CAPISCHE? NO MORE . . . While its orignal chef and owner, Brian Etheredge, has closed Capische? and left Hotel Wailea, he’s still a consultant.
“We officially took the restaurant over last month,” says Christy Stesky, director of marketing for the hotel. “For now, everything is staying the same, except that the name is now Restaurant at Hotel Wailea.”
Stesky goes on to say that the hotel is now a Relais & Chateau property. It’s adults-only except for the newly named restaurant. It’s just been rated “one of the Top 16 most romantic places to stay in the world” and it underwent a $30 million renovation.
“The brand has some of the finest restaurants around the world such as the French Laundry and the Meadowood Napa Valley. Etheredge will be going into other entrepreneurial adventures.”
New chef de cuisine is Zach Sato, who comes to Hotel Wailea from Merriman’s Kapalua. Ja Sean Hall is assistant restaurant GM/sommelier and comes from Morimoto Maui, and Norm Schuhardt is still restaurant GM.
“Because the resort is adults-only, it’s a big differentiator in the Hawaii market. It’s private and chic,” says Stesky. “The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. daily for happy hour and 5:30 for dinner.”
Stay tuned on what will transpire in the rotunda lobby with craft cocktails and pupu.
Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is undergoing some major changes, too. Now being renovated are 190 rooms. The Nalu Adventure Pool with the longest water slides in Hawaii is being built, and the former MiGrant and Mala will be transformed into a Roy Yamaguchi restaurant with Humble Kitchen as working title.
New resort General Manager Thomas Foti is a true foodie from New York and he invited me to lunch with him at the new Kapa Bar & Grill poolside. Kula Farms kale salad with mint, serrano chili and lemon-parmesan dressing was flavorful, the ahi poke by Sous Chef Jason Carpio was fresh with crunchies, and the mango-sweet-chili chicken wings were saucy and good.
Kapa is open for lunch and dinner and feeds hotel guests breakfast temporarily until Yamaguchi gets up and running hopefully before the holidays.
“We got Executive Chef John Leslie from the hip Miami Beach Edition and many Kapa recipes come from the Jean Georges-Vongerichten restaurant there,” says Foti. “John brought in new Executive Sous Chef Jon Wheeler from Desert Springs, California.”
Owner Mark Nigbur of Hali’imaile Distillery recently returned from Tokyo, where he showed off his Maui-made PAU Maui Vodkas in flavors of Paniolo coffee, Maui Oaked and Cognac Infused to the trendy Cafe show. “Kanpai!” or “cheers!” said the sipping crowds.
The owners of Tiki Tiki Thai on Dairy Road in Kahului have expanded to open another restaurant with the same name at Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina.
Owner Panompon “Pon” Jares previously managed Pad Thai at the Wharf, but wanted to strike out on her own with daughter Parichart Chahong.
Pad Thai is currently being renovated and will become a new restaurant serving Japanese and local foods. Tiki Tiki Thai in West Maui is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and you get two free hours of validated parking if you dine there or order takeout.
School may be out for summer, but the pastry classes at University of Hawaii Maui College in Kahului are baking a storm of aromatic treats.
“Visit the Back Door Bake Shop (enter through the back door of the Pa’ina Building) every Thursday in July from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. and purchase the fruits of the students’ labor,” says program coordinator Teresa Shurilla. “Today we will have croissants, Danish and brioche; July 14, cream puffs, Napoleons and eclairs, and so on.”