Restaurant Week: Wailea

Biannual dinner deals start Sunday in celebration of signature resort cuisine

Ruth’s Chris Steak House hostesses Mary Lynn Johannes (left) and Makena Hogan; CARLA TRACY photo

It’ll cost you way more than a Happy Meal. But if you are craving a gourmet multi-course feast served in one of Wailea’s top restaurants at a discounted cost with Maui Food Bank as the beneficiary, then it’s time to pick up the iPhone and make reservations or jump online to www.opentable.com.

Yes, South Maui’s hugely popular biannual dinner promo, “Restaurant Week Wailea” may once again be enjoyed at 21 participating resort restaurants starting Sunday and running through May 27.

“It’s an unfortunate truth, but some people in our very own community just don’t get enough to eat — so raising funds is important for hunger charities such as Maui Food Bank,” says Geno Sarmiento, corporate executive chef for Tri-Star Restaurant Group’s Nick’s Fishmarket and Manoli’s Pizza Co., both participating.

In fact, all of the restaurants will once again create some remarkable three-course, chef-inspired prix-fixe menus for $29, $39, $49 or $59 per person. The cost depends upon the individual restaurants — and beverages, tax and gratuity are in addition to the meal.

To make it more intriguing, some restaurants create wine pairings at affordable prices.

Morocccan-spiced salmon by Nick’s Fishmarket; photo courtesy restaurant

This time around, the only restaurants dishing up $29 feasts are Manoli’s Pizza Co. and the new Wailea Kitchen & Tap in the old Joe’s.

At the latter, Chef Judah Secunda will offer a choice of shrimp cocktail or Caesar salad; with chicken panzanella or braised chuck roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and roasted vegetables; and brownie a la mode.

In the $39 category are Ama Bar & Grill at the Fairmont Kea Lani; Fabiani’s at Wailea Gateway and Mulligans on the Blue restaurant.

At Mulligans, Chef Roland Kennedy will entice with Dublin Bay seafood chowder, mini corned beef Wellington or Emerald greens with Cashel blue cheese, bacon bits, roasted root veggies and stoneground mustard vinaigrette; and entrees of Gaelic steak; blackened mahimahi over penne pasta; or Irish lamb stew; and your choice of Finnegan’s pie or apple or pineapple pies.

In the $49 category, Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be sizzling along with Pita Paradise, Matteo’s Osteria, Kapa Bar & Grill, Monkeypod Kitchen, Longhi’s Wailea, Ka’ana Kitchen, Bistro Molokini and Tommy Bahama.

Acquapazza, a Neapolitan seafood dish by Matteo’s Osteria; photo courtesy restaurant

“Since we were just a tiny pizzeria, the Restaurant Week Wailea has been an opportunity for us to connect with our community the way Italians prefer — with great wine and great food!” says Matteo’s Osteria owner Matteo Mistura, the reigning “Best Chef on Maui” in the annual Best of Maui readers poll.

“I invite you this year to join me and experience a range of delicious flavors in three courses of true Italian cuisine incorporating the fresh, local ingredients of the island,” Mistura adds. “Ciao amici!”

In the $59 meal category, participants will include the Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, DUO at Four Seasons Resort Maui, Humble Market Kitchin at Wailea Beach Resort, Ko and Nick’s Fishmarket at Fairmont Kea Lani and Humu at Grand Wailea.

“It is our responsibility to feed people, especially those who may be less fortunate,” says Four Seasons Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst. “My team and I are very proud to participate in Restaurant Week Wailea. Hopefully Wailea’s united effort will be the most successful yet and ensure that less people on Maui go hungry.”

Dryhurst is especially excited about two of DUO’s menu items: a classic steak tartare with a twist and a seasonal Kula strawberry dessert with hotel-grown limes.

Steak tartare by DUO; photo courtesy restaurant

Ama Bar & Grill 875-4100

Bistro Molokini 875-1234

DUO Steak & Seafood 874-8000

Fabiani’s Wailea 874-1234

Gannon’s 875-8080

Herb grilled sirloin by Humble Market Kitchin; photo courtesy restaurant

Humble Market Kitchin 879-4655

Humuhumunukunukuapua’a 875-1234

Ka’ana Kitchen 573-1234

Kapa Bar & Grill 879-1922

Ko 875-2210

Longhi’s Wailea 891-8883

Manoli’s Pizza Co. 874-7499

Matteo’s Osteria 891-8466

Monkeypod Kitchen 874-1131

Mulligans on the Blue 879-7224

Nick’s Fishmarket Maui 879-7177

Pita Paradise Bistro Wailea 874-8880

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 879-2224

The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea 879-2224

Tommy Bahama 875-9983

Wailea Kitchen & Tap 878-3663

To view the full menus, visit www.restaurantweekwailea.com. For online dinner reservations, visit www.opentable.com.

$2 from each meal will go to Maui Food Bank