May the stuffing be yummy and the turkey be plump. May the mashed potatoes have not a lump. May the poke be scrumptious and the pies tantalize. May the Christmas feast stay off your thighs. Here is a roundup of what some top island chefs will be cooking.
When Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas (KOR) unveiled its Skating by the Sea hybrid rink earlier this month, people raved about gliding on it.
You still may, whether you're a guest at the hotel or not. It will remain open throughout the holidays, decked to the nines, offering lots of photo ops.
Skating by the sea at Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas are Sasha Tanaka (from left),Veronica Torres and Sulinn Aipa.
Photo courtesy Westin Resorts
From 3 to 8 p.m. Christmas Day, celebrate with family and friends at the resort's Ocean Pool Bar & Grill. It will offer a superb buffet with numerous choices for $53 adults and $26.50 children 4 to 12. In addition, you may skate on the high-tech polymer rink at a special rate of $15 per hour, per person.
"From chilled snow-crab legs and jumbo tiger shrimp at the island seafood section to slow-roasted prime rib of beef and rosemary-roasted ham at the carving station, the choices are plentiful," says Bob Megargle, Westin KOR's food and beverage director.
Enjoy fresh salad selections and more hot entrees such as grilled island catch, whole-roasted turkey, maple-glazed sweet potatoes, rock-shrimp fried rice, pumpkin pie and chocolate truffle desserts. Call 667-3200.
At Westin KOR's sister property, the original Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali, there will be two dining options full of holiday cheer.
The first option will be at the resort's 'OnO Bar & Grill, where an all-you-can-eat Christmas dinner buffet will be presented from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is $59 adults, and $29.50 for children ages 6 to 12.
The second affair will be from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Tropica Restaurant & Bar, where you may dine oceanfront on a three-course prix-fixe dinner for $55 adults. The regular menu will also be available. Call 667-2525.
In colder climes, nothing bespeaks a winter extravaganza like fondue. At The Melting Pot in Lahaina, indulge in this Swiss holiday favorite of dipping delectables into cheeses and hot broths as you dine in air-conditioned comfort from 5 to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
"Over the years, we have discovered that many people love to fondue as a holiday family tradition - so we get packed with families and friends still wanting to enjoy this great dining style even here in Maui!" says General Manager Cindy DelleFave.
The four-course fondue extravaganza is priced at $55 per person. It includes a choice of cheese fondue; fresh garden salad; entree featuring Angus sirloin, pork tenderloin, pasta, shrimp, chicken breast, and vegetables - all served with signature sauces.
Dessert is candy-cane dark-chocolate fondue with pound cake, brownies, fresh Maui Gold pineapple, strawberries and more for dipping. This special prix-fixe menu is in addition to the regular options. For reservations, call 661-6181.
The Melting Pot's sister restaurant, 100 Wines, will also offer a four-course feast, this time with wine pairings at a cost of $65 per person. Dine from 5 to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The menu sounds positively festive with the first course of a wedge of brie with roasted walnuts, puff pastry, crostinis and pomegranate molasses paired with a sparkling prosecco from Italy. The second course is lobster tail Thermidor style with a nice Austrian wine.
The entree course is titled, Duck, Duck, Goose with smoked goose and chestnut roulade, duck-fat and sage-bread pudding, wild-rice duck-confit flan, fresh green and white asparagus, and Delas Cotes du Venoux from France as the wine pairing.
As icing on the cake, you may enjoy eggnog souffle glace with warm white-chocolate eggnog shots and eggnog dust. Call 661-6181.
Situated high in the hills of Kapalua, Plantation House will set a cozy stage for Christmas Day with its two-sided fireplace and views that span the neighbor islands of Lanai and Molokai.
The restaurant will be open during regular hours starting at 8 a.m. Christmas Day. New Executive Chef Jojo Vasquez will present a five-course tasting menu as well as his regular menu starting at 3 p.m.
The tasting menu begins with crispy oysters, house-cured salmon, ikura, and cucumber-dill cream; followed by Maui onion soup with gruyere cheese. Next up will be Hawaiian snapper with root veggies in coconut curry; then filet of beef with sauce Bordelaise; and chocolate-ginger cake with fresh raspberries. Cost is $110 per adult; and $150 with wines, plus tax and tip. Reservations strongly recommended. Call Plantation House at 669-6299.
Reservations are also a must at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel's extravagant Christmas Day buffet with over 60 items by the culinary team. The resort's Executive Chef Tom Muromoto will tempt you twice with a Christmas Day buffet luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with pricing at $44.95 for adults and $22 for children ages 6 to 12; and dinner buffet seating from 3 to 7 p.m. Cost for adults is $48.95 adults, and $22 for children ages 6 to 12.
