The favorite holiday of the year for Cafe O'Lei at the Dunes owner Michael Pastula is Thanksgiving Day, and he pours his heart and soul into making it the best possible at his Kahului restaurant.
Bring the ohana or family to feast there from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and savor roast tom turkey with giblet gravy, carved roast prime rib, candied Molokai sweet potatoes, cranberry marmalade, mashed Russet potatoes, gratin of brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and crisp salads such as Caesar and curry.
Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes Chef Doug Evans and Banquet and Catering Manager Marcie Fernandez will be part of the team serving the Thanksgiving Day buffet at the Kahului restaurant Nov. 22.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Hot entrees range from macadamia-nut crusted chicken in lemon caper butter to sauteed island mahimahi in ginger butter with papaya salsa.
Desserts are always special and include bananas Foster, chocolate fondue with fresh seasonal fruits and berries and whipped cream, apple-mango cobbler and brownies, pies and cookies. Cost is $34 per adult and half price for children 4 to 12. Call Cafe O'Lei at 877-0073.
Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu will offer the "Taste of Paradise" buffet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m..
Live Hawaiian entertainment and views of the lagoon and the West Maui mountains set the backdrop for cold items such as ahi poke, lomi-lomi salmon and salads.
Dig into tureen-served soups, breakfast items and hot entrees such as oven-roasted tom turkey with giblet gravy, brown-sugar and pineapple-glazed ham, sweet taro-bread stuffing, garlic-herb mashed potatoes, Kula vegetables, and steamed rice.
The dessert display includes Maui Oma coffee and freshly brewed tea. Cost is $37, adults; $22 seniors, and $14 for children 7 to 13. Call 243-7788.
Also in Waikapu is the brand new Cafe 808, located right on Honoapiilani Highway with parking in the back. Owner Aaron Heath says he will have turkey plates with mashed potatoes, stuffing and corn for take out. Call 270-1540.
The Coconut Grill at Maui Seaside Hotel in Kahului will present brunch and dinner buffets with seatings at 10 a.m., 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
All the seatings include seafood bar with poke, oysters, shrimp and more along with salad bar, carved slow-roasted prime rib, grilled dill-battered ono in lemon-and-caper butter, sweet-potato casserole, sage-rubbed turkey, Farmer John ham in guava-pineapple demi-glaze, baked beans, paniolo pork ribs, steamed rice furikake, sausage-sweetbread stuffing and assorted desserts. The cost is $29.95 adults and $15.95 children 5 to 12. Call 871-8881.
The Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului will put on an all-you-can-eat holiday dinner buffet in its cool, air-conditioned Elleair Ballroom with two seatings, the first from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the second from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Salad bar favorites include crab and broccoli, potato and macaroni, local greens, rainbow pasta and fresh fruits. Savor sushi, shrimp cocktail and assorted poke along with roasted turkey and gravy, and Maui Beach's famous prime rib with au jus.
Other hot entrees include shrimp Canton in sweet and sour sauce, vegetable tempura, stir fried seafood, ginger chicken, buttered corn, yams, fried rice, white rice and housemade mashed potatoes. Desserts range from pies to chocolate cake. Cost is $35.99 adults and $17 children 6 to 11. Call Maui Beach Hotel at 877-0051.
The Four Sisters Kitchen on Vineyard Street in Wailuku will be a sea of activity Thanksgiving Day as it will be open for you to pick up holiday meals.
You must pre pay 48 hours in advance for turkey and ham meals and 72 hours ahead for whole lechon or roast pig. All three meals include mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, gravy or sauces. The turkey meals costs $64.95; ham, $79.95; and whole lechon, $375 to $475. For reservations, call Four Sisters at 242-1135.
Voted the Best Chef on Maui in this year's Best of Maui contest in this newspaper, Eddie Munoz will pull out all of the stops at King Kamehameha Golf Club's stunning Waikapu Room.
Salads will be plentiful and include green beans with crumbled bleu cheese, artichokes and grilled vegetables with creamy Italian dressing, Upcountry mixed greens, sliced deli meats and rolls.
Seafood on ice will beckon and you may pile your plate with shrimp cocktail, ahi poke and salmon accompanied by mini bagels and cream cheese.
Chefs will hand slice prime rib and fresh turkey at the carving stations and you may also sink your teeth into roasted pork loin with mushroom stew, macadamia-nut crusted fresh catch with fruit relish and butter sauce, grilled Italian sausage with sweet peppers, sauteed vegetables and more.
