Wailea Kitchen & Tap

Sous Chef David Koenig (left) and Chef/Operations Manager Judah Secunda go back decades of working together both on Maui and in the kitchens of oil rigs around the world. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Sous Chef David Koenig (left) and Chef/Operations Manager Judah Secunda go back decades of working together both on Maui and in the kitchens of oil rigs around the world. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Even back when it was called Joe’s, its hideaway location was always one of the main attractions.

Now that Wailea Kitchen & Tap has taken over in the spot tucked above resort hotels, condos and The Shops at Wailea, it still is a “secret spot.”

But Wailea Kitchen & Tap is beginning to jump with its “a view to dine for” motto, a fun bar scene and fiery wings, housemade hummus, classic red Texas chili with no beans, wedge salads with blue cheese, and the best fried pickles, ever.

“It’s a little bit hidden,” says restaurant Chef/Operations Manager Judah Secunda. “But it’s got awesome views of the tennis courts and we’re owned by Wailea Golf so we get tennis players and golf members in here on the weekends. The price of your first drink is equal to your golf score, so if you shoot 87 it costs 87 cents.”

The well drinks are more like call drinks when it comes to brands.

“For instance, for $5 during happy hour, you’ll get a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic,” says Secunda, who adds that his cuisine is “kind of American with a blend of eclectic urban street food.” Secunda has worked everywhere from Four Seasons Resort Maui to Grand Wailea to Mulligans on the Blue to Matteo’s. He and sous chef David Koenig go back 25 years. They’ve both cooked on oil rigs in the Persian Gulf offshore of Qatar and learned how to make fried pickles and other favorites from the workers.

“Neither of us is messy, so we work well together,” says Koenig. “We do great steak frites and burgers, fish and chips and fish or chicken tacos.”

South Maui’s hugely popular biannual dinner promo, “Restaurant Week Wailea” is still jumping at 21 participating restaurants through Saturday night.

Each restaurant serves a multi-course meal at discounted prices and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Maui Food Bank. Since its inception, Restaurant Week Wailea has raised more than $80,000 and it’s good to support the cause.

This time around, the only restaurants dishing up $29 feasts are Manoli’s Pizza Co. and the new Wailea Kitchen & Tap that opened last December.

Secunda is offering a choice of shrimp cocktail or Caesar salad; with entree options of chicken panzanella or braised chuck roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and roasted vegetables; and brownie a la mode as icing on the cake for dessert.

Wailea Kitchen & Tap is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. for lunch and dinner. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. with live music on Fridays by Peter Hamit and Pete Sebastian, aka “Pete & Pete.”

The chefs run daily specials such as prime rib; fish and shrimp with coconut milk and curried squash; and more.

For more details, 878-3663.

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