Some like it RED HOT on Valentine’s Day

It’s LOVE at first bite at isle restaurants

5 Palms at Mana Kai Resort in Kihei will heat things up with a romantic repast Tuesday on Valentine’s Day. Hostess Raquel Tosaya (left) and server Lisa Levang get ready for the occasion. • The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Champagne and oysters and caviar — oh,  my! This year, isle chefs will ignite your passion for Valentine’s Day with all manner of romantic menus and so it will be love at first bite. Do make reservations right after you read this as many top Maui restaurants will sell out for the famed date night on Tuesday.


Bring your beloved to a precious feast at DUO Steak & Seafood, situated poolside at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea. Seats are available for dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. for a romantic, four-course meal by Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst and his stellar culinary team.

Begin with red strawberry gazpacho with Serrano ham, basil and Szechuan pepper; then savor ahi tuna and foie gras with French baguette, Maui olive oil and chive; followed by rack of lamb from Colorado with roasted fennel puree, black olive, artichoke heart, Medjool dates, Israeli couscous, preserved lemon and sorrel. The piece de resistance is Maui Gold pineapple and Tahitian vanilla with Hawaiian coconut sorbet. Cost is $68 per person. For reservations, call the Four Seasons concierge at 874-2201.

Looking for an intimate hideaway? Cafe del Vino in the Maalaea Harbor Shops will entice with a four-course Valentine’s Day special on Tuesday. Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. daily, except Sundays.

Woo your sweetheart with cream-filled, guava-flavored malasadas hot from the oil and rolled in powdered sugar. • Photo courtesy Home Maid Bakery

For the prima, sip your choice of sangria, coupe de champagne, royale, mimosa or a Bellini. Then enjoy a secondo course of soup or salad along with a choice of terzo, such as surf and turf of New York steak with jumbo shrimp Provencal; fresh island fish piccata or breast of duck a la orange served with fresh broccoli florets. Quattro is dessert of your desire. Cost is $60 per person. For further details or reservations, call Cafe del Vino at 868-0732.

The perfect place to pop the question or to simply go out for a night on the town is 5 Palms at Mana Kai Resort in Kihei. Whether you dine inside or out, the expansive dining house has stellar views of Keawakapu Beach from every seat.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 5 Palms will offer a special Valentine’s menu from 5 to 9 p.m.

The cost is $89.95 without wine pairings and $119.95 with Selbach Ahi riesling,  Sileni sauvignon blanc, Migration  pinot noir and Bele Casel Asolo prosecco.

Begin with Hawaiian ahi tartare, Osetra caviar and taro chips; followed by poached spiny lobster over country greens, fine herbs and orange segments drizzled in champagne vinaigrette; steak laced in green peppercorn brandy reduction with prawn scampi; and dessert of Melting Hearts of warm chocolate cake with Tahitian vanilla-bean ice cream. For reservations, call 879-2607.

The newly rebranded Humuhumu at Grand Wailea will tempt with tomato salad with local goat cheeses and smoked Kula strawberry kiawe molasses. Humuhumu will also present a Boys & Girls Club benefit Friday (see Side Orders on Page 20). • Photo courtesy Grand Wailea

The newly rebranded Humuhumu at the  Grand Wailea is as romantic as it gets from its thatched-roof perch in a million-gallon saltwater lagoon.

Chef de Cuisine Mike Lofaro will woo you with his modern Hawaiian seasonal fare of Niihau lamb meatballs, whole roasted fish with Manila clams and lop chong; and local breadfruit risotto.

For dessert, take a “walk” in the Humu chocolate garden, a wonderland of chocolate “stones,” pistachio “moss” and cocoa gelee that delights the eye and the palate. Sorbets and ice creams are housemade as are the trendy cocktails.

Grand Wailea’s Bistro Molokini will get you in the mood for romantic food with its Valentine’s Day three-course dinner menu for $55 per person.

Begin with Kona kampachi crudo served with compressed watermelon, calamansi lime yogurt and hearts of palm with a fresh  consomme. Entree choices are pan-seared diver scallops with roasted beets, apple and celeriac puree, chevre and candied pecans; and/or grilled beef tenderloin with wild mushroom duxelle, creamed Brussels sprouts, pearl onions and Italian parmigiano reggiano cheeses. Dessert is lilikoi brownie crunch cake with passion fruit cremeux. Call Grand Wailea  at 875-1234.

