A PRINCELY FEAST . . . Over the years, the Sunday brunch at the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena has been awarded the "Best on Maui" too many times to remember. But after the hotel sold and the Prince Court restaurant closed last year, many readers have thought that the brunch disappeared.
NOT! The resort's new Molokini Bar & Grill serves brunch each Sunday and the Easter affair will be over the top with sashimi, sushi from Hakone, Maine lobster chowder, five-spiced roast duck, seared salmon, prime rib, lamb, dim sum and so much more.
"We're always thinking of the kamaaina," says Executive Chef Greg Gaspar. "You can even use your Mahalo Card for brunches or dinners."
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Hotel Manager Charlie Goodness and Executive Chef Greg Gaspar of the Maui Prince Hotel say to come check out Easter brunch and the new Molokini dinner menu that launches Saturday.
In addition, Molokini Bar & Grille is operating with all new tables and chairs, gorgeous views (much better than Prince Court) and a new dinner menu that debuts Saturday. It's sure please local palates.
"The tapas concept we tried at first didn't work," says the chef. "So we'll debut a dinner menu kind of like Prince Court's, only the venue is more relaxing and the pace is more casual, so it's not intimidating. Of course, we're still being true to farmers here."
Must-tries are the Kobe beef meat loaf with Big Island Hamakua mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes for $24. Other notables are rack of lamb, pasta primavera, Pacific seafood mixed grill and fork-tender beef short rib on tomato and scallion relish.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . Good things do come in small packages, according to Jack In the Box, which just debuted its trendy trio of mini sirloin burgers or "sliders" for $3.89, excluding tax.
Here's a message for the hundreds of you heading to the Merrie Monarch Festival on the Big Island next week from former Mauian Leslie Lae.
She is now managing partner at a restaurant in Pahoa that is reminiscent of Hana Hou Cafe in Haiku where she was its original owner. Now she's got Kaleo's and her chef cooked for the Four Seasons Resort Maui for eight years and the food is quality-driven, consistent and so ono. "Come check us out!" says Leslie.
Celebrating its 16th anniversary this month is Marco's Grill & Deli on the intersection of Dairy Road and Hana Highway in Kahului. Dine on Italian specialties and enter to win a $50 gift card. "Our restaurant will be giving away 16 of these cards," says owner Marco Defanis. "The drawing will be held April 17. We're open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m."
Another restaurant celebrating its anniversary is Capische at Diamond Resort in Wailea. "Our seven-year anniversary is in April, so we are offering a kamaaina special of buy one entree and get one of equal or lesser value for free," says General Manager Elizabeth Judd. "This is our way of saying thank you to those who have supported us through the years." Holidays are excluded.
Enthusiasts will want to indulge in Grgich Hill Estate's wine dinner at the Four Seasons Resort Maui's Lodge at Koele Dining Room April 17. Kamaaina room rates start at $189 and you get 20 percent off dining.
The new 'Aina Gourmet Market at Honua Kai Resort & Spa is showcasing fresh local eggs and a candy egg hunt at 9 a.m. this Sunday. Theo Morrison lets two hundred chickens run free range in Launiopoko and the eggs are a rainbow of pale green, cream, bluish and brown. "It's so important to support local agriculture," says Manager Angel Green. "And, locally produced eggs are a better value when considering taste and nutrition."
When jazz pianist David Benoit performs at the MACC Saturday, Ma'alaea Grill will do pre-show catering for the first time with pasta primavera, Cajun mahimahi salad, and braised short ribs with scalloped potatoes.
* You may reach Carla Tracy at 242-6342.