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May 15, 2008
By CARLA TRACY, Dining Editor
WILD NIGHTS CALLING . . . Last week, I mentioned that Maui’s dining scene keeps getting juicier and juicier. But never did I think it would get this juicy. At least, for singles, anyway! Leave it to WoW-Wee Maui’s Kava Bar & Grill in Kahului to do Speed Dating Tuesdays from 8 to 10 p.m.; followed by DJ Boom from 9 p.m. to midnight for “your dancing pleasures.”

“The basic concept of these mini dates of three to five minutes is musical chairs with chemistry,” says WowWee owner Mike Capuano. “It provides a glimpse of personality, toothy smiles, visual screening and a chance to ask a few questions of each date.”

Available before, during and after the Speed Dating runs are “aphrodisiac pupu” of oyster shooters, shoyu poke, baked oysters, fried calamari with dipping sauce, chocolate-dipped strawberries, gelato with brownies and a six-pack of WowWee chocolate bars ($5.95 each).

Margaritas, chocolate and raspberry martinis, ginseng champagne and kava cost $3 each. Maui Elite Gymnastics even provides child care. There is a nominal fee $5 for speed daters or you may hang outside and look in the windows, for free, says Mike.

Chez Paul French Restaurant in Olowalu is taking on a bold and well, tastefully nude look with the photos of Pierre

Chasle. Come to meet the artist Monday and enjoy a three- course dinner for $35 per person, plus wines. It includes wild mushrooms in puff pastry in port wine sauce, fresh island fish, and warm apple tarte with vanilla ice cream, by owner Patrick Callarec.

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AROUND THE TOWN . . . Hot on the heels of all the celebrity action and food events at Maui Film Festival at Wailea (running June 11-15) will be the grand opening of Mala Wailea June 19.

Join hosts Alice Cooper and Shep Gordon for an evening of fab food, wine and entertainment. Partner Mark Ellman, Shep’s wife, Renee Loux, and Executive Chef Corey Waite will prepare a gourmet multicourse feast. Wine pairings will be poured tableside by Mick Fleetwood from his own private cellar label. After dinner, kick up your heels with Dr. Nat & Rio Ritmo. It is a benefit for the MACC. You may call 242-2787, ext. 237 for tickets.

Auntie Pasto’s in the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center wants to get the word out its open-air lanai is available for all your private party needs such as graduations, which are right around the corner.

Kahului Ale House sways on Tuesdays with the music of Merv Oana and his band, complete with an upright bass and hula dancers. Enjoy Hawaiian fare such as pork laulau, poi, lomilomi salmon, kalua pork and cabbage and local favorites such as saimin and edamame. “Come one, come all and tell your friends,” says owner Scooter Metcalfe. “My vision is to have the Ale House be a niche for Hawaiian music in Central Maui. Keiki are welcome.”

At Cafe a la Plage (French for “cafe at the beach”) in the Dolphin Plaza in Kihei, Mona Lisa assumes a host of poses in a number of pictures.

“We took over last November,” says partner Christophe Benoit, formerly a food and beverage manager at The Ritz Carlton, Kapalua. “It used to be Beach and Bagels and we did a facelift, added paninis, a coffee bar and frozen coffee drinks to the menu.”

The cafe has got a Euro/island ambience, as Christophe is from France and his business partner is from Maui. Mad Hatter size coffee cups serve as whimsical planters and you may sit inside or outside.

The top seller is the what else, Mona Lisa, packed with grilled chicken breast, roasted green chilies and jack cheese. “We also have French dip paninis an French onion soup as well,” says Christophe.

Carla Tracy is the dining editor of Maui Scene. You may call her at 242-6342, email or fax 242-6390.

Article Photos

Partners in the new Cafe a la Plage in Dolphin Plaza in Kihei are Christophe Benoit (left) and Christopher Saulnier with well, Mona Lisa.

The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo



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