At The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Restaurant Sous Chef April Matsumoto will put on a special Valentine’s Day breakfast at The Terrace as well as a memorable dinner feast with a seafood tower and more. • Photo courtesy Grand Wailea

The Shops at Wailea is partnering with Honolulu Cookie Co. to give away a free box of cookies to those who spend $200 or more at the shops’ stores and restaurants now through Tuesday.

Receipts can be redeemed at Tiffany & Co and Martin & MacArthur during shopping center hours. One gift per customer, while supplies last.

Shop at trendsetting boutiques, shops and  galleries or you may dine at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Cheeseburger Grille & Tap Room, Longhi’s Wailea, The Pint & Cork  and Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, and two grab-and-go eateries, Island Gourmet Markets and Whalers General Store. For more details, call 891-6770.

On Valentine’s Day, doors will open early at 4 p.m. at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in The Shops at Wailea and the Outlets of Maui mall in Lahaina.

All Valentines will receive a special gift and be entered to win a romantic meal for two. Get in the mood for love with glasses of big, red wines or martinis poured at table. Crunch steak-house salad, savor creamed spinach and saddle up to the USDA prime cowboy ribeye, filet, New York strip, fresh island fish and famous barbecue shrimp. Call Ruth’s Chris in Wailea at 874-8880 or the Lahaina outlet at 661-8815.

Garlic knots at Pi Artisan Pizzeria will add some “amore” to your Italian feast in Lahaina. • Photo courtesy Pi Artisan Pizzeria

Want to celebrate early? Spend a romantic evening at Maui Ocean Center’s Seascape Ma’alaea restaurant for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday or Sunday and sit alongside breathtaking exhibits teeming with colorful Hawaiian marine life. The promo is called the “weekend of love.”

Enjoy the a la carte options created by the center’s expert chefs. The appetizers for two include seafood on ice with oysters on the half shell, chilled shrimp, ahi sashimi and crab claws; duo of fish tartare; or Italian country side with grilled vegetables, meats, cheeses and breads. The entrees are lobster lasagne roulade; garlic and herb-scented roasted prime rib; or catch of the day. The dessert trilogy for two is chocolate-dipped strawberries, mango panna cotta with fresh berries and creme de leche. Entree prices are $25 to $27. Call 270-7068.


At Home Maid Bakery on Lower Main Street in Wailuku, proof is in the pudding, er, malasadas. An island staple since it opened in 1960, the bakery is doing guava-flavored malasadas with a pink cream filling through the month of February.

Buy other sweets for your sweet in the form of decorated Valentine’s Day cookies, cupcakes and cakes. Wailuku hours are 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more details or special orders, call 244-7015.

The Labor of Lamb will entice diners at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali. • Photo courtesy Sheraton Maui

“Think Italian” on Valentine’s Day at the award-winning Marco’s Grill & Deli in Kahului. Crunch Caesar salads; savor sexy shrimp scampi and vodka rigatoni; fresh salmon; mushroom chicken pasta; meat lasagne; and rich Italian tiramisu. Reservations are not taken. Marco’s is open for breakfast daily from 7:30 a.m. and serves lunch and dinner until 9:30 p.m. Call 877-4446.

Shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului is even easier with the recent opening of  the popular See’s Candies Shop, set up on the ground floor in the south wing through Feb. 17.

Create your own custom mixed box at the counter or choose from the famous See’s boxes of chocolates, truffles, nuts, chews, lollipops and sugar-free candy. Enjoy free samples as you shop to find  the right flavors.

“We are excited to be welcoming See’s  Candies Shop back again for this highly celebrated Valentine’s season,” says Toni Rojas, QKC’s marketing director. “Mauians have quite the sweet tooth and See’s always delivers.”

Max’s Restaurant at the Maui Mall in Kahului is a popular and convenient spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner for local and Filipino favorites.

Now you may even make money by dining there from Valentine’s Day through Feb. 16. Just purchase $30 in a single transaction of dine-in or to-go orders and you will receive a $10 bonus gift card. Max’s is famous for its chicken and pancit, among other dishes. The new breakfast features tsunami fried rice, bansilog, tapsilog, longsilog, omelettes, loco moco, kalbi ribs and French toast. Call 419-6784.

It may come as no surprise that the iconic Mama’s Fish House in Kuau is completely sold out on Valentine’s Day because it’s about as romantic as it gets with a coconut grove, oceanfront setting and beautiful florals.

“We do have limited availability both before and after Valentine’s Day,” says General Manager Tami Joslin. “So it’s not too late to surprise your Valentine with  a future  booking for a romantic night that includes dinner at Mama’s Fish House and a night’s stay at the Inn at Mama’s Fish House.”

