The Pint & Cork

Mix it up in The Shops at Wailea gastropub with new craft cocktails, kamaaina nights and innovative menu

Executive Chef Maka Kwan showcases new squid luau. CARLA TRACY photo

With a name like “The Pint & Cork,” the establishment puts it right out there that it’s the place to imbibe in a premium spirit or swirl a fine glass of wine. Beer? It’s not in the name, but craft selections rotate on tap and bottles abound.

Situated in The Shops at Wailea, The Pint & Cork is dark and cool with banks of TVs for optimum sports watching, and there is plenty of parking in the mall lot. Just bring your ticket to be validated.

Also making it the place to go for food and merriment in South Maui are its inspiring gastropub menu by Executive Chef Maka Kwan and affordable Kamaaina Nights during which those with a valid Hawaii ID may enjoy 20 percent off food from 5 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“Our Kamaaina Nights discount promo is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the island community,” says Scott Pacer, managing partner. “Kamaaina deserve to have a great time at The Pint & Cork, and we’ll show them our appreciation for their continued support with an extension of the discount through the end of the year.”

So it’s no wonder locals like to flock there to watch games on 17 flat-screen TVs while enjoying popular menu mainstays such as deviled eggs Rockefeller (try it, you’ll like it with smoked bacon, spinach, parmesan and sauce Bearnaise).

Strawberry beet salad

Or dig into kalua-pork sliders with jicama slaw; the best shrimp and grits made with creamy cheese polenta, blackened shrimp and housemade Italian sausage; pork adobo moco with jasmine rice and fried egg; and adult mac ‘n’ cheese.

“Soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches and gluten-free options are also available,” adds Pacer.

You may also sink your teeth into a beefy and succulent ribeye steak prepared with whiskey-grain-mustard marinade and served with butter-whipped potatoes and sauteed broccoli. Or indulge in the tasty chicken Marsala with Hamakua mushrooms, or the healthful vegetarian ragout.

“Besides the usual favorites, I’m rolling out new menu items in April,” says Chef Kwan. “The new squid luau pays homage to my childhood. We used to make it in a big pakini, or metal drum. We’d husk coconuts, make milk, pick fresh kalo (taro) leaves and cook with squid, onions and garlic. Even here, I use only fresh luau leaves I must cook for at least 45 minutes, and then I grill fresh octopus and serve it with lomilomi tomato, ogo and chile-pepper water. I also like to cold-smoke fresh hamachi for a fun salad. The locals get tired of the same old thing, and it’s good to mix it up for the kitchen staff to keep them on their toes.”

As for the new drink menu, it can best be described by assistant bar manager Ryan Kobel Cicerone.

Chicken wings with lemongrass

“The new signature cocktail menu took inspiration from travel, trends and ability to be good culinary accompaniments.”

Bar manager and partner Chris Lowney agrees.

“We specialize in properly made craft cocktails using fresh ingredients, homemade syrups with a great selection of spirits,” says Lowney.

“We feature a wide range of classic cocktails and signature Pint & Cork creations aimed to satisfy any and all cocktail styles. The rotating independent craft beers on tap, along with our eclectic wine list promises to have something new, whether it is your first time or your 50th time here. And our large collection of rare and hard to find whiskeys and spirits cover all tastes.”

Managing Partner Pacer has said it once before: “We have enough fine whiskeys to choke a horse.”

The Bib Burger is a mouthful piled high with bacon, white cheddar, fried egg, charred onion, pickle, arugula and whiskey 1000 sauce on brioche bun. Sip a cold craft beer and grind. Pint & Cork food photos

Plus, lovers of gin, vodka, rums and other spirits will find coveted and hard-to-find selections as well.

“We take the time to pair our food with all of our beer, wine and cocktail selections to give the best dining experience possible,” says Lowney.

Sip, say, Basil Hayden’s dark rye aged in port barrels and munch warm mushroom salad tossed with baby shiitake, King Alii and Hamakua mushrooms of Hawaii, garlic, lemon, baby greens and truffle oil and take it over the top with chicken, shrimp or ahi as add ons.

Imbibe in Woodford Reserve “neat” and pair it with garlic parmesan fries and spicy beef salad.

For something refreshing, order the fresh strawberry-beet salad with walnut brittle and goat-cheese vinaigrette. Or opt for the crowd-pleasing fried chicken wings with lemongrass vinaigrette and Hawaiian chili pepper.

“We just wanted a place where you can get great food and drinks, in a comfortable and cool setting,” concludes Pacer. “I think that we have succeeded.”

The Pint & Cork fast facts:

• Hours: Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The kitchen is open until midnight.

• Where: Situated in The Shops at Wailea at the top. Patrons who dine may bring parking coupon to be validated.

• Kamaaina Nights: From 5 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, those with valid Hawaii ID get 20 percent off food. Promo runs until the end of the year.

• The players: Managing partner is Scott Pacer, bar manager and partner is Chris Lowney and the executive chef is Maka Kwan.

• Menu highlights: Check out the new squid luau topped with grilled octopus and lomilomi tomato; da poke bowl; cold-smoked hamachi; charcuterie platter; fresh island catch and vegetarian ragout in jalapeno butter.

• For more details: Call The Pint & Cork at 727-2038 or visit www.thepintandcork.com.

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