IN THE SPIRIT . . . Are you still running around, looking for a last-minute place to host your office Christmas party?
Grand Wailea is throwing one heck of a shared holiday affair from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday in its expansive Haleakala Ballroom. "We are even giving away a trip for two to Las Vegas!" exclaims Christina Yumul, the resort's director of public relations.
"For $100 per person, the evening will include a lavish selection of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, delightful holiday dessert table and party music all evening by our DJ as well as dancing!"
Vietnamese Cuisine Chef-owner Ann Carpenter is working hard to keep her Kihei restaurant No. 1 in its ethnic category on Maui.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Casino games for entertainment-only range from Texas Hold-Em poker to Blackjack and Wheel of Fortune; other giveaways include coupons to Spa Grande and the resort's gourmet restaurants.
Food highlights include lobster rolls and Kobe beef rolls prepared to order by sushi chefs, artisan cheeses, prime rib, roast turkey, iceberg wedges, hot seafood station and an array of festive desserts. Call 875-1234.
Azeka Place is a convenient shopping mall in the center of Kihei, and my favorite restaurants there are Stella Blues Cafe and Vietnamese Cuisine.
The latter was voted the best in its ethnic category in our newspaper's 2011 Best of Maui readers' poll, and it's open seven days a week for lunch and dinner all the way from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
"We will be open for Christmas during regular hours," says owner Ann Carpenter, a native of Vietnam whose son works for the U.S. State Department in Hanoi. "We are happy to do your catering, or you may dine or take out with our many authentic specialties."
Choose from shrimp pops pasted on sugar-cane sticks that you wrap in lettuce with mint, noodles, and pickled veggies and dip in sauce. Or go for lemongrass curry, rice in the clay pot and steamed opakapaka.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Flowing with a beer festival in a mellow way starting at 6 p.m. Monday will be Honu Seafood & Pizza in Lahaina.
"This party is a way to show off the great beers that we have to offer," says Chef-owner Mark Ellman, talking about the 50 to 60 international beers he serves on a daily basis at the restaurant.
For $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity, sip beers from Belgium, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Italy, and munch pupu such as pizza, fried oysters, ahi bruschetta, fried chick peas and more. . . Honu is also selling an assortment of 24 holiday cookies and vegan and gluten-free brownies for pickup with 48 hours notice. You may call Pastry Chef Liz McDonald at 667-9390.
This week is the third Friday Makawao Town Party and we hear Stopwatch Sports Bar & Grill will be jumping with live music by Maui Underground from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Warm up to food specials of pot roast, surf and turf and steak and shrimp by longtime Chef Ohelo Brown. And, be sure to check out the Makawao paniolo-style parade from 5 to 6 p.m.
The Melting Pot in Lahaina Gateway shopping center will reopen after a renovation Tuesday. It will be about half the size, as the owner will open the other half in the next few months as 101 Wines tapas bar.
"At the Melting Pot, every couple who purchases our Big Night Out dinner for two will receive two free tickets to the final day of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions!" says General Manager Cindy DelleFave. "We are also offering a 'Buy $100 and get $100' gift card promotion now through Dec. 31."
Bob Dye, general manager of The Shops at Wailea, sure has an illustrious history in Hawaii. His candy-making great- grandfather moved here in 1898 and founded Dye's Kandy Kitchen. John Dye was the first to dip macadamia nuts into chocolate. His heirs finally sold their company to Hawaiian Host in 1960.
Now Bob, who was always the "kid in the candy store," is running Waimea Chocolate Co., and the result is yummy to the max . . . "I have always wanted to make sure my family's legacy was not lost," he says. "I'm a foodie and like working with chocolate - so I decided to get the Dye name back in the chocolate business. Right now, my product is available at Sweet Paradise Chocolatier in Wailea as well as Wailea Wine."