NEW ON HORIZON . . . Central Maui movers and shakers will want to know Bistro Casanova is now open - but for lunch only, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
It will serve dinner when the landscaping is finished in a couple of weeks. The liquor license is targeted for Oct. 14. So for now, it's BYOB.
The former Manana Garage location got a dramatic, and I must say, classy, makeover. A Ponte Vecchio artwork by "the twins," Alessio and Marcello Bugagiar of Florence, hangs in the lounge and you'll see "Celestial Navigation" by Piero Resta in the private dining room with a stage for flamenco guitar and poetry. Dario Campanile did the third major piece. The bar is "river bed" granite. Walls of yellow and terra cotta are inspired by owner Giovanni Cappelli's hometown in Italy's Cinque Terre. Lamps by Paia glass-blower Rick Strini add to the Euro look.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
The new Bistro Casanova is now open for lunch in Kahului. Executive Chef David Gemberling (left), and owner Giovanni Cappelli are all smiles in the private dining room.
The Mediterranean fare ranges from salad topped with fresh mahi to pasta with wild mushrooms in creamy-garlic sauce to an array of crepes. The "crepe Carla" is not named after moi, but rather the French president's famous singer wife. In fact, all the crepes are named after celebs such as the Marylin (Monroe) with fresh strawberries, mascarpone and chocolate swirl.
Speaking of desserts, Maui Bake Shop & Deli is under new ownership. Pastry Chef Ed Morris was formerly with both Fairmont Kea Lani Maui and Waikiki Prince hotels and we hear his chocolate-macadamia-nut-praline tarts are flying off the shelves.
Fernando's has now taken the place of Lemongrass in Queen Ka'ahumanu Center . . . Maui Masala Indian food is at Dolphin Plaza . . . And, now Cane & Taro is set to open on Dig Me Beach at Whalers Village in Kaanapali between Leilani's and Hula Grill.
"We'll open softly for lunch and dinner September 29," says D.K. Kodama of his highly anticipated restaurant that will also start serving breakfast later this year.
As for the look, "we removed, repaired and replaced most everything and it's really open and inviting. Kind of like plantation style," says Kodama.
The menu will be a "little bit Sansei, a little bit DK Steak House," the famous chef says of his other restaurants. "And a little bit Cheesecake Factory with a lot of fresh fish." I've tasted it all and I can recommend everything on the menu. Our margaritas will be made with fresh lime juice and mai tais like old Trader Vics."
Executive chef is Royden Sato, formerly with Starwood
Resorts. Kodama will also open two to four Yogurt Lands on Maui. The first will be at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center next to Starbucks.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Mark Ellman of Mala restaurant fame e-mails me that he and his wife, Judy, want to move to Thailand's Golden Triangle and become elephant trainers . . . (or is this just a wild fantasy while they are there on vacation?)
A new NFL season has kicked off and although South Shore Tiki Lounge is not a "sports bar," it offers a 52-inch HD flat screen on its lanai. Grab a picnic table and enjoy 50-cent wings, plus poppers, quesadillas, pizzas, and sausages along with $2 Bud Lights.
"Skin will be in" at WoW-Wee Maui's Kava Bar & Grill in Kahului from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday with the Tattoo Art Night Party.
"Please visit us that evening for $2 Buds, free desserts and live art," says Wow-Wee owner Mike Capuano. "All the tattoo companies on Maui will be there, so make sure to bring your camera for this one."
In addition, Ren's Sushi Bar, located inside Wow-Wee, will offer 15 percent off sushi that evening. Do try the new Maui roll, packed with crab, avocado, macadamia nuts and fresh mango.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.