Everyone in our party had a wonderful experience at The Tavern, not only is the food great the front-of-house knows what is happening in the kitchen and the kitchen is very aware of what is going on in the front-of-house.  Having this winning combination makes The Tavern a wonderful dining experience.

If you have read my other blogs you see that I am starting to review all of the restaurants on the North Shore of Kauai because this is where I live.  We travel all over the island trying new and existing restaurants – In fact we are always looking for a new favorite place to eat, so eventually I will begin to review restaurants all over the island.

The Tavern has only been open a short while, less than a year and they have really put a lot of thought into creating a a restaurant that will be loved by visitors and locals alike.

We have eaten at this restaurant several times and I wish I could remember the names of every wait person who has taken care of us because they were all wonderful. Last night was no exception, we had Leticia and she went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable and encouraged us to ask questions about the menu.  The menu is varied so we had a lot of questions about how items were cooked or if they included certain ingredients, she knew every answer and made sure we knew exactly what we were ordering. Thanks Leticia you helped to make this experience wonderful.

The menu is interesting and caters to all types of tastes and diets.  The staff is very proud to let you know that the menu is based on local and sustainable products from Kauai as much as is possible.  The menu changes depending on what is growing in the garden, I’m waiting for their tomatoes to come back.

We started with the flatbread as an appetizer, it was lightly covered with Kunana Goat Cheese and then covered with delectable greens from the garden and had a drizzle of balsamic reduction on top. The flatbread is like a small pizza and the crust is thin, crispy and buttery all at the same time.

I was excited to see that they had Sous Vide prepared pork chops, I will order them next time , this time I couldn’t resist the scallops with a port gastric.  The scallops were perfectly cooked, they melted in my mouth and the gastric tasted a little like a lightly sweet grape sauce. The sauce was placed delicately on the plate, not on the scallops.

The other dishes at our table included the Burger and Frites (special home made fries), the burger is huge and made with local Kauai beef and the Frites were so good we couldn’t stop eating them.  The burger also has bacon on it like I’ve never seen before. The bacon is sliced thick and coated with crumbs and then fried, it is decadent; fresh Opah was the fish selection and the plate also included a variety of fresh vegetables that had been sauted to perfection.

The portion size of the entrées are pretty large so we have learned to order the appetizers or share an entrée, that way we have room to order our favorite dessert, the Olive Oil Chardonnay Cake with a Lemon Curd Sauce on top.

If you want a beautiful view to watch the sunset this is the place.  The Tavern is built on the Prince Golf Course (which is closed for renovation) but you have a view the ocean in the distance, the green hills of the course which are surrounded with trees, and beyond the course are the mountains in the background.

My only small complaint is that they need to rethink the window coverings for two reasons. If you are seated to see the view you will also get the sun in your eyes at sunset.  They do have coverings for the windows but they are not good at blocking the bright sun.  Possibly as the days get longer the sun will set in a different position and not be so much in your eyes.

The entire dining room is surrounded with windows on three sides this makes it easy to see the view from any seat but it also makes the restaurant a bit noisy.  I would recommend covering all of the windows after sunset to cut down on the noise that echoes off of the windows.

All-in-all this was a very nice dining experience.  The food, the service, the view and the prices were just right.  Please try it out.

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We went to a fairly new restaurant last night here in Princeville.  The restaurant is called Infigo and is located right off of Ka Haku Road at the Pali Ke Kua condo complex.  It’s a little tricky  but if you have a GPS in your phone just type in this address “5300 Ka Haku Rd, Princeville, HI 96722.”  To make a reservation call:  Phone number #808-826-0110.

I’ve eaten at this restaurant several times now and seating is usually open but it is getting busier so if you have a large party you may need to have a res to get seated right away.

I absolutely love, love, love this chef!  He has some an awesome menu and his ‘Chef’s Challenge’ is very popular.  If you choose the Chef’s Challenge the only thing you pick is the type of protien; chicken, beef, or sea food.  If everyone at your table chooses the Chef’s Challenge they will all get something different, it’s fun, every time I’ve ordered this dish it has been fantastic!

Some other extremely lovely items on the menu are the ribs  marinated in plum sauce and cooked until the meat just falls off the bone. I could make a meal with the ribs alone, they are fantastic. Another favorite is the lobster risotto.  What can I say except you haven’t lived unless you have tried this dish.  The chef cooks it perfectly every time.

