Ciao'd while listening to Bruddah IZ. 

The ocean is a lot like marriage. I thought about this as I prepared for my husband’s birthday this week. Kind and graceful, turbulent and dark. Refreshing and suffocating. Cold and warm. Ebb and flow. But always reliable. The tide comes in, it goes out, it comes in again. The ocean doesn't age. We do. 

My husband and I measure our years together in the beaches we’ve sat upon, the breakwaters we’ve tip-toed on, the sailing and surfing, the sunrises emerging from the Atlantic and the sunsets dipping into the Pacific. It’s been 25 years of everything I just said about the ocean.

I am an Atlantic coast girl. He is a Pacific coast guy. I went clamming. He went sailing. I dove into the chilly Nauset waves. He surfed at the Wedge and was chill, brah. He wore shorts to work. I wore a black dress and heels (New York).  Opposites attract, I guess. Our constant (our heart) is Hawaii, and the Big Island of Hawai’i, in particular. The Biggie.

The Biggie is an island of lava and snow, fire and ice. It is at once arid and lush. The floral scent, a mix of pikake and kukui blossoms, transcends the briny air of the mainland coast. The blat of seagulls evaporates into the soft chirp of honeymoon canaries, always in pairs. Tourism inflicts its blight, but there are still pristine, quiet beaches that you can visit with the aid of a 4-wheel drive vehicle and the friendship of a native who is willing to divulge the secret (Susan Y, trade me a malasada and I may share with you).  Sashimi for lunch.  Honey and soy glazed ono for dinner. Poke in between. And maybe a mai-tai or two (or what the hell, three). We’re on holiday, after all.

We’ve celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, and new babies on Hawai'i. We’ve taken refuge in the gentle breezes and quiet coves when we’re sad, disappointed, or depressed. The Hawaiians celebrate their dolce vita in the Hawaiian way. It's grounded in 'ohana (family), 'aina (land) and moana (sea). When we're on island, we emerge from our everyday skin and become more aware of those three tenets. We celebrate family, friends, the earth and yep, peace and love. The ocean is our anchor. Then we try to hold on to that Aloha spirit when we return to the mainland.

We weren't on the island for my husband's birthday this week, but we did cue up Bruddah IZ and Keali’i Reiche to serenade us we 'qued. As John Cruz croons, “From the mountains to the ocean, from the windward to the leeward side, we do it island style.” Here's how: Throw a few lobster tails on the grill. Mix a mai-tai.  Aloha spirit in the house.  



At once decadent and casual, lobster tails require little pre-grilling preparation and make a beautiful presentation, too. Feel free to vary the herbs in the butter. Any leftover lobster (there won’t be) will taste great in a salad or sandwich the next day.

Serves 4

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 small shallot, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (4-5 ounce) lobster tails
8 skewers (if using wood skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes)
Olive oil
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the lemon juice, basil, parsley, chives, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Insert a skewer down the lobster tail (this will prevent the lobsters from curling on the grill). Brush the tails with olive oil.

Grill the lobsters cut side down until the shells turn color, about 3 minutes. Turn the tails over and spoon herbed butter onto the meat. Grill for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the lobster meat is an opaque white color and registers 135°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove the lobster tails from the grill and discard the skewers. Serve with the remaining herb butter and lemon wedges.

If you would like to serve surf and turf, check out this recipe for bistecca alla Fiorentina.