Award-winning chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman will partner with Bill Terry (formerly vice-president of TS Restaurants) to open Monkeypod Kitchen on Friday.
It's a highly anticipated venture that is situated upstairs in the new Wailea Center at the top of Wailea Ike Drive. The 6,100-square-foot establishment will offer ocean views from its perch in the hills of Wailea Resort, and it will feature locally sourced foods in a warm and welcoming environment. Cool, refreshing waterfalls are an architectural element outdoors.
"This is my sixth restaurant," says Merriman, who also owns Merriman's Kapalua on Maui as well as two outlets on the Big Island and one on Kauai. He's also a partner in Hula Grill in Kaanapali, a TS Restaurant.
Owner Peter Merriman
Fresh fish tacos with calamansi lime and organic cilantro may pair with any of the 36 craft beers
Monkeypod Kitchen photo
Strawberry cream pie
"My partner, Bill Terry, is the son-in- law of TS?founder Rob Thibaut," says Merriman. "My general manager, Amber Thibaut, is Rob's daughter. Our executive chef, Rob Dalzell, was hired from his culinary position at the Avalon Company on Catalina Island."
Monkeypod Kitchen will be a chef-driven concept and family-friendly pub that will provide an exciting new dining option for Maui residents and visitors alike.
"This will be way more casual than Merriman's Kapalua," he says. We really hope that Monkeypod Kitchen is a lot of fun! Our intent is to be in a niche that no one in the Wailea Resort area is occupying right now -fun AND local."
Thirty-six craft beers will be served at 29 degrees on tap at the curved 30-foot bar. Or sip a trendy cocktail or a glass of wine from the diverse list. The beverage menu emphasizes sustainability as well as drinkability and fun.
You may also sit at inviting communal tables or in cozy lounge spaces. The indoor and outdoor dining areas will be ideal for families or sunset cocktails for gatherings of any size. "The design team did a great job," Merriman says. "I'm really pleased."
Embracing his passion for regional and sustainable cuisine, Monkeypod Kitchen will offer what he likes to call "approachable handcrafted food.
"We'll focus on a locally-sourced menu, using only socially conscious ingredients such as range-fed Maui beef, sustainably caught fish species and no bottled products, except for wine. Think homemade cream pies made from scratch, freshly baked hamburger buns and hand-tossed pizzas from our kiawe-wood burning oven."
Appetizers to share and to taste are calabash slider trio, pumpkin patch ravioli, "hapa" sashimi with half ahi and half ono and house-cut fries with ginger ketchup.
Other menu items include chicken adobo, dry mein, and ricotta Caprese. Pizza dough will be made from scratch and varieties include the Bourgeois with white sauce, shrimp, garlic and fresh arugula, and the Proletariat with pepperoni, sausage, onion, green pepper, fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce.
"The setting is meant to be fun and casual, but you can order anything from steak entrees to fresh fish. The menu really runs the gamut of dining options so as to please everyone."
Monkeypod Kitchen will feature works from local artists and craftsmen. The grand opening is targeted for the second week of March.
"We will have all the social and comfort aspects longed for in a fun, welcoming environment. This paired with friendly service and Peter's outstanding cuisine, will be a wonderful new dining option in Wailea," says Terry, president and CEO of the new enterprise.
Monkeypod Kitchen will be open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for lunch, pupu and dinner. Call 891-2322.