Giving Thanks: ‘Maui style’

Annual dining roundup offers favorite isle picks

5 Palms hostess Hailee Pasatiempo (left) and Hartford Court Wines Sales and Marketing Manager Hailey Hartford-Murray toast to the Thanksgiving Day feast at the Kihei restaurant, at which Hartford Family Wines such as Russian River Valley pinot noir and old-vine zinfandel will be featured. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

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Join the 5 Palms ohana oceanfront at the Mana Kai Resort in Kihei for views from its perch overlooking Keawakapu Beach and the Neighbor Islands. Dine on a three-course turkey dinner or opt for the turkey plate and other limited, gourmet a la carte menu items from 3 to 9 p.m.

For the three-course, begin with roasted butternut squash soup with spiced creme fraiche; or hand-picked baby greens with goat cheese, roasted beets and pomegranate seeds tossed in white balsamic vinaigrette. Then savor the entree plate piled with roast turkey, sausage-apple stuffing, glazed yams, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and green beans almondine. Dessert is called pumpkin and spice.

Dine from 3 to 4 p.m. for the early-bird prices. Adults pay $44.95 and it’s $25.95 for kids 12 and younger. The price goes up about $5 from 4 to 9 p.m. The a la carte turkey plate costs $38.95. For reservations, call 5 Palms at 879-2607.

The oceanfront Burger Shack at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will grill turkey burgers and serve with sweet-bread buns, stuffing, cranberry aioli, gravy and sweet-potato fries with pumpkin gelato shakes and pie-dough crumbles. The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua photo

The award-winning Seascape Maalaea Restaurant will serve Thanksgiving lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in its prime spot overlooking Maalaea Harbor at Maui Ocean Center. Diners are not required to pay for aquarium admission to eat there. A la carte holiday appetizers are seared ahi encrusted with pumpkin seeds in a truffle butter noisette; and salad of roasted red beets with Kula harvest greens.

Sink teeth into entrees of oven-roasted, herb-infused turkey with lupchong stuffing along with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and Kula harvest vegetables; or prime rib roasted in garlic and rosemary with creamed horseradish. Entrees cost $17 and $19 per plate, respectively.

Desserts are champagne flute of white cake, pumpkin mascarpone and whipped cream; and chocolate-raspberry cake with ganache and fresh fruit garnish. Prices are $4 and $5 each. Call 270-7068 or visit

As usual, DUO at Four Seasons Resort Maui will present an elaborate Thanksgiving Day buffet from 1:30 to 8 p.m. Begin with raw bar favorites such as freshly shucked oysters on the half shell; snow crab claws and legs; chilled shrimp; Big Island lobster salad; tandoori-spiced ono tataki; shrimp ceviche; and assorted sushi. The salad station will be a display of all manner of greens and island produce; and there will be international and local cheeses; olives; marinated vegetables; and charcuterie sliced by the culinary team that will add to the feast.

Chefs will also carve oven-roasted tom turkey; and kiawe-wood smoked prime rib with English mustard. Sample small plates with wild mushroom toast and entrees such as miso-glazed sea bass; hearts of palm crab cakes; and flash-fried Brussels sprouts with sweet soy glaze.

Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop in tiny Olowalu will be “dessert central” with sweet and savory pies baked by Executive Chef Alex Yago (left) and Pastry Chef Curtis Horka. Leoda’s photo

Plentiful desserts of pears Belle Helene; pecan and maple-syrup tartlet; and mac-nut praline mousse will take it over the top and keiki will be happy with the knee-high buffet just for them. Cost is $113 per adult and $54 per child ages 6 to 12. Add $20 for to sip sfall-inspired cocktails.

For DUO reservations, call 874-2201.

Grand Wailea will offer three big dining options on Thanksgiving Day, including prix-fixe meals in its Bistro Molokini and Humuhumunukunukuapua’a with regular menus also available.

The grandest hotel in all of Maui will also present an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the opulent and open-air Grand Dining Room with views galore.

