BITS AND PIECES . . . Lahaina's first "Second Friday" town party debuts this week, and those strolling Front Street may drink in New Zealand art and wine as part of the fun.
At Lahaina Printsellers, Kiwi native Simon Williams will showcase his Maui oil paintings, Babich sauvignon blanc from New Zealand will flow courtesy of JMD Beverages, and you may munch pupu such as white-truffle popcorn and prawns poached in wine with Maui avocado mousse and Hawaiian sea salt.
"It's important we support Maui's Friday Town Parties and Mayor Alan Arakawa's push to create more local community events, especially after the successful Halloween event in Lahaina, " says Rick Momson, general manager of Lahaina Printsellers.
Pastry Chef Liz McDonald of Honu Pizza and Seafood and Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina is baking gluten-free and vegan pies and pastries for the holidays.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Also in Lahaina, Honu Seafood & Pizza and its sister restaurant, Mala Ocean Tavern, are baking up a storm with vegan and gluten-free pies.
"Order your pies now through November 18 for pickup the day before Thanksgiving," says owner Mark Ellman. "We've got Molokai sweet potato and local Kombocha squash pie with almond ginger-snap crust; apple, cherry and poha berry pie with puffed quinoa and oat crumble; and mixed-nut pecan pie, using Old Lahaina dark rum. It contains no corn syrup at all."
Kahului Ale House just opened Kah Sushi Bar last week. It's on a roll from 3 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday in the large sports bar. "Our hours will expand as we ramp up," says owner Brad Sundin, who has hired sushi chefs Tim Sawamura, who worked for Sansei; Hero Takanishi; and another well-known chef.
Buzz's Wharf at Maalaea harbor is giving away a free takeout Thanksgiving dinner package for 10 people. Just "like" them on their Facebook page now through Nov. 19. The winner will be announced Nov. 20.
Ramen is the perfect island comfort food, especially now that the weather is a little cooler. Now you can slurp up the noodles and the rich and aromatic broth at Mike's Hong Kong Bistro in Wailuku.
"Recently we have added a new ramen special featuring gomoku ramen, miso ramen, shoyu ramen, char-siu ramen and chicken and veggie ramen," says Chef-owner Mike Xiao. "Ramen is made with Japanese-style broth, whereas mein is made with Chinese-style broth."
The popular restaurant also has a hot buffet daily packed with authentic Chinese cuisine and more than 50 hot local and Hong Kong-style items on its a la carte menu.
Talk story with tattoo artists, and show off your own work at Show Me Your Tats this evening at 8 at the South Shore Tiki Lounge in Kihei.
Maui Brewing Co. will pour local brews at $3. Indulge in a large Hawaiian sausage pizza with white-truffle oil for $20, and then "boogie down to DJ Slackin' from 10 p.m. until closing," says owner Alma Tassi.
Dine out for Hospice Maui is an islandwide restaurant event that will take place Tuesday at 25 participating outlets. Visit www.hospicemaui.org.
FOR WINE LOVERS . . . Nibble and sip your way through five cheeses and five wines at a special tasting from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Pita Paradise Wailea. Savor Halloumi from Cypress, Myzithera from Greece, Brebiou from France and more.
"All of the wines are Thanksgiving oriented, and we are hooking them up with our cheeses," says Anne Tuomela, co-host of the event and owner of the brand new Guava, Gouda and Caviar store across the parking lot from Pita Paradise at Wailea Gateway.
Remember the movie "Bottleshock," about the legendary Paris tasting, in which American wines beat out the French for the first time? Well, Pulehu, An Italian Grill at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas will recreate it in style with a fun wine dinner Tuesday.
"Basically, it starts at 6 p.m. and you get two white and two reds, American versus French," says Javier Barberi, director of outlets. "You also get five courses, two entrees, two appetizers and a middle course that you have to eat blindfolded."
Barberi will talk about the Paris blind tasting, you will vote on your favorites and the wines will then be revealed at the end. An elaborate candy station will top it off. Cost is $75 per person. Call 662-2654.