Side Orders • February 14, 2019

Savor a three-course Valentine’s Day meal at ROCKsalt with fresh catch, coriander tomato broth, hearts of palm and micro greens. Photo courtesy Sheraton Maui

AMOROUS APPETITES . . . There is good news and bad news when it comes to sexy island meals. The good news is that TripAdvisor has announced the Most Romantic Restaurants in the U.S., and Hawaii has not one, but three winners.

“No other state had three restaurants recognized, making Hawaii the ultimate romantic paradise,” says TripAdvisor’s publicist Casey Brogan.

Mama’s Fish House ranked the highest from Hawaii on the national list. The bad news is, it’s booked for Valentine’s Day today. Yet congrats to Floyd and Doris Christiansen of Mama’s for creating such a sensual and appealing dining environment. Other Hawaii winners are Hy’s Steak House in Honolulu and Tidepools on Kauai.

More good news is last-minute Valentine’s Day dining suggestions include romancing your ku’uipo tonight while watching a stellar West Maui sunset at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s ROCKsalt. The three-course specialty menu will be offered for $69 plus tax and gratuity. Wine lovers get 20 percent off bottles.

Entree options include Makaweli lamb shank with kale, farro and Hamakua mushrooms; pan-seared filet mignon, honshimeji mushroom sauce and broccolini; or catch of the day with coriander tomato broth, hearts of palm, pohole fern shoots and more. Executive Chef Lyndon Honda will also feature his a la carte menu.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today is the last chance for the popup, the Back Door Bake Shop, at University of Hawaii Maui College in Kahului. It’s open to the public. Just go to the Pa’ina Building (front door open during lunch) and buy heart-shaped berry tarts, double-fudge brownies, scones, chocolate love letters and bonbons, handcrafted by Teresa Shurilla and her pasty team.

Wolgang Puck’s Spago at Four Seasons Resort Maui is offering a la carte options tonight ranging from Japanese Wagyu ribeyes to Kula pumpkin risotto. On Monday, Spago will celebrate the Year of the Boar with a night market and Chinese foods such as roasted duckling Peking-style, ahi tuna spring rolls, Hawaiian-style bao buns, grilled “Angry Lobster” and char siu pork.

“Guests will be able to enjoy festive decor, live action cooking stations and more,” says General Manager Derrin Abac. “Our Executive Chef Peleg Miron will be serving up delicious dishes and mingling with guests.”

Nalu’s South Shore Grill will present a Valentine’s Day dinner show starting at 6:30 p.m. today with five-time Grammy nominee Amy Hanaiali’i tantalizing the audience with songs from Etta James to Billie Holiday. Dinner entices with naughty Menage a Trois salad and flaming strawberries Panzini with fresh Kula fruit.

Kihei Wailea Rotary Club will kick up its heels for its annual fundraising dinner at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

“The Kaina Kountry band will be featured, Kathy Collins will be the emcee, and tickets are $85 per person. Come and join us and rock out,” says Margie Flores. “We’ll have a great silent auction, too. . . And performing a dinner show at Mulligans tonight is Willie K.

The Hideaway has just been revealed as Maui’s newest contemporary lounge venture at Montage Kapalua Bay. Come check out the modern look of former Cane & Canoe Bar. Montage is also jumping with Rose By The Bay at Cliff House Friday through Sunday.

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

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