking Hulopo’e Beach and marine reserve, Views is one of Four Seasons Resort Lana’i’s finest places for lunch. Set by the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, the restaurant is a perfect gathering spot after playing 18 holes or when you need a break for fish tacos or guacamole with crispy, thick tortilla chips after the 9th hole. Or, if you simply want a different dining option at the hotel, we recommend taking the five-minute ride to the restaurant for lunch. Just ask the bellman for a ride and a Mercedes shuttle van will quickly appear and whisk you away to the top of the hill with a friendly driver offering you a chilled bottle of water. Once there, sit back, sip on a cocktail or housemade iced tea and enjoy the fresh, local cuisine and vistas of the ocean and fairway.
The best part about dining at this open-air restaurant, other than the quality food, is the unparalleled views of the ocean. Overlooking the marine reserve, Views has a pair of binoculars set up in case you want to catch a glimpse of the dozens of dolphins that swim together during the winter months and into early spring. We recommend calling ahead for one of the tables on the patio so you can enjoy the flower-lined deck and relax on the cushioned benches. Golfers, take note: The restaurant is located in the clubhouse so that you can easily freshen up before the meal.
One important thing to remember when dining at Views is to avoid filling up on the soft and chewy pretzel bread that’s served pre-meal. It’s hard to resist, which is part of the problem, but you’ll want to save room for the fresh, local food that awaits. To start, the guacamole, served with a fresh and chunky, cooked salsa is a must to share with the group. We loved the crunchy chips and the refreshing taste of the guacamole on a hot tropical day.
For salads, the Makai — with big pieces of lobster tail, baby scallops, shrimp and tropical fruit like mango and papaya — is light and satisfying. The lilikoi (or passion fruit) dressing adds a sweet coating to the fresh, crispy greens. The fish tacos, featuring the catch of the day, come in sets of three with soft tortillas filled with grilled fillets, crunchy cabbage and a creamy lime dressing. If you’re in the mood for something hearty, try the Views burger topped with cheddar cheese, guacamole and salty, crisp bacon.
Lunch is served until 3 p.m., so if an afternoon snack is in order, you can't go wrong with a couple of our favorite appetizers: kalbi rib lettuce wraps — tender short rib, peanuts and rainbow carrots tucked into leaves of butter lettuce — or the summer rolls filled with crunchy macadamia nuts, shrimp, mint and basil. We’re sure that no matter what you order, you’ll savor every bite along with the gorgeous views.