Desserts, coffee and juices are included. Cost is $34.95 adults, and $17.50 for keiki 6 to 12. Call 243-1024.
Also part of the King Kamehemeha Golf Club is the Kahili Restaurant, which will serve a Thanksgiving Day dinner buffet from 4 p.m. to last seating at 7:30 p.m. The menu will be similar to the above with add ons such as pan-roasted tiger shrimp with chardonnay cream sauce on noodles, and baby back pork ribs. Cost is $34.95 adults, and $17.50 keiki 6 to 12. For reservations, call Kahili at 242-6000.
In addition to Gerard's regular a la carte menu, the popular French restaurant with an island twist will introduce several new items in time for Thanksgiving.
Situated in the Plantation Inn in Lahaina, Gerard's is open for dinner with seatings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. nightly.
Savor Colorado lamb shank simmered in red wine with Swiss chard macaroni and cheese; Malama Farm curried pork kebab with leeks and Maui onion and banana poi with vanilla; and sage veal chop in Madeira and cognac cream with morel mushroom, beet puree, and stuffed artichoke with truffle soubise. For reservations, call Gerard's at 661-8939.
This Thanksgiving, relax and replenish at Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas. Executive chef Francois Milliet and his team will present the Harvest Table Buffet at Ocean Pool Bar & Grill Thanksgiving Day from 3 to 8 p.m.
The array includes island seafood, Pacific oysters, herb-roasted turkey, maple-glazed sweet potatoes, braised ham and other carvery station items, desserts, and much more. Cost is $52 per adult, $26 per child (ages 4-12).
Also at Westin KOR, the award-winning Pulehu, an Italian Grill will feature a four-course Thanksgiving harvest dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The hotel's Executive sous chef Wes Holder has designed the menu that features Ho'opono Farm arugula salad, L&R Farms Molokai sweet potato gnocchi, roasted turkey and Zia Maria's pumpkin gelato. Cost is $55 per adult ($27 additional for wine pairings). A dedicated children's menu is available at $15 per child* (ages 4-12). Reservations are highly recommended for both restaurants. Call 667-3254 or visit www.westinkaanapali.com to view the full menu.
The Westin KOR will also present its third annual Scarecrow Building Contest, Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest and Designing an Edible Bouquet contest Thanksgiving Day with prizes galore.
5 Palms Lahaina will open early for the Thanksgiving Day holiday at 4 p.m., serving a four-course dinner for $39.95 adults, plus tax and tip.
Begin with lobster salad martini or crab cakes, followed by a salad of local mixed greens. Then choose from three entrees such as roasted turkey breast served over mashed potatoes with sourdough stuffing, Southern style green beans and cranberry sauce; fresh island fish with white rice and fresh grilled vegetables; and slow-roasted prime rib with asparagus and baked potato.
For dessert, select from pumpkin pie or apple pie a la mode. Keiki meals are $15.95 for children 4 to 12. For reservations, call 5 Palms at 661-0937.
In Kaanapali, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa will serve its Autumn Harvest Buffet at the expansive and open-air Black Rock Steak & Seafood Restaurant from 4 to 8 p.m. Newly named Executive Chef Greg Gaspar will serve specialty garden salads such as bay shrimp and asparagus, cucumber namasu and baby clams, and watercress and tofu with bean sprouts. Savor international cheeses, crunch Caesar salads, peel and eat shrimp, and sip kobocha pumpkin bisque with tomato scallion relish.
Other seafood on ice includes oysters on the half shell, sashimi with wasabi and soy, and ahi poke and freshly rolled assorted handmade sushi.
Chef's signature dishes are oven-roasted turkey, herb-crusted strip loin of beef, honey cured Farmer John ham with mango-papaya relish, wild mushroom stew, volcano-spiced mahimahi, pan-seared rock shrimp and more. Pastries and desserts will be plentiful. Cost is $54 adults, and $25 per child ages 6 to 12. For reservations, you may call (808)-921-4600.
Next door to the Sheraton is Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, which will host an early-bird buffet from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as well as a dinner buffet from 3:30 to 7 p.m. in its Tiki Terrace restaurant.
