Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Guest post: A Bit of Happiness

Some of my students wrote such great essays in response to the cuisine topic that I have asked them to allow me to share their work here. The first (but I hope not the last) to respond to my request is Phil Coen, who wrote a review of his favorite restaurant. OK, so it’s hard to get to – if you ask Google Maps how to get there from New Mexico, one leg of the journey involves getting into a kayak. But then, part of what makes this restaurant a great place is that it’s located somewhere that … well, you have to cross some water to get there.

A Bit of Happiness
by Phil Coen

When people ask me what my favorite restaurant is, I always hesitate and think about the wonderful memories of so many places, but, in the end, I always answer without a doubt that it would have to be Holuakoa Garden. When I am looking for a good restaurant, I am looking for several things; first of all would be the atmosphere. I look for the overall feel of the place, whether it is comfortable and whether I feel at home, as if I belong here. Next, I think about how the food tastes in combination with the presentation of the dishes. Finally I analyze the experience and evaluate whether or not it was worth the price.

What makes Holuakoa Garden stand out from all the other restaurants that I’ve been to is the ambiance of the restaurant. The restaurant has a romantic feel from its small waterfall to the freshness of the gardens in the middle of the restaurant. The ambiance creates a relaxing dream-like state of mind. All that would be enough to set the full experience Holuakoa Garden has to offer apart, but Holuakoa Garden is located on the side of a mountain overlooking a breathtaking ocean view. I would recommend that you go there at sunset, to get the full experience Holuakoa Garden has to offer. Most of the restaurant is outside, giving it an open unrestrained feel with lovely smells of all the local flowers of Hawaii.

Being in an outstanding setting is only a small part of Holuakoa Garden, for the culinary masterpieces were worthy of a king’s last meal. When I had the pleasure of eating there, I started off with a caprese salad. The salad was one-of-a-kind, involving fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil from the restaurant’s own garden, topped with a type of balsamic vinegar dressing, pine nuts and of course the mozzarella . The tomatoes made this salad because they were sweet, ripe and juicy, maintaining a bright red and yellow tint. I was left wanting more and wondering, if a salad can be that good, what type of masterpiece did I have to look forward to next?

I ordered the filet mignon since the island was famous for the beef because of the quality of grass due to the volcanic soil. It was something I had been looking forward to the entire trip, so I felt it was a now or never moment. Knowing that I was anticipating a moment of genius from the chef, the staff took its time, building on the anticipation of the upcoming entrée. This made my anticipation of the entrée all that more magical. The filet mignon was artistically centered on the platter with an array of colorful vegetables and potatoes, and lightly drizzled with a savory balsamic reduction making the entrée like a painting. The filet mignon was cooked perfectly to my individual taste. There was nothing that I would change, making for a perfect entrée.

What better way to end a perfect meal than with a special dessert? Earlier in the day I had been hiking in the Hawaiian forests and came across a fruit called lilikoi. After hearing the dessert menu I knew that having a cheesecake with this fruit would be amazing. To bring the night to an eventful close I ordered something I knew would be amazing. When I finally got the dessert, it lived up to my expectations and, in fact, exceeded them. The cheesecake was able to satisfy not only the desire to have something amazing but to have an adventure come to a memorable closing.

In conclusion, I recommend this restaurant to anybody that is visiting the Big Island of Hawaii. The only regrettable thing about this restaurant is that it is so difficult to return to, to be able to enjoy it once more. I’ll always have a desire to go back, to enjoy not only the wonderful food, but the ambience and landscape that went with it.

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Blogger Lanza Teague said...

Great review!! Makes me want to get on a plane and find that restaurant!!

Mon May 02, 01:58:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous attention_to_detail said...

I hope you docked him some marks for spelling ambiance two different ways?

Mon May 02, 06:05:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

I thought this particular restaurant review was of interest because some of the regular readers of this blog have Hawaiian connections. In fact, one of them is, at this moment, on the Big Island and could conceivably eat there.

Mon May 02, 11:51:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Frankie said...

Perfect publicity! it does make me want to try that restaurant once in my life. Full marks to the writer. Just a note about the use of a French word (!) 'entrée' means 'enter' i.e. the very first course, i.e. the preliminaries. The 'filet mignon' would have been the main course, I guess. Cheers from France.
f r a n k i e

Tue May 03, 05:27:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Tillerman said...

Frankie, you are absolutely right. And 300 million Americans are absolutely wring when they all refer to the main course of a meal as the entrée. Why they have to be so perverse, I do not now. I also don't know why they don't use a knife and fork properly.

So I guess we will have to forgive Phil this mistake.

Tue May 03, 06:16:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous nitpicker said...

Please dock some marks from Tillerman for confusing "now" and "know".

Tue May 03, 08:50:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Frankie said...

...ah well soree I didn't no 'entrée' was an American yousage for maine meel LOL

Sat May 07, 03:15:00 PM MDT  

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