Whining and Dining at Moana Surfrider's bin1901

Bin1901 offers wine flights with three, 2-ounce pours.

The lobby of the Moana Surfrider offers a nightly wine tasting called bin1901, with a menu of 2-ounce a la carte pours, or featured flights of three wines each.  The last Starwood wine tasting I attended, Sheraton Waikiki’s old Twist at Hanohano, left me with a good impression. But when I arrived at the lobby of the Moana Surfrider, I met an obstacle. The bin1901 tables were full.

No problem, I thought. The hostess told me I could order from the bin1901 menu from the Beachhouse restaurant bar, in the adjoining room. But I was soon rejected: “The flights are only for the bin1901 section,” stated the bartender.

I then eyed the five or so small, and occupied, tables set aside for bin1901 and noticed no one drinking wine. They were eating dinner. Turns out those tables serve as an easy alternative for diners who don’t want to wait for a seat inside the Beachhouse restaurant. I felt cheated.

Luckily, the bartender relented, and I was able to order the Big, Bold and Beautiful ($16), a flight of three red wines, as well as two side dishes, listed on the bin1901 menu as Beachhouse favorites: Nalo Field Greens ($9) and a pupu-style Moyer Farms New York Strip loin ($46).

No complaints about the tasty salad with candied walnuts, tomatoes and yuzu vinaigrette, or the perfectly seasoned, juicy and tender strip loin—they tasted wonderful. The wines were a perfect complement to the dishes, proving that the bin1901 concept does work. The operation of it, however, may need to be fine-tuned.

Open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., with entertainment from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. For better seat availability, don't visit during dinner hours. If you still have no luck, grab a table at the Banyan Courtyard’s Beach Bar and enjoy a lava flow instead.