Nanea Now Open For Breakfast

“When I go out to eat, I want a steak,” says Jason Sessions, the new executive chef and food and beverage manager for Westin Princeville’s signature restaurant Nanea. “Usually, there’s only one choice and I want something that I wouldn’t make at home. So I put ribeye, tenderloin and a New York strip steak on the menu.”

That’s just one of the changes Sessions made when he was promoted from executive sous chef this past June. On Aug. 5, Nanea opened for breakfast. “Breakfast Table” includes a full buffet ($20) with eggs, bacon, sausage, hot-cake of the day, cheese blintz, potatoes, fruit, juices and pastries.

“We were doing a breakfast through our Princeville Market, but it wasn’t a sit-down meal,” explains Sessions. “Plus, there’s not much for breakfast on the North Shore, and we wanted to offer something for Kilauea, Princeville and Hanalei residents.”

A la carte items are laced with superfoods, part of an initiative to promote wellness in all Westin Hotels & Resorts. A cornerstone of this philosophy is food synergy. When certain foods are combined, science suggests they are more beneficial than when eaten alone. Superfoods are high in nutrition and include garlic, blueberries, ginger, dark chocolate, green tea, cinnamon and onions.

At Nanea, mini Belgian waffles ($15) are loaded with apple bananas and drizzled with dark chocolate sauce. Thick slabs of Guava Mascarpone French Toast ($15) are drizzled with cinnamon coconut syrup and scattered with blueberries.

Ginger Short Rib Loco Moco ($15) features tender short ribs that have been braised for four hours with soy sauce, citrus, ginger, lemongrass, carrots, celery and bell peppers. Brown gravy, made with house-made beef stock, is topped with two eggs and caramelized onions. Furikake steamed rice is served on the side.

For dinner, there’s a menu for vegans and one for those on a gluten-free diet.

A Five Course Tasting Journey ($55, add $20 for wine pairing) is available every night, and the Fresh Sheet showcases daily specials and fresh fish preparations.

Ahi Katsu (part of the Tasting Journey) is a new take on an old favorite. The fish is dipped in tempura batter, dredged in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. The dish comes with jasmine rice, sautéed bok choy, ogonori (seaweed) and tomato slaw with micro greens and four sauces. On one side, a pool of kabayaki butter sauce is dotted with bright green scallion oil; on the other, a miso ginger butter sauce is drizzled with bright red chili oil.

For those who want a little more, the Entree Tasting pairs two half portions from the Fresh Sheet or entree list ($45). From the entree section, the beef tenderloin (normally $45) is rubbed with Kaua’i Coffee, topped with macadamia nut pesto and served with asparagus, mashed Yukon gold potatoes, Madeira jus and a balsamic reduction. From the Fresh Sheet, sustainably farm-raised salmon (normally $37) is paired with a chili grilled prawn and served with Moloka’i purple sweet potato mash, baby bok choy and pineapple salsa.

My husband Dan and I happen to be here on Hawaiian night, where every Monday and Wednesday an island-inspired menu is accompanied by live entertainment. As we tuck into our meals, the sun sets over the Pacific and water tumbles down a fall next to the pool. Keola Worthington sings in Hawaiian while Karlyn Flores dances the hula.

Nanea at the Westin Princeville, 3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, 827-8808

Breakfast: Monday-Saturday, 7-10:30 a.m.

Lunch: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Dinner: Daily, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Sunday Brunch: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Marta Lane is a Kaua’i-based food writer. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.

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