COOK YOUR GOOSE . . . The other day, as I helped harvest stalks from our expanding apple-banana patch, I thought about the foods I'll serve for the holidays (besides banana bread).
Of course, I'm in a time crunch just like everyone else, and that's why Maui Prime Fine Foods in the Emerald Plaza in Lahaina came to mind. They sell oysters on the half shell, imported cheeses, ahi sashimi and gourmet crackers -all a cinch to serve.
"Our lineup of gourmet product is endless," says owner Cary Button. "It's really fun. For instance, we have fresh cooked dungeness crab for $7.95 a pound. Just crack open and eat. People love them. They are real show stoppers. For those who like to cook, we've also got new veal T-bones, fresh goose and prime steaks."
Italian native Lorenzo Fabiani (left) with his wife, Michelle, and Chef Joe Caccamo at the new Fabiani’s in Kihei.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
But call ahead if you want your oysters shucked or meats cut in a particular way. Button and some of the staffers are not only butchers, but chefs of the executive caliber, and they are experts at customizing orders. And, for New Year's Eve, they have a great selection of caviar and champagnes as well as fine wines by the bottle.
In Central Maui, other convenient places to pick up foods to take to parties or serve at home include TJ's Warehouse Outlet in Wailuku Industrial that's got bentos party platters and Hello Kitty items. . . Offering free delivery are places such as Mike's Hong Kong Bistro in Wailuku and Da Sushi Bar in the Kahului Industrial Area. Maui Bake Shop is doing a Christmas menu for two with fresh oysters, beef Wellington, yule log and more.
BITS AND PIECES . . . A new Italian restaurant is up and running in Kihei in the former Kiwi Roadhouse spot on Lipoa Street. Fabiani's Bakery & Pizzeria opened Saturday for light continental breakfasts, and will officially open for lunch and dinner Friday.
"Right now, our bakery makes fresh pastries, quiche and New York-style bagels," says owner Lorenzo Fabiani, who hails from Lerici, Italy, between Tuscany and Liguria. "After the holidays, we'll start to do omelets and other breakfast dishes. More than just continental fare."
Hours are daily from 7 a.m. all the way until 2 a.m., but Fabiani says he only will stay open that late if it's a private party. "We have our liquor license and we'll stay open to midnight, most nights, maybe."
Lunch and dinner choices include salads, paninis, pastas such as linguine with clams or meatballs, veggie lasagne, and pizza, too. The chef is Joe Caccamo. Originally from Chicago, he's cooked from Capische? to Matteo's, both hugely popular in Wailea.
Mama's Fish House in Kuau was just named one of two Hawaii restaurants in the Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. for the Diners Choice Awards along with Le Mer French at Halekulani on Oahu.
Gerard's in Lahaina just received the Forbes 4-Star Award for the seventh consecutive year, one out of the select 144 restaurants in the United States.
Someone sent The Maui News an email about a story I wrote in Sunday's paper on Las Vegas that read the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, "alone employs 21 sommeliers with three dedicated to Lakeside. On Maui, there are a total of four on the island."
I want to clarify I was talking about working sommeliers and so I misrepresented the total count on the island. There was a recent test on Oahu, and some Maui people passed. Others work as servers, or are bartenders and wine salesmen, or they may not work at all.
"It's a gray area," says Jim Powlan of Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants. "There's a difference between the person who does this full time as their profession, as 100 percent of their express duty, verses someone who's passed a test and is holding a sommelier's card."
I apologize to you newbie sommeliers out there, and others who may have been offended at not being recognized. I know you've gone the extra mile to educate yourselves and I'd like to hear from you via email, so that I may get a true count and do a proper story.
In addition, in that same Vegas story, I wrote that Buzz Aldrin was the first man to walk on the moon. It was Neil Armstrong. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. One big mistake for this writer. Oh, well. I'll try harder next year.
"Mele Kalikimaka," everyone!