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June 12, 2008
By CARLA TRACY, Dining Editor
IT’S HOT IN HAWAII. . . How many food festivals and new restaurant openings can a person attend without waddling like a nene goose?

Tickets are still available for the grand opening of Mala Wailea June 19 and legendary rocker Alice Cooper is host. He may not be 18 anymore, but hey, he can still do what he wants and he wants to be at Mala. Mick Fleetwood will also be there pouring wines from his own label and you may dance to Dr. Nat and Rio Ritmo after enjoying a gourmet, multicourse meal, all to benefit for Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele will flow June 23 with a wine dinner featuring food by new Executive Sous Chef Fabrice Huet and wines by Deborah and Justin Baldwin of the acclaimed Justin Winery. Seating will be community style in the Library.

Even Honolulu’s gold coast will flow with a delicious Latin accent this Friday with the inaugural 2008 Kahala Food & Wine Classic. For two days, the inspired talents of award-winning Chef Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile in Miami, Fla.; winemaker Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat on California’s central coast; and cigar aficionado Michael Herklots from Davidoff of Geneva in New York will share center stage with some of Hawaii’s finest at the Kahala Hotel & Resort.

Longboards at the Maui Marriott’s Ocean Club opened in Kaanapali last year, and it won “Best New Restaurant on Maui” in our readers’ poll. But now it’s been ratcheted up 10 notches in its look and feel.

It’s got surfboard-shaped tables and chairs in the Sand Bar, where couples may order pails of say, four Heinekens and hot wings, or four Sams and clams. At the entrance, check out the 1947 Woody Willy Overland and the black-and-white vintage surfing photos. The Ramones and the Ventures play and it’s surf city all the way. In the al fresco restaurant, sit under thatched umbrellas. The menu is packed with fresh catch, steak and chicken katsu.

Craving authentic Italian fare? During Maui Film Festival at Wailea, Matteo’s Pizzeria on Wailea Ike Drive will offer up to three free toppings on any size pie and all you have to do is show your movie stub.

Casanova Italian Restaurant in Makawao is the place to go for European soccer on the large HDTV through June. “See you for cappuccino, croissants and hot soccer,” says Managing Partner Steven Burgelin.

Also in paniolo country, Rodeo General Store on Baldwin Avenue in Makawao will reopen later this month with a new look, hugely expanded deli and an extensive selection of fine coffees. One of the partners is Darren Jones of Alive & Well health food store. But this will be a regular country affair, rather than health food. His other partners are Mike Fisher, Dean Sturman and Paul Lamparelli.

Sergio “Ricardo” Gallardo, who hails from beautiful Guadalajara, is again running his Mexican eatery at popular Nachos Grande in Honokowai. “I’ve been here in Hawaii for 21 years now, so I guess I’m half Hawaiian,” he jokes. Sergio runs the food portion of Nachos from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily with everything from ceviche to chimichangas to chile verde. Heinz Gerner runs the bar part and pours the largest tequila selection on island . . . The Green Burrito is something new in Maalaea.

The first 100 children to visit Ruby’s Diner in Kahului Saturday, when the “Tom & Jerry” cartoon characters are there, will receive minibackpacks with coupons for meals. Then June 27 to 29, it will be “Sesame Street” time and kids get to eat free during certain hours.

We hear that in September, the Rusty Harpoon will move to the old Mango’s location at the entrance to Kaanapali. The manager says D.K. Kodama will move into Rusty’s oceanfront spot with a new concept.

Carla Tracy can be reached at 242-6342, email or fax 242-6390.

Article Photos

Rob Welch, general manager of the Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club in Kaanapali, toasts to his Longboards’ new look. The oceanfront restaurant boasts the Sand Bar, where you may order pails of beer and pupu.

The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo



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