The Colony Restaurant at the Hyatt Diamond Head Tower

As our first meal in Hawaii, this restaurant did not disappoint.  I was hoping to eat at fewer hotel restaurants but this place was good enough for us to eat there twice.

My dad had designated me as the trip’s sommelier.  I also knew we’d be eating lighter, tropical fare, so I crumbled and started to learn more about white wines for the trip.  I realized I was being snobby and narrow-minded by only drinking reds.  So I read a lot, watched some shows, and attended some tastings.  Tonight was my first attempt.ZD

I chose a wine that’s in my cabinet at home but not yet tasted.  I chose the 2003 ZD Chardonnay Reserve from Napa.  The cool fermentation and oaking temperatures result in a wine that is less oak-ridden than many chardonnays.  There were flavors of tropical fruit, notably pineapple, with a zingy-ness that was refreshing but not overpowering.

We had an island seafood chowder that was great except for the addition of corn and haricots verts that seemed more like a pack of frozen veggies than fresh.  The clams and other seafood were firm and flavorful in a light, creamy base.  I had the ahi three ways as an entrée.  It was gorgeously presented and delicious as well.  The poke was incredible- an explosion of flavors, colors, and textures.

The others in my party enjoyed their meal as well, especially the mushroom ragout.  I had creamed spinach that was fantastic and garlicky.  By this time, we were ready for another bottle of wine, and one of my guests had a craving for merlot.  *sigh*  Clos du Val

The restaurant had a very short wine list (too short IMHO), and the merlot selection was only four types.  I chose a Clos du Val 2003 Merlot from Napa.  I have had this wine before and it has changed little in six months.  The fruit is not assertive enough against the dried herb (specifically thyme) flavors.  The tannins are still too tight and a year or so might make this a more balanced wine.

Atmosphere: [rate 3]
Beer Selection: Not rated
Wine Selection: [rate 2]
Food: [rate 4]
Service: [rate 3]

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