Restaurant Week Wailea

I’ve been craving the Asian pear salad at Alan Wong’s Amasia lately. It’s a ripe and juicy mouthful with pears as well as oranges, candied garlic pecans, gorgonzola dolce and chardonnay reduction.

I’d also like to sink my teeth into Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s famous filet mignon, sizzled to medium rare in a super-hot oven and finished with a pat of butter before being whisked to the table.

Come to think of it, the lobster canneloni at Longhi’s Wailea layered with creamy ricotta, wrapped in fresh pasta and covered in bechamel sauce is making me want to dive into Italian food right now.

My list goes on, and on. I’m sure others are salivating at the prospect of dining somewhere in South Maui’s toniest resort area, too.

The good news is, Restaurant Week Wailea from Sunday to June 1 will make it more affordable than ever to savor multi-course meals at a record 19 top establishments, and a portion of the proceeds will once again go to Maui Food Bank’s programs for the needy.

Each participating restaurant will make a contribution to the Maui Food Bank for every pre-fixe entree sold during the promotion.

“Over the years, thousands of dollars have been raised from each celebration, and we look forward to helping again this May,” says Bud Pikrone, general manager of Wailea Community Association.

No tickets, passes or coupons are needed. Simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as you wish. You get multiple choices on appetizers, entrees and desserts, so you can even come back time and again.

Some restaurants, such as Mulligan’s on the Blue and the new Manoli’s Pizza Co., are charging $29 for three-course meals. Seven of the participants are charging $39, and 10 are charging $49. Some offer three courses and others, four. Tax, gratuity and beverages are not included. You will find fun wine pairing suggestions, too.

Just remember, reservations are strongly recommended, as this twice-a-year affair is hugely popular.

“There’s no a better time than Restaurant Week Wailea to come and experience our restaurants,” says Geno Sarmiento, corporate chef of Tri-Star, the parent company of Nick’s Fishmarket at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui. “We’ve got great food, great service and a great cause.”

At Nick’s, start with calamari fritte or ceviche or kalua pot stickers or Greek Maui Wowie salad or Caesar salad or soup made in house.

“Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is a favorite by kamaaina and guests so our Restaurant Week menu is focused on our most popular and loved dishes, the ones they come back for, again and again,” says Grand Wailea’s Executive Chef Eric Faivre, where the restaurant is located in the middle of a saltwater lagoon

“For Bistro Molokini, we decided to have a lot more fun with the menu by using mainly terroir ingredients from Malama Farms pig to Kumu Farm vegetables to Hawaiian chocolate,” he continues.

At Alan Wong’s Amasia, also at Grand Wailea, you’ll find the above-mentioned Asian pear salad that I’ve been craving as the starter course, or you may opt for spicy tuna roll from the sushi bar.

Gannon’s will also do its own version of Asian pear salad, or you may choose grilled asparagus salad with watercress, pistachio pesto and tomato confit as the starter to the three course feast.

DUO Steak & Seafood at Four Seasons Resort Maui will tempt you with island fish ceviche or roasted baby beets with goat cheese and brussels sprouts before you dive into entrees such as salmon with local vegetables; or braised Waguy beef cheeks with fingerling potatoes.

“Restaurant Week at Ko will feature local flavors and favorites, including lumpia, ahi sushi, fried rice, pancit, fresh catch fish, and pineapple cake,” says Executive Chef, Tylun Pang of Fairmont Kea Lani, where Ko is the signature restaurant. “We’ll have four to five options for each course for a multi-cultural dining experience.”