For reservations, call 579-8488.


The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will present three options at various outlets.

Couples may indulge in mouthwatering a la carte specials at Japengo such as the duo of Kumamoto oysters ($18); butter-poached Kona lobster tail with kaffir lime ($55); star anise braised beef short rib and Kauai shrimp ($54); Chef Jin Hosono’s sushi special (with price to be determined); and the Decadence Chocolate Tart ($14). Dinner hours are  5:30 to 9:30 p.m. For reservations, call Japengo at 667-4727.

The second Hyatt Maui choice is dinner poolside at ‘Umalu for $40 per person with brown-sugar coriander lamb with lemon and herb ancient grains and baby carrots in mint julep pico. Hours are 5:30 to 10 p.m. Call ‘Umalu at 667-4727.

Son’z Steakhouse at the Hyatt will serve a three-course menu for $85 per person with black and blue ahi, prime New York steak  and profiteroles. Hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Call 667-4506.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel wants you to get in the Valentine’s Day groove and celebrate   with someone you love.

The night to remember will be featured in Tiki Terrace with dinner, hula show, live jazz and dancing from 6 to 9 p.m.

The special buffet menu by Executive Chef Tom Muromoto will offer fresh picks such as raw kale salad; smokey bacon and peas; cucumber, pohole fern, tomato and ogo, or seaweed salad; or Asian pear and walnut salad.

Entree choices are award-winning Ko’ala lamb chops; kiawe-roasted prime rib; roasted pork loin; sauteed fresh island fish; and Chinese roast duck. For dessert, delight in  green-tea creme brulee, chocolate-dipped strawberries and tiramisu. Cost of $55 per person includes a glass of wine. Call KBH at 667-0124.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and celebrations will be presented throughout the upcoming months.

On Tuesday, savor the Starry Eyed Valentine’s Breakfast at The Terrace. The special buffet includes Valentine-themed pastries and a glass of champagne from 6:30 to 11 a.m. Cost is $41 per person plus tax and gratuity.

The Terrace’s Valentine’s Day dinner  will also be memorable with a seafood tower for two with lobster, oysters and shrimp; fire-roasted tomato soup; shared entrees of either bone-in-braised short ribs or Pacific salmon; chocolate dessert lounge with four action stations and a glass of champagne from 6 to 10 p.m. Cost is $88 per person plus tax and tip.

Valentine’s Day dinner at The Banyan  Tree will let you celebrate your kuuipo, Hawaiian for “sweetheart,” on this special night with a four-course menu, oyster bar and glass of champagne. Cost is $158 per person plus tax and tip. There will be two seatings at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Other Valentine’s Day food promotions include sushi plate for two at Kai Sushi hand-selected by the award-winning chef and two glasses of bubbly from 5 to 9 p.m. for $108 per couple plus tax and tip.

Burgers, Beer and Bliss at The Burger Shack features your choice of beer, True Love Ahi Burger and Pure Bliss milkshake from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $48 per couple plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call the Ritz at 665-7089.

Sea House at Napili Kai Beach Resort is running a special menu for the entire month of February in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Napili Kai Foundation.

“A percentage of all special menu sales goes to the foundation, whose function is to perpetuate the cultural legacy of Hawaii through children of Maui,” says Executive Chef Alex Stanislaw. “The foundation offers an educational forum that teaches all of the participating children about the heritage of Polynesia through dance, song, language, history and culture.”

While the menu is not Polynesian, it spans all three of the meal services at Sea House, situated just a rubber slipper toss from Napili Bay with spectacular views.

“The special breakfast and lunch offerings include blueberry-banana pancakes, Scottish smoked salmon Benedict and a great fresh watermelon and feta cheese salad,” the chef continues.

At dinner, savor sundried tomato-crusted fresh snapper on warm cannellini bean and arugula salad and balsamic-brown butter vinaigrette, and the “death by chocolate” of gluten-free flourless chocolate torte and pot de creme au chocolate with Hawaii Island vanilla whipped cream and locally grown raspberries.

“On Valentine’s Day, I might do a surf and turf of petit rib eye and wild shrimp with local tarragon bernaise and asparagus, and for dessert, a chocolate ravioli in lilikoi anglaise,” he says.

Call Sea House at 669-1500.

In Olowalu, Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop is currently whipping up Valentine’s Day favorites, such as the new chocolate Oreo cheese pie; along with its traditional pies of banana creme; Olowalu lime; apple crumb; coconut cream; pineapple mac-nut; and peanut butter. The chocolate haupia pie is a perfect gift for those with a sweet tooth. It’s advisable to place your orders ahead for pickup on Valentine’s Day. Call Leoda’s at  662-3600.

