Side Orders • April 5, 2018

Jennifer Connaughty of 5 Palms serves a Bloody Mary — with $1 from each drink going to charity in April. 5 Palms photo

BREAK THE FAST . . . The first meal of the morning is always the most important. From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, 5 Palms restaurant at the Mana Kai Resort in Kihei will let you wake up to classic favorites, Bloody Marys and ocean views from its perch on Keawakapu Beach.

“Every morning our new sous chef Brian Tadenay serves up baked pancakes and daily specialty omelets such as crab avocado and Maui Gold pineapple,” says 5 Palms General Manager Moki Chong Kee. “Our brunch includes daily fresh catch wraps with locally caught mahimahi.”

Through April, 5 Palms is giving back $1 from every Bloody Mary sold to Kamalii School fifth grade science projects as noble charitable gifts.

“Try one of our four specialty Bloody Marys, which are prepared with top shelf liquors including Absolute Peppar vodka, Pearl vodka, Patron tequila and Tanqueray gin,” Chong Kee continues.

“Happy hours are now extended in the bar and lounge,” says Kennan Randolph, 5 Palms director of operations. “From 3 to 9 p.m., enjoy discounted drinks, fresh sushi and pupu. Late night happy hour runs from 9 to 10 p.m. and includes half-price sushi and drinks. Call 879-2607.”

5 Palms cuisine delights. CARLA TRACY photo

In West Maui, regulars are pleased that after a 10-year retirement, former Longhi’s Lahaina longtime General Manager John McCrea is back in the saddle. He ruled the roost for 27 years as its GM and was coaxed back to the famous Front Street restaurant with feng shui archways and black-and-white marble floors.

“We’re returning to our original Italian roots with the award-winning menu that put us on the map,” says owner Peter Longhi. “With dishes like ahi Torino, shrimp Longhi and pasta Lombardi. If it’s not on the menu, ask, and we will try our best to accommodate all of your requests.”

In addition, Longhi’s Lahaina has brought back evening jazz — upstairs on Fridays and downstairs Sundays.

Speaking of music, Pioneer Inn Grill & Bar in Lahaina is also up and running with live Hawaiian entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and country/rock Thursdays according to Patti Link and the hotel team.

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BITS AND PIECES . . . Last weekend, when I attended the annual Celebration of the Arts Hawaiian cultural festival at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, I saw that a whole lot of new and exciting things in the culinary department were shaking in that neck of the Maui woods.

While I’ll get into more detail in next week’s Maui Scene, here is a quick synopsis of what is happening now.

The Ritz has debuted the new Ai’ono tacos and tequila concept daytime in The Banyan Tree lounge and patio area. Kai Cafe is jumping in the lobby area with espressos and smoothies and such. Do try the Gibraltar coffee beverage and check out the fun foam designs. Newly named Director of Food & Beverage Daniel Schmidt also says that the Ritz is now rebranding The Terrace in name and look and that longtime employee and Maui boy Kenneth Sniffen has stepped up to be executive chef of the posh property in recent weeks.

Over at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar on Office Road near the Ritz in Kapalua, the lines were snaking down the sidewalk to get in on two evenings. If you have a reservation, do get in the line hugging the building. Walk-ins are the ones on the sidewalk.

While dining there, I heard that Sansei’s sister restaurant, the Shearwater Tavern in Kihei, will host a tasty showdown between suds and grapes on April 18. More on that next week as well.

Getting back to Kapalua, next to Sansei is the Pour House that replaced Wine Palette last November. The general manager is none other than baker Zane Monteleone, who showcases his gluten-free pastries up front famous from his former Maui Sugar Shop in Lahaina days. Pour House has farm-to-glass cocktails, wines, shared plate tapas and a mozzarella bar.

Montage Kapalua Bay continues with its Champagne Hale at Cliff House “pop up” today through Sunday. Sip Veuve Clicquot and slurp oysters with a view.

* Got restaurant/dining-event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email carlatracy@mauinews.com.

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