Last night we tried the gnocchi.  I have eaten gnocchi at a dozen other restaurants all over the country so I wasn’t sure if this dish would live up to it’s competitor, the risotto.  It was a slam dunk! Gnocchi is now my favorite even over the risotto, another winning dish for sure!

Okay now is my turn to dish.  While the food is amazing and worth the wait there are some problems with this restaurant.  I was with five other diners last night and we mostly ordered off of the appetizer menu and made the dinner more like a tapas style party.  At first the dishes were coming out fairly evenly and not too slow but then our final course just never came, we waited for at least an hour for the last course.  There was another big party that arrived the same time we did and they got all of their food while we waited, and waited, and waited.  The entire dinner took 2 hours and 45 minutes to serve to us.  That did include about a half hour of us deciding what to order while we drank our first glasses of wine but it was over-the-top by the time the final course came. Not good.

We had a wonderful actually delightful waiter, William, he was very attentive and kept apologizing but if it happens again we probably won’t go back, especially if we have to get up early the next day to go to work.

They have finally gotten approval to open the bar so it should be open soon but in the mean time you are allowed to bring your own wine.  There was a small corkage fee that added up to about $5.00 a bottle but we were very happy to have brought our wine so we at least had something on the table while waiting for the food.

I think the part that stung the most was that the chef focused on the party of 8 who were here visiting the island and made us wait.  We live here and will go there often if they can get it together.  I think the chef should understand that the people that live here are not on vacation and we do have to get up and go to work the next morning and everyone is important.

Another tip for the chef is that there are a lot of Social Media sites now that rate and have reviews of restaurants.  I found many interesting reviews on TripAdvisor about Infigo in which almost all stated the food was great but service not-so-great. Our problems were not related to our waiter but definitely with some organization problems in the kitchen.

Come on you guys!  You have had five months to get this together and you are still having problems.  Believe me if anyone wants a restaurant like this to survive here on the North Shore it is me.  I will support you as best as possible but you have got to get it together.  Go to TripAdvisor read the comments, hopefully you will read this blog and also I’m pretty sure that people have let you know how much they like your food but were very frustrated with the front of the house.

The locals are the ones that will keep the restaurant a float in the slow times and will be the ones to spread the word about this restaurant.  I’m sure you know how quickly a good reputation or a bad reputation can spread around this island.  Please do what you need to keep your patrons happy whether they are visitors or locals.  You are almost there so work it out, please.

Posted by: judysbuzz | March 25, 2011

Cool Pop-up Coffee Shop!

This is my first foodie blog about Kauai. There are so many interesting places to eat here on Kauai but sometimes they are a little hard to find. I live on the North Shore so I’m going to start my blogs here but will also write about other wonderful places for foodies around the entire island.

We have a cool ‘pop-up’ cupcake and muffin shop that serves a GREAT cup of coffee and fresh baked pastries. This is the best place on the North Shore to go for morning coffee and pastries. This is in a secret location that is easy to get to if you are on the walking path in Princeville. The person runs it out of her home (Shhh) in Princeville and it is open from 8:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M.

Since the North Shore of Kauai is so beautiful I enjoy a morning walk on the path in Princeville. The views are spectacular and the morning trade winds sound amazing as they blow through the palm trees.

I found this secret ‘pop-up’ coffee shop just by word-of-mouth and decided to walk over for a visit. I was delighted to find her modest little coffee shop right inside her home. It’s like walking into grandma’s kitchen and sitting down for some fresh brewed coffee and a baked goodie right out of the oven. What a find! I live here and often complain about the lack of good coffee shops so when I found this delightful little place I put it at the top of my ‘Foodie’ list. Oh BTW it’s also very affordable by Hawaii standards.

My favorite cupcakes are her Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting and my favorite muffins are her Vegan Banana Muffins which she makes with local bananas. YUM!

Okay here is the way you find her… Tweet her @SecretCoffeeHI and make a reservation for your first visit. Once you have found her you are welcome to drop-in between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM Monday thru Satruday. Never open on Sundays.

The delicious Strawberry Buttercream cake she was serv.ing this morning

Strawberry Buttercream Vanilla Cake - Sold by the slice $2.50 ea.

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