HEART AND SOUL . . . The Best of Maui contest is coming up right around the corner. We'll publish the results of Maui's best restaurants, activities and entertainment in a special, keepsake edition of The Maui News Sunday, Sept. 6.
For now, the reigning Best Pizza restaurant on Maui is Matteo's Pizzeria, aka the "Italian soul in the heart of Wailea." It's conveniently located right above the red light near the Shops at Wailea on Wailea Ike Drive in a lovely free-standing building.
Owner-Chef Matteo Mistura is from the Liguria region of northern Italy and he formerly wowed diners in Ferraro's at Four Seasons Resort Maui.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Gianna and Matteo Mistura dish up Italian soul in the heart of Wailea at Matteo’s Pizzeria. It will have new hours starting in September.
"We will have new September hours," he says in his thick Italian accent. "We'll be closed for lunch and all Sundays in September, but we'll open one hour early for dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday."
In addition, Matteo's will feature its "Happy September" promotion. You get 50 percent off all pizza (except on to-go orders) and all wines by the glass.
The Quattro Stagione is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds with artichokes, prosciutto, mushrooms and black olives topped individually in four sections. And the Ligurian is shrimp, mascarpone cheese and Genevese pesto. But this Best of Maui winner also features salads, pastas, appetizers, specials and desserts.
BITS AND PIECES . . . There is a new cookie made with MauiGrown coffee that just debuted at Broke Da Mouth in Kahului. It is awesome and full of crunchy mac nuts and robust flavors for those who enjoy java. In addition, Pastry Chef and owner Lloyd Yokoyama just celebrated his 50th birthday. Congrats!
Those of you lucky enough to get your hands on a UH Warrior Jack antenna ball during the recent promotion at Jack in the Box restaurants, may now get 10 percent off of your purchases through Sept. 27 at all outlets in the state of Hawaii. All you have to do is show your Warrior ball to the cashier.
Sad to report a couple more Maui restaurants have closed their doors. The legendary Chez Paul in Olowalu, which was the oldest French restaurant in the state and possibly in the Pacific, is gone.
Shangri-La By the Sea, a fairly new Indian restaurant in Kihei, also didn't make it due to this tough economy. But we hear a couple of employees are trying to resurrect it down the road as Monsoon India. Let's hope it takes Maui by storm as we are in dire need of some good exotic and spicy Indian cuisine here.
On another note, when SeaWatch changed to new ownership, its former general manager ended up doing quite well for himself. Norm Schuhardt is now managing partner of Plantation House in Kapalua.
Norm says that he needs to sink his teeth into the popular restaurant before he makes any changes. But I look forward to telling you about them soon.
Charley's in Paia was a zoo of people Tuesday night, as the legendary Willie Nelson, his sons and other Maui stars such as Gail Swanson and Mike Buono performed to a packed crowd with people taking up most of the parking lot, in addition to the lounge area. Somehow owner Jim Fuller pulled it all off, and food and drink kept coming in a timely manner to all who ordered them.
Tony-nominated Slava's Snowshow will bring a blizzard of fun to Castle Theater Friday and Saturday for three shows. Brigit & Bernard's Garden Cafe will be on hand with a generous menu offering that includes shrimp scampi, chicken Marsala, Hungarian goulash, Caesar salad, wiener schnitzel, bratwurst and mac and cheese.
Willie K and band will play at LuLu's Lahaina Surf Club & Grill Friday and there will be Hawaiian grinds such as laulau and kalua pig and $3 Primo beer.
* You may reach dining editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.