Montage Kapalua Bay resort’s signature Cane & Canoe restaurant will offer a multi-course dinner feast from 5 to 10 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.

Begin with an amuse bouche of caviar-stuffed deviled egg; followed by potato and celeriac bisque; beet panzanella salad; or seared scallops with shaved winter black truffles. Entree choices are prime New York strip; dungeness crab-stuffed mahimahi; ricotta and spinach gnocchi; or surf and turf of petit filet and Kona lobster. Dessert is fresh strawberry shortcake or profiteroles plus mignardises. Cost is $85 per person and $45 more with wines.

As of press time, Montage’s oceanfront Cliff House is still open for booking from Friday to Tuesday for a private dining affair. For reservations, call Montage Kapalua Bay at 662-6681.

Take your main squeeze “south of the border” to savor the Mexican cuisine of Nachos Grande Cantina in Honokowai Marketplace, which boasts the “hottest salsa in the world.”

Chef Miguel Reyes creates authentic Michoacan cuisine such as tacos filled with housemade chorizo or lengua and  specials such as seafood enchiladas. Purchase dinner for two and receive free coconut flan. Call 662-0890.

Lahaina Fish Co. is a landmark restaurant with two levels of open-air dining rooms that hang out over the water in historic Lahaina town. The food is moderately priced, the views are epic and parking is validated for three hours at the nearby Outlets of Maui shopping mall’s lot. Executive Chef Keith Salvador will woo you with Valentine’s Day lunch, happy hour and dinner entrees. In fact, with a coupon that runs in Maui Scene, you receive a Big Island mac-nut pie slice with purchase of two lunch or dinner entrees. Call Lahaina Fish Co. at 661-3472.

Romance beckons at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali, next to famous  Puu Keka’a, or Black Rock, where nightly cliff diving takes place.

The resort’s open-air Black Rock Kitchen is offering the Bee Mine prix-fixe dinner menu with every course featuring honey by Fresh Island Herbs on the Upcountry slopes in Makwawo.

Start off your meal with Burning Love ahi tartare topped with roasted garlic and charred habanero aioli; followed by Molokai sweet potato chips and citrus honey gaufrette. Next, diners will enjoy the Labor of Lamb chops with passion honey glaze, coconut sweet potato puree and herb macadamia crust. Finish on a sweet note with That’s Amore torte of white chocolate and limoncello.

The cost of $75 per person includes one glass of Nielson by Byron pinot noir and music by Deason Babayan. For reservations, please call (808) 662-8053.

Tucked off of Dickenson Street away from the hustle and bustle of Front Street, Lahaina Coolers is an intimate hideaway  with locals and also tourists lucky enough to find it. Just look for the blue-striped marlin, a massive trophy strung from the ceiling that is perfect for photo ops.

Open at 8 a.m., Lahaina Coolers serves food until midnight and stays open until 2 a.m. for cocktails. Valentine’s Day dinner entrees that will appeal are sizzling shrimp with garlic; Evil Jungle pasta with chicken, bell peppers and peanut sauce over linguine; and bone-in pork chop laced with Chinese five-spice marinade. For further details, call 661-7082.

Maui Prime Fine Foods store in Emerald Plaza in Lahaina is the one-stop shop in West Maui for fresh oysters, seafood, prime meats, cheeses and wines. Its Valentine’s special of filet mignon and lobster tail is $28.95 and available now.

Or wow your sweetheart with the steamer pot for two in which you get to keep the pot filled with one lobster or two lobster tails, one pound of clams, six pieces of crab claws and six shrimp, aromatic broth and baguette. Call Maui Prime ahead to ensure the pot is available at 661-4912.

One may not initially think to take your sweetheart out to dine at a pizza parlor on Valentine’s Day, but Pi Artisan Pizzeria in  Outlets of Maui mall in Lahaina will offer  live music and dancing from 6 to 9 p.m. with tunes by DJ Zinn; sweeping ocean views, wood-fired pies and a liquor license with wine, beer and cocktails.

The sweetheart special for two includes choices of starter, salad, pizza, pasta and a special dessert for $45 (dine-in only). Call 667-0791.

Last but certainly not least, MauiGrown Coffee Co. Store in Lahaina will once again feature its dark-roasted French Kiss Maui-grown coffee. Store hours are 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday. You may ship and order online as well.

Call 661-2728 or visit