Grand ideas

Botero Lounge boasts new menu; ‘Humuhumu’ adds music, expands bar hours

Longtime Botero Lounge mixologist Mich Domingo (left) and Grand Wailea Executive Sous Chef Jorge Gonzalez hang out at a high-top table with new menu items near one of several famous sculptures by Ferdinand Botero, after whom the bar is named. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort was just named Best Resort on Maui once again in this newspaper’s annual Best of Maui readers poll.

Its famous Humuhumunukunukuapua’a repeated making a big splash as Best Resort Restaurant and Spa Grande still floated to the top as Best Spa.

It’s grander than ever, swellegant, in fact, after a recent refresh to Humuhumu, guest rooms and more — and yet Grand Wailea’s team keeps aspiring to take it to new heights with a new bar menu at Botero Lounge as well as extended hours and live music at the renovated Humuhumu lounge.

New Managing Director Allan Federer is laying out a plan to upgrade the action pools and water park, which will be shutting down for a refresh from Sept. 23 to Oct. 20 with a new lava tube and enhancements to its seven water slides, waterfalls, whirlpools, white-water rapids, grottos, caves and volcano elevator.

Federer recently arrived from the role of general manager in Bermuda at the Princess Hamilton Hotel and he’s got lots of grand ideas.

As an example, Botero Lounge’s new bar menu that just rolled out is already wowing patrons who come to hang out with friends, sip a craft cocktail or house Gose beer, and munch pupu.

Grand Wailea Executive Chef Ryan Urig and his Executive Sous Chef Jorge Gonzalez worked on the new menu that includes a fresh, south-of-the-border-style Kona-crab cocktail.

“It’s a play on a Mexican dish called shrimp campeche,” says Gonzalez, who joined Grand Wailea from Fearing’s at the Ritz in Dallas. The owner Dean Fearing is hailed as the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” so delight in the fact Gonzalez grasps the concept and can implement it to perfection, too.

“We use Kona crab instead of shrimp and fold in roasted hearts of palm, Maui onion and tomato and we serve it atop crushed avocado and cocktail sauce with crispy ulu chips,” he says.

Gonzalez’s avocado toast also is a fun addition. Crushed avocado is tossed with herbs, lemon and olive oil and topped with colorful heirloom tomatoes as well as watermelon radish.

Botero bartender Mich Domingo says he knows what’s flying out the door on the new bar menu.

“We used to do a cheese plate and a charcuterie plate and now they’re pieced together with three artisan cheeses and three meats with housemade olives, fig puree and rooftop honey,” says Domingo about the change up.

“Our braised short ribs now come on bao buns like duck, only hoisin-glazed beef with fresh scallions; and our sliders are now tempura-battered mahimahi on coconut-brioche buns.”

Manila clams are aromatic in cilantro and tamarind broth with grilled sourdough for dipping. And fried chicken is paired with kiawe-smoked waffles with Maui honey from Mike McCoy’s Upcountry farm in Kula.

The Botero Lounge continues to dish up live entertainment nightly with new hours from 6 to 9 p.m. The newly revised cocktail menu now includes the Savory Elderflower Margarita, Rosemary Peach Press with vodka and Whiskey Douro served with Woodford Reserve Bourbon over an ice ball.

Starting last Friday, Humuhumu lounge extended its hours of operation to 11 p.m. nightly. The full dinner menu now runs to 10 p.m. there.

“We have added a few new nostalgic items to the Humuhumu dinner menu this week including Kona lobster and filet mignon,” says Public Relations Director Yvonne Biegel.

“It now features live music from 8 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays with performers Gabe Goebbert, Mitch Kepa, Joe Chee, Merv Oana and others rotating different evenings with Hawaiian contemporary tunes. As always, kamaaina get 20 percent off food and beverage in all Grand Wailea outlets.”

For more details, call 875-1234.