LAHAINA PAR-TAY TIME . . . Come and celebrate the grand opening of the 138,000-square-foot lifestyle center known as the Lahaina Gateway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
There are lots of new west side restaurants there, such as Genki Sushi, Outback Steakhouse and The Melting Pot and you may enjoy free food samples, games, activities, hula, prizes and live music.
"We'll have a table downstairs with dippers and desserts," says GM?Cindy DelleFave of The Melting Pot, upstairs near Barnes and Noble.
The Melting Pot restaurant will participate in the grand opening of Lahaina Gateway Saturday. Dippers of free desserts will be offered downstairs, such as the Yin and Yang fondue.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
One of their signature desserts is the Yin and Yang (at right), which is a white-and-dark chocolate fondue with items such as fresh Kula strawberries, Maui Gold pineapple, brownies, marshmallows and rice krispie pieces all ready to dip in the warm sauce.
"If you come upstairs, we'll have free cheese fondue with bread, vegetables, and apple pieces for dipping and you may purchase cocktails," says Cindy. "This is a special daytime event as we are a dinner house."
Genki Sushi will offer free tastes of its signature spicy tuna rolls and give away $5 certificates, Outback Steakhouse will do seared ahi salad and blueberry iced tea and State Farm Insurance will give away Jamba Juice. Lahaina Farms grocery store will entice at the festivities with seafood poke, Certified Angus Beef, deli items and desserts. Kula Country Farms will give samples of juicy ripe strawberries; Otani Farms, string beans; Pacific Produce, butter lettuce and watercress; and Kahuna Aina Sprouts, pea, sunflower and radish sprouts.
"In addition, we invite customers to spend $30 or more and they will receive a free Lahaina Farms reusable grocery bag filled with natural, gourmet and organic products - valued at $50," says spokesperson Terry Chang. "Customers will also receive $5 off when they spend $25 or more on Saturday only."
BITS AND PIECES . . . Few people have ever sipped from a bottle of wine rated 100 by Robert Parker of Wine Spectator magazine, but Rick Smith and his girlfriend, Chris Lindsey, won a perfectly scored bottle recently at the trade tasting preceding Maui Calls. Fine Wine Imports was the generous donor.
"The name is Sine Qua Non and it's from California," said the exuberant Rick, who owns Maalaea Waterfront, the top restaurant on Maui, according to last year's Best of Maui contest in The Maui News. "The wine will come into full bloom in six or seven years and that's when we'll drink it."
By the way, the 2008 results of the Best of Maui awards will be published in a special keepsake edition of The Maui News Sept. 7.
And, speaking of top honors, The Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa just received top honors in Travel & Leisure's 2008 World's Best Awards. Its signature Kauiki restaurant also received industry recognition and Wine Spectator gave them another Award of Excellence.
"Each dish featured on our Kauiki menu is a collaboration between friends and neighbors," says Executive Chef Keoki McKee. From the Haleakala Ranch lamb spring rolls to the Big Island forest mushroom soup to the Keanae watercress salad, it sounds yummy indeed.
Tin Ying Chinese Restaurant is a thing of the past and its owners moved to Oahu. Coming in its place hopefully later in September will be the Green Leaf Sports Bar & Grill. "We're very excited about opening here on Maui," says Kevin Johnson. "We'll have a pool table, a 15-foot-long bar, karaoke, and quite a bit of sports pictures from Babe Ruth to Tim Lincecum."
Kevin's parents are the owners. Hae Fuki is from South Korea and Wayne Fuki from Maui. So the place will offer local food, Korean fare and good ol' American hamburgers and sports cuisine.
The Maui Chefs Present: Culinary Olympics will be held Sept. 5. We hear there will be discounted room rates of $195 at the host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua for those who plan to attend.
"Tickets should be purchased now to avoid disappointment," says Rina Sampson, executive director of the LahainaTown Action Committee that is sponsoring the event as a benefit for the Maui Culinary Academy. Call 667-9175.
* Carla Tracy is dining editor of Maui Scene. You may call her at 242-6342, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 242-6390.