Side Orders • Feb. 13, 2014

APHRODISIAC NEWS . . . According to experts, the top 10 foods with the hottest aphrodisiacal qualities are honey, oysters, garlic, chocolate, basil, bananas, avocados, figs, almonds and asparagus.

Why am I writing about this, you ask? Because Friday is the height of romance, sweethearts!

Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur is the latest product in Godiva’s portfolio, on Maui shelves in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect marriage of sensual flavors from around the world. I say, skip boxes of chocolates and sip chocolate martinis! Naked Turtle Rum also just landed on our shores for libido-making fun.

Speaking of liquor, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa will once again partner with Maui Brewing Co., Southern Wine and Spirits, Kula’s own Ocean Vodka and Cigar Bar Hawaii for the second annual Maui Craft Session on July 12. This event will be smokin’ – literally – with only a limited number of tickets. Call (808) 921-4600.

In addition, Maui Brewing Co. in Kahana will celebrate singles on Valentine’s Day from 9:30 p.m. to midnight with speed dating. There will be food and drink specials and 21 beers on tap.

Speaking of beer (isn’t it an aphrodisiac, too?), Maui Brewing Co. will team with Stone Brewing Co for a tap takeover at Monkeypod Kitchen from 11:30 a.m. to close today. That means 12 taps of 36 total will flow with Stone beer, and CEO and founder Greg Koch will be on hand to chat you up.


RED-HOT MENUS . . . While I wrote a Valentine’s Day dining roundup in last week’s Maui Scene, menus keep pouring in with what’s hot.

At Mala Wailea and the new MiGrant adjoining it in the lobby level of Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Chef Sheldon Simeon will woo you with his modern take on the humble and soulful flavors made so familiar by Hawaiian plantation days of the past.

Savor hot and crunchy shrimp lumpia with yuzu aioli and smoked paprika; Napili Flo Farms escargot with roasted bone marrow and smoked Hawaiian sweet bread; and oysters on the half shell with calamansi lime, yamasa and Hawaiian chili-pepper water. Chef-partner Mark Ellman’s famous caramel Miranda will take it over the top. So will the local seasonal fruit-filled pastry.

We hear chef Nick Porreca (formerly of Ferraro’s at Four Seasons) will be guest culinarian at Fabiani’s Wailea just for lovebirds Friday night. Reservations are being taken. Call 874-1234.

Mama’s Fish House still has some spots open for lunch on Valentine’s Day, and you may indulge in Kauai clams with kalo (taro) leaf pasta. Chef Perry Bateman serves this dish Fridays and Saturdays only. “Mama’s is the only Maui restaurant that has these awesome, sweet clams from Kauai. They are the best I ever had,” he says.

Vineyard Food Co. in Wailuku will give lots of love on Valentine’s Day and on Saturday with amorous dinners that will benefit Maui Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge. It’s got many of the aphrodisiac foods down pat with oysters in champagne mignonette; creamy goat cheese bruschetta with walnuts, figs and honey; and more.

Celebrate love at Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas’ Pulehu: An Italian Restaurant with Dichiarazione D’Amore, a four-course repast. Top it off with an oceanfront cabana massage for two. Call 667-3259.

On Friday for Valentine’s Day, the eighth annual Whale Tales event in Lahaina with world-renowned National Geo photographer Flip Nicklin will kick off with a reception at Sugar Cane Maui restaurant (see Island Events). Presented from 4 to 5:30 p.m., the reception includes light pupu and cash bar. Cost of $20 lets you come and savor chef-owner Philippe Chin’s handcrafted island-inspired tapas at his new Front Street gastro pub.

Pupu will include kiawe-smoked kalua pork bites with Maui Gold pineapple salsa; ahi nachos with with won ton chips, Asian remoulade and wasabi cream; Upcountry baby tomatoes with herb goat cheese and EVOO; truffle-scented pot stickers and crab beignets.

Do you love your lover a latte, but are short on money? Cafe Cafe on Lahainaluna Road in Lahaina will warm you up with free coffee and espresso tastings and sweet treats from 2 to 7 p.m. today through Saturday in celebration of its second anniversary. Go ahead, espresso yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!