Presented in the resort's Tiki Terrace Restaurant with both open-air lanai seating and indoor air conditioning, the brunch will feature macadamia-nut crusted roasted leg of lamb, rotisserie-roasted goose with fresh poha-berry chutney, kiawe-smoked pepper-crusted prime rib, and roasted turkey with shiitake-and-corn stuffing.
Seafood lovers will find a cold buffet with all-you-can-eat crab legs, oysters and poke. There will be a keiki station with hourly Santa visits; and a fabulous array of holiday dessert favorites. Call 667-0124.
Like its sister restaurant in Kihei, 5 Palms Lahaina dishes up incredible ocean views from its Polynesian longhouse of a restaurant on Front Street.
Expansive, with lots of open-air seating and views of the Lahaina Roadstead and neighbor islands beyond, it will serve a three-course Christmas Day turkey dinner as well as a limited a la carte menu from 3 to 9 p.m.
Begin with the first course of kabocha pumpkin bisque or Kula greens salad; followed by rosemary-scented turkey with chestnut-and-sausage stuffing, garlic-mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, Molokai sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables and fresh-cranberry relish. Dessert is duo of pumpkin pie and cheesecake with creme Anglaise. Cost is $39.95 adults. For reservations, call 661-0937.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, nestled next to famous Black Rock on Kaanapali Beach, will present Christmas Eve breakfast with Santa with seatings starting at 8 a.m. for $39 adults, and $20 for children. Let the kids get their pictures taken with old St. Nick and try their little hands at cookie decorating.
From 4 to 8 p.m. Christmas Day, sink your teeth into the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet served on the beach and under the stars. Highlights include tom turkey, prime rib of beef, fresh Hawaiian sashimi, traditional yule log for dessert, and more. Cost is $68 for adults, and $32 for children. Call the reservation line on Oahu at (808)-921-4600.
Pineapple Grill in Kapalua will be open for Christmas Day breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; grill menu from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; and dinner will begin early at 4 p.m. Executive Chef Isaac Bancaco's special is a pound and a half butter-poached whole-Maine lobster with orzo and lemongrass-fried rice, tarragon-spiked Bernaise sauce, and bacon-braised kale. Call 669-9600.
The 12 Days of "FISH-mas" continues its countdown at Maui Ocean Center in Maalaea.
Aquarium visitors may enjoy daily sightings of Scuba Claus at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Elf at 3 p.m. during dives at the Open Ocean exhibit.
Several Christmas Day lunch specials will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the center's Seascape Maalaea Restaurant. You may keep it separate by simply entering through the side walkway. But with Scuba Claus next door at the center, it may be hard to resist taking a tour, especially with wide-eyed keiki in tow.
The specials include Cajun scallops over baby spinach, with crumbled feta cheese, red beets, cucumbers, roasted pine nuts and balsamic dressing; slow-roasted turkey with giblet gravy, garlic-mashed potatoes, sausage-and-chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sauteed Kula vegetables; and herb-marinated New York steak with merlot demi glace, mushroom stew, split crab legs, drawn butter, potato gratin and sauteed Kula vegetables.
The specials run from $14.95 to $17.95, respectively. The Christmas Day dessert will be a warm brownie topped with peppermint ice cream for $4.95. Walk ins are welcome. For more details, call 270-7068.
Maalaea Harbor's landmark Buzz's Wharf restaurant will feature its regular lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., pupu from 3 to 5 p.m., and a special prix-fixe menu from 5 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day.
Watch the boats and the humpback whale action, and savor the four-course Christmas prix-fixe for $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Begin with spinach-and-strawberry salad and Buzz's shrimp bisque, followed by an appetizer duo of fresh prawn cocktail on lemongrass skewer and Tahitian prawn won ton with dipping sauce.
Entree choices are smoked, bacon-wrapped filet mignon with herb Bernaise sauce and pickled Hamakua mushrooms; or crisp pan-fried snapper in a creamy-citrus lobster-truffle sauce. For dessert, dive into warm brownie with vanilla Anglaise. Or opt for Buzz's regular dinner menu, packed with seafood items. Call 244-5426.
5 Palms is located right on the ocean on Keawakapu Beach in Kihei, on the ground floor of Mana Kai Resort. It features plenty of seating and views galore along with a three-course turkey dinner for $44.95 adults. Holiday dinner hours are from 3 to 9 p.m.
Begin with the first course of kabocha-pumpkin bisque or Kula-greens salad; followed by rosemary-scented turkey with chestnut-and-sausage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, Molokai sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables and fresh-cranberry relish. Dessert is duo of pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake with creme Anglaise. For reservations, call 879-2607.
Located lobby level at Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Mala Wailea will present an all-you-can-eat buffet feast with early-bird seating at 3 and 3:30 p.m. with prices for adults at $49.95 and children 12 and younger at $29.95; and regular dinner buffet seating from 5 to 9:30 p.m. with adult admission at $62, and keiki $34.
