Ooh La La! Cabaret Night

Cafe del Vino presents new dinner show on Mondays and you may sip, savor, laugh a lot

Cabaret Night performers include Dale Button and Jayce Leong; The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Cabaret Night performers include Dale Button and Jayce Leong; The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Life is a cabaret, old chum(s)” — at least on Mondays at Cafe del Vino, which until now has been a bit of a sleeper at Maalaea Harbor Shops.

Now the man behind the restaurant, Guido Hauwaerts, a legendary veteran of Maui’s restaurant world, is running with the new Cabaret Night, and it’s a hoot.

You can’t get any more intimate on Maui than with a 40-seat, Euro-style restaurant featuring performers who strut, sing and dance on a tiny, roll-in stage and among the tables, delighting the diners.

“This whole thing was Guido’s idea,” says Jim Oxborrow, Cabaret Night producer, weight-lifting champion and actor from the recent play “Medea” to the upcoming film, “Kuleana.” “It’s just an amazing night on the town and a tasty dinner, too.”

Guido, as many know and love him, has graced the dining rooms of everywhere from the former top Maui restaurants the Lobster Cove to Chez Paul. Oxborrow was his old bartender at Lobster Cove for eight years and the two reconnected.

Karen Stavash and castanet player Aimee Adams; The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Karen Stavash and castanet player Aimee Adams; The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

“We have three regulars and others spin in,” says Oxborrow. “Dale Button has a great voice that doesn’t need a mic. Jayce Leong does drag and sings everything well. No lip syncing at all. The costumes are just amazing, too.”

Seatings are at 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. Mondays only and the show starts at 7 p.m. Button also emcees and dashingly sings “The Lady is a Tramp” and more and Leong wows with burlesque moves and a fabulous stage voice.

Karen Stavash does sexy Kit Kat Club numbers. Jennifer Rose also is adorable. Aimee Adams dances and plays castanets. Kathy Collins rolls in once in awhile to do Eartha Kitt. Steven Dascoulias sings ol’ blue eyes. Dawn Harper does the sound. A good time will certainly be had by all. Yet nothing is too risque and so you may bring the whole family.

Cost of $70 includes show as well as a four-course gourmet meal.

Adults begin with prima course of a choice of a sangria, coup de champagne, royale, mimosa, bellini, happy hour wine or well drink.

Entree choices are fresh fish or surf ‘n turf (fourth photo). The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Entree choices are fresh fish or surf ‘n turf (fourth photo). The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

The secundo, or second course, is your choice of French onion soup or crisp Caesar salad expertly prepared by French Canadian chef Danny Paquette, who cooked at Lobster Cove back in the day.

“When Guido told me he wanted to run a restaurant with lobster and pasta, I was in,” says Paquette, a classically trained flamenco guitar player, about Cafe del Vino’s regular dinner menu.

Paquette does excel at Kona Maine lobster four ways, including Fra Diavolo in a spicy white wine and tomato sauce. All include ciabatta bread and creamery butter. But you will have to come back for that.

For the third, or terzo, entree course on Cabaret Night, Paquette wows with your choice of surf ‘n turf of New York steak cut to your preference with jumbo shrimp Provencal and veggies; or fresh island fish piccata in champagne beurre blanc sauce with capers and veggies.

Dessert is quattro with your choice of Coupe Maison, tiramisu, spumoni, creme brulee or tarte tatin. Sip, savor and laugh a lot. With celebrity pictures hanging on the walls ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Clint Eastwood, you can feel that you are in a show biz kind of place.

The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Other seafood highlights include cioppino with saffron and tomato broth; Alaskan king crab legs; shrimp scampi in garlic butter over pasta; and steamed clams and live black mussels, both in cassolette.

As for pastas, the “Alfredo is very popular and even people from Europe say they like the way I make it,” says Paquette. “I also make pasta Pomodoro, Primavera and two kinds of lasagne.

“Everybody has a good time,” Oxborrow says. “They don’t want to leave. Even the server was awestruck and Guido had to tell him to get back to work!”

Cabaret Night is good fun. But Cafe del Vino is worth a visit any night — from Euro meals to sunset specials.

• Where: Upper level of Maalaea Harbor Shops.

• Hours: Open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays.

• Cabaret Night: Seatings are at 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. Monday show. Cost of $70 includes performance and four-course feast plus tax and tip.

• Happy hour: Come and sip wine, beers and cocktails at a discount from 5 to 6 p.m.

• Sunset special: Savor a three-course dinner special from 5 to 7 p.m. nightly. With soup or salad, lobster entree and dessert, it costs $34 per person.

• For more details: Call Cafe del Vino at 868-0732.

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