The dinner buffet will also have Hawaiian music and a hula show. The menus are the same and will include Executive Chef Tom Muromoto's award-winning dishes such as rotisserie-roasted turkey, shiitake mushroom and sweet-corn stuffing, kiawe-smoked prime rib, baked salmon with artichoke hearts, and cold seafood bar with everything from crab legs to ceviche to freshly shucked oysters on the half shell.
You'll also find honey-mustard leg of lamb, slow-cooked Farmer John ham, green beans with bacon, au gratin potatoes, fresh fruits and a keiki station with hot dogs and pepperoni pizza.
Desserts range from carrot cake to mini fruit tarts to chocolate-dipped strawberries to bread pudding in whiskey sauce.
The early-bird buffets costs $42.95 adults and $24 children 6 to 12. The dinner buffet is $47.95 adults and same for children. Call 667-0124.
Merriman's Kapalua is known as the "home of Hawaii Regional Cuisine" and views of neighbor islands and the ocean are stunning. Starting at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, it will serve a limited a la carte menu, or you may opt for the Harvest Plate piled high with roasted Diestel Farms organic turkey with earth-grown carrots, green beans, local sweet potatoes, pineapple-cranberry relish, whipped potatoes, sage-sausage stuffing and homestyle gravy for $44 adults and $22 for children. Top it off with traditional pumpkin pie with housemade whipped cream for $6 a serving. Call 669-6400.
Situated at high elevation in Kapalua, the Plantation House offers commanding views of the ocean, coastline and the West Maui mountains behind.
While it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, on Thanksgiving Day a la carte meal specials will start at 3 p.m. Delight in starters such as Waipoli Farm wedge with artisanal bleu cheese dressing, crab-stuffed ahi with soy mustard; and butternut-squash soup with fresh herb croutons.
Go traditional with the turkey plate of fresh, oven-roasted turkey, mashed potato, gravy, sage stuffing, candied yams, fresh cranberry relish, and succotash of Kula corn and fresh peas. Cost is $32.50 adults, and $19.50 keiki. Or opt for Plantation House Oscar, pistachio-crusted catch, Diane's penne pasta and more. For reservations, call 669-6299.
Overlooking the Bay Golf Course and the ocean, Pineapple Grill in Kapalua will serve Thanksgiving breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and start dinner service early at 4 p.m. Gobble gobble the a la carte fresh, slow roasted turkey dinner with all of the sides for $31.95 adults, and $15.95 children younger than 12.
Other options are blue-crab crusted catch, Asian-braised Kobe short ribs and pumpkin pie in slices or whole to dine in or to go. Call 669-9600.
At Hali'imaile General Store's annual feast from 2 to 7 p.m., you may sit down to the first course of baby greens with shaved fennel, apple slices, goat cheese crumble and fig vinaigrette. Then head to the buffet for traditional roast turkey with gravy, braised short ribs, crab canneloni, Italian sausage and toasted pine-nut stuffing, corn pudding, brussels sprouts with bacon and mushrooms, cranberry-ginger compote, three-cheese mac and cheese, breads and pies. Cost is $38 for adults; and $22 for children ages 7 to 9. Call 572-2666.
5 Palms Kihei will dish up oceanfront views of Keawakapu Beach as well as a three-course turkey dinner from 3 to 9 p.m. for $39.95 adults. Begin with kabocha pumpkin bisque or Kula greens salad, followed by rosemary-scented turkey with chestnut-sausage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, honey-glazed Molokai sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables and fresh cranberry relish. Top it off with duo of pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake. A la carte turkey plates without the starter and dessert, keiki meals and a limited a la carte menu are also available. Call 879-2607.
One of the best Thanksgiving Day lunch deals on island will be at Seascape Maalaea Restaurant at Maui Ocean Center. Take note that admission is not required to tour the aquarium as there is a side entrance to the restaurant. But if you do wish to go, simply ask your server.
The holiday plate of slow-roasted turkey with sausage stuffing, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, green-bean Almondine and fresh cranberry sauce is $15.95 per person. You may also order trio of fresh catch with three different preparations at a similar price; and pumpkin and lobster bisque, or pumpkin cheesecake parfait for under $5 each. The lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more details, call 270-7068.
Tucked away at the Wailea Tennis Courts, Joe's will offer a three-course Thanksgiving Day special from 4 to 9 p.m. in addition to its regular menu.
The special includes harvest salad with cranberry-passion fruit vinaigrette, roasted turkey with gravy, Italian sausage and celery stuffing, mashed as well as sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts with bacon, sourdough bread and pumpkin pie. Cost is $34. Call Joe's at 875-7767.
Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei will feature its special Thanksgiving a la carte menu from 1 to 8 p.m. You may crunch Caesar salad, or opt for shrimp cocktail, artichoke-jalapeno dip or housemade hummus before you sink your teeth into the traditional turkey dinner plate. Other hot entrees will include prime rib, honey-glazed ham, mac-nut fresh fish and stir-fried tofu. Entree prices range from $18 to $32. Pumpkin and pecan pie are included. Turkey plates for children 6 to 12 cost $12. Call 874-3779.
The Makena Beach & Golf Resort will present its all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day buffet from 2 to 8 p.m. in the oceanfront Molokini Bar & Grille.
Besides Executive Chef Marc McDowell's signature thyme and sage oven roast turkey with giblet gravy and cornbread stuffing, the buffet will feature an action station with guava-honey-glazed ham and herb-crusted prime rib with au jus.
Other hot entrees include pan-seared catch with ponzu-butter sauce, grilled chicken with guava-chipotle barbecue sauce, and wagyu beef with black-truffle ravioli and wild mushroom nage.
Adding to the affair are hydroponic greens, grilled vegetables, dungeness crab, oysters on the half shell, rolled sushi, tiger prawns, and chef's bouillabaisse station with secret lobster broth. Top it off with pineapple rum pina-colada bites, key-lime pie, apple crumble and chocolate mousse. Cost is $60 adults, and $30 for children 6 to 12. Call 875-5888.
Sarento's on the Beach in Kihei will dish up optimum ocean and Kahoolawe island views for breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. and for Thanksgiving Day a la carte dinner, opening early at 4 p.m.
The three-course Thanksgiving special begins with lump crab and applewood smoked bacon chowder with Kula corn and parmesan tart; slow roasted fresh turkey with housemade Italian sausage stuffing, creme fraiche mashed potatoes, glazed local carrots, giblet gravy and li hing mui cranberry sauce; and pumpkin pie with chianti caramel and pumpkin gelato. Cost is $49 per adult. Other hot entrees include rack of lamb, Osso Buco with saffron risotto, pan-roasted island snapper and wild tiger shrimp in shellfish bisque scampi style. For reservations, call Sarento's at 875-7555.
Buzz's Wharf at Maalaea Harbor will draw in diners with its Thanksgiving Day buffet from noon to 8 p.m. in addition to a la carte limited lunch and regular dinner. But happy hour and early-bird specials will be suspended for the holiday.
For the buffet, start with house salad, herb roasted turkey and guava glazed ham and side such as taro rolls, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy, rice, cranberry sauce and dessert display. Cost is $28 per adult, and $14 keiki younger than 12. Call Buzz's at 244-5426.
Setting an elaborate stage from 3 to 8 p.m. with its all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day buffet will be DUO at Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea.
Temptations from the sea will be chilled Alaskan king crab legs, Kona lobster tail, oysters on the half shell, jumbo prawns and assorted sushi and sashimi.
Local sustainable fare includes Haiku vine ripened tomatoes, seafood Cobb salad, fresh seasonal fruits, living butter lettuce wedge with Green Goddess dressing, and chilled salmon crudo.
Imported and domestic cheeses will be paired with charcuterie meats. The farmer station features local heirloom carrots, beets, local asparagus and much more. Chefs will hand carve oven-roasted tom turkey, whole island catch, and prime rib. Top it off with pumpkin whoopie pies, chestnut trifle, lemon syrup cake and oven-roasted apples. Cost is $95 adults, and $46 for children 6 to 12. Call 874-8000.
Last, but certainly not least, Mala Wailea oceanfront in the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa will pull out all of the stops with its all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day buffet. Early seatings are at 3 and 3:30 p.m. at a reduced cost; and evening seatings from 5 to 9 p.m. are $49.95 adults, and $29.95 children 12 and younger.
Dive into sushi, ahi poke, crab legs, chilled shrimp, sashimi, crisp Caesar salad, assorted cheeses, tomato bisque and creamy French onion soup. Pile your plate with prime rib, herb-roasted turkey, and ham with organic pineapple glaze. Savor St. Louis ribs in hoisin glaze, mahimahi in mango butter, steamed vegetables, and desserts such as chocolate pecan pie. Call 875-9394.