The salad bar will be laden with sushi, ahi poke, sashimi, crisp Romaine Caesar, pohole fern shoots, chilled shrimp, and assorted cheeses. Sample soups such as white bean and kabocha pumpkin.
Chefs will hand carve prime rib and serve with creamy horseradish; and ham with Maui organic-pineapple glaze. Savor roasted turkey, grilled mahimahi, stuffed-pork loin with star-anise demi glace, and desserts such as chocolate pecan pie, red-velvet caramel cake, assorted mousses, and seasonal fruits.
Mala Wailea's lounge will also serve a limited a la carte menu with buffet. It's open from 4 to 10 p.m., but dinner starts at 5 p.m. For reservations, call 875-9394.
Makena Beach & Golf Resort will have you be jolly by golly with two dining options Christmas Day. Choose the all-you-can-eat brunch buffet from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dig into hot entrees from action stations.
Highlights are Hawaiian sashimi, Cuban mojo pork loin with pineapple salsa, duck pate, international cheeses, eggs Benedict, and chocolate delights. Enjoy live music and Santa visits. Cost is $60 adults; $45 children 9 to 12; and $30 children 5 to 8.
Makena's Christmas Day dinner buffet will run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the oceanfront Molokini Bar & Grille. Delight in salads, ice carvings, live music, barbecue baby back ribs, whole-roasted tom turkey, poke, mini key-lime pies and more. Cost is same as brunch. For reservations, call Makena Beach at 875-5888.
Stella Blues Cafe, located in a free-standing building at Azeka Mauka shopping center in Kihei, will serve breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to noon; then reopen for early Christmas Day dinner service at 2 p.m.
Choose from indoor air-conditioned seating or outdoor lanai seating, breezy and casual. Homestyle fare will be served for the holiday.
Crunch Upcountry greens with strawberries, green apples and feta cheese or classic Caesar salads, share appetizers such as artichoke-jalapeno dip with crunchy tortilla chips; shrimp cocktail; or housemade hummus with a hint of lemon on toasted pita.
Entrees range from traditional turkey dinner to prime rib to fresh catch to yellow curry with tofu. Entree prices range from $18 to $42 for surf 'n' turf. For reservations, call Stella Blue's at 874-3779.
Pacific Whale Foundation will offer a Christmas Day brunch cruise at 11:30 a.m. and two Christmas Day dinner cruises at 5 and 5:30 p.m. - all departing from Lahaina Harbor.
The cost includes many locally grown and produced food items along with juices, sodas and water. Adults 21 and older may also enjoy up to three cocktails. Cruise prices vary. Visit www.pacificwhale.org.
Maui Beach Hotel will dazzle Central Maui diners with a special version of its dinner buffet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with seatings at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Island residents and visitors alike adore the local favorite salads such as long rice with chicken, crab and broccoli, rainbow pasta and macaroni potato.
The hotel's Elleair Ballroom will provide air-conditioned comfort as you peruse seafood on ice such as assorted island poke, Maui Beach sushi, and plump shrimp cocktail in tangy tomato sauce.
Maui Beach chefs will hand carve roasted prime rib with au jus, and Christmas-glazed ham. Other hot highlights are shrimp and vegetable tempura, baked salmon, mussels topped in bacon and cheese, buttered corn, mashed potatoes, fried noodles, and seafood chowder. Desserts range from the chocolate fountain to strawberry cheesecake. Cost is $36 adults, and $18 children 6 to 11. Call 872-9307.
Cary & Eddie's Hideaway located right on Kahului Harbor will provide an affordable, traditional dinner buffet from 5 p.m. to closing at a price of $25.99 adults, and $12.99 for keiki younger than 10.
Pile your plates with roast turkey, barbecue baby-back pork ribs, ranch-baked ono, broiled-teriyaki salmon, roast top sirloin, garlic-mashed potatoes, turkey with gravy, corn on the cob, candied yams, kalua pig and cabbage, choice of brown or steamed white rice, chuke (turkey rice soup) and salad bar. The buffet also includes coffee, tea and fountain drinks. In addition, an a la carte prime rib plate with salad bar and more costs $24.99. Call 873-6555.
Last, but certainly not least, Kahili Restaurant in Waikapu will serve a Christmas Eve dinner buffet from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday. Savor salad bar items, and enjoy fruit salad and grilled fresh vegetables before heading to the seafood on ice and carving stations. Besides prime rib, you'll also find ham in pineapple glaze, St. Louis ribs in hoisin-barbecue sauce, herb-rubbed Cornish hens, pan-roasted tiger shrimp linguine, desserts and more. Cost is $34.95 adults; and $17.95 for children 6 to 12. Call 242-6000.