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May 8, 2008
By CARLA TRACY, Dining Editor
SHOCKING, BUT TRUE . . . Sunday marked my 27th anniversary here at the paper. Scary business. I told beloved former Maui News lifer and retiree Rose Alcomindras about it the other day, when I ran into her at Tiffany’s, the island’s most extensive pupu house.

“We both must have been 12 when we started working there,” teased Rose. Well, maybe we were a little older. But I must say, the restaurant scene continues to get juicier and juicier with each passing year.

Take for instance, the new Vasi’s Pan: A Mediterranean Bistro in Haiku. The walls are soothing sage and sport the art of Piero Resta. At the soft opening, Piero invited a toga- wearing model and positioned her atop the appetizer table amidst fig leaves, brie, crackers and grapes scattered about. There were belly dancers, too.

As for the food, Vasi nails it in a big way with tapas such as zucchini carpaccio, grilled white anchovies in garlic olive oil, wild mushroom tart and Pan’s Greek platter with all sorts of authentic tastes. Entrees such as free-range lamb shank in Madeira reduction are flavorful.

Executive chef is Brian Carter. Manager is Sandi Foote. Rod Stewart croons over the sound system. Sit indoors or out. Price points are great and you may BYOB.

Seabury Hall in Makawao will host its annual Craft Fair this Saturday, and it’s a food lovers dream. Restaurant Row will feature the tasty offerings of Roy’s, Kimo’s, Hula Grill, Sansei, Tropica and Duo.

“We will also have Indian, Greek and local favorites such as chow fun, roast beef sandwiches and hot dogs.” says Gayle Hart, Seabury Hall’s parent coordinator. “And we’ll have the delicious treats of La Patisserie, including fresh waffles with strawberries.”

Then mosey on down Olinda Road for Makawao Town in Bloom, featuring a huge sidewalk sale throughout town with specials everywhere. Komoda’s Bakery opens at 7 a.m., tents will be set up with great food at all the restaurants. StopWatch Sports Bar will do specials of paniolo burger and Makawao chicken Marsala. Makawao Sushi will do a sushi sidewalk bento. Cafe Del Sol will offer French paniolo dip with Sol slaw. During happy hour from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Casanova will offer generous tastes of free stuzzichini, or mouth “teasers.”

“Beautiful scenery, great bargains and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday,” says promoter Judy Mertens.

Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses in Lahaina and Wailea will once again fire up their prime rib special for $39.95 every Sunday, starting on Mother’s Day.

At the Plantation House in Kapalua, go with the flow at the Masi winemaker dinner at 6 p.m. May 20. “Masi is a prominent producer of Amarone wine, from the northeast area of Italy,” says Executive Chef-Partner Alex Stanislaw. “It is a style of red wine where the grapes are picked, then dried on straw mats to evaporate the water and concentrate flavor in the juice that is left.”

The menu sounds delightful, ranging from clams crudo and bruschetta to Wagyu flat-iron steak and cheese polenta with amarone jus.

Mala Wailea will cater the food Monday at the MACC for Boz Scaggs’ show and it will be anything but “dirty low down.” The tastes include grilled organic chicken breast with mango salsa; and mahimahi mojo verde with Yukon Gold potato puree and side salad.

Burt and Barbara Hechtman of Diamond Bar, Calif., made my anniversary day, when they recognized me while I was out on a photo shoot (from the picture, above.) “We are your L.A. fan club!” gushed Barbara, a repeat visitor here. “We read your column religiously and go to the restaurants you recommend.” I got teary-eyed. Then my sister joked that they were “planted” by the hotel. But I shrugged it off — as I really do have the best job, ever!

Carla Tracy is the dining editor of the Maui Scene. You may call 242-6342 or email

Article Photos

Vasi Zaferis recently opened Pan: A Mediterranean Bistro in Haiku Town Center. It’s open for lunch and dinner and for Mother’s Day brunch.

The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo



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