Chefs will carve roast prime rib in truffle demi; passion-fruit-glazed spiral ham and pomegranate-brined organic roast turkey. Other hot temptations are the risotto station; braised short ribs; crispy duck confit; and purple-sage and mustard-glazed steelhead trout. Raw bar will be piled high with snow crab claws; oysters and shrimp and hamachi. Desserts will include mini pumpkin beignets; cranberry cheesecake; ginger creme brulee and pumpkin pie. Cost is $95 for adults and $45 for kids 6 to 12.

Grand Wailea’s Bistro Molokini menu will feature Yukon Gold potato and leek soup with housemade bacon; roasted turkey roulade, jalapeno cornbread and apple-cider gravy; and choice of desserts. Cost is $55 per person.

At Humuhumu, situated in the middle of a saltwater lagoon at Grand Wailea, begin with curried butternut squash bisque; then savor an arugula salad with poached pears and goat cheese; followed by roasted turkey breast and black-truffled roulade and roasted pumpkin cheesecake. The cost is $75 per person. For reservations at Grand Wailea, call 875-1234.


Just a short rubber slipper’s toss to the ocean, Sea House Restaurant at the Napili Kai Beach Resort will dish up spectacular views and Thanksgiving Day a la carte items from 5 to 9 p.m. in addition to its regular breakfast, lunch and happy hour. Executive Chef Alex Stanislaw will serve fresh turkey from an organically managed farm, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, roasted winter vegetables, sweet potatoes, gravy and cranberries for $29 per plate. Other options are fresh catch, prime rib and pasta. Starters are roasted carrot soup, ahi sashimi, coconut shrimp and roasted beets. Indulge in plump pumpkin pie for dessert. Prices vary. For reservations, call 669-1500.

Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop in Olowalu offers turkey Thursdays throughout the year, first-come, first-served, starting today at 4 p.m. You may also pre-order Thanksgiving plates now that must be picked up by that time on the holiday.

The meal consists of Leoda’s signature stuffing (made with their famous bread, of course), mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey breast — all layered under pan gravy.

“We don’t have to tell you that it’s all homemade, and it’s delicious!” says Rosie Robbins, general manager. “Round out your turkey dinner with a mini pumpkin pie.”

As for holiday pies, Leoda’s is taking orders now through Sunday for pickup Wednesday and until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving at the counter,” says Robbins. Selections include apple crumb, pumpkin and pecan pies along with peanut butter, lilikoi meringue, Oreo d chocolate cheese, Hoaloha Farms purple sweet potato pie and crowd-pleasing pies of banana, chocolate, coconut, Olowalu lime and mac-nut pineapple pie, made with fresh Maui pineapples. To order or for more details, call Leoda’s at 662-3600.

The Terrace situated lower lobby level at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will feature a Thanksgiving brunch from 6:30 to 11 a.m., featuring pumpkin-spice pancakes and turkey for $42 per person. Children younger than 5 get in free.

The all-you-can-eat gourmet dinner buffet at The Terrace will run from 3 to 8 p.m. and will feature a welcome cocktail and live entertainment for $108 per adult, and $48 for children 6 to 12.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will also put on a four-course chef’s tasting menu at The Banyan Tree for $148 per person; and a three-course holiday dinner at Alaloa Lounge for $68 per person. For reservations, call the Ritz at 669-6200.

Maui Prime Fine Foods is the jewel of Emerald Plaza in Lahaina with steamer pots to go for fun clam bakes with all of the fixings.

You may also pick up wines; properly wrapped cheeses; oysters on the half shell; king crab; and live lobster and Dungeness crab.

Big Island abalone is super tasty and can be thrown right on the grill and sliced for pupu. The chefs will hand-cut Snake River Farms American-style Kobe beef steaks, and caviar from Uruguay is also on ice for the holidays. Maui Prime is closed Mondays, but will be open next week, except for Thanksgiving Day and Friday, Nov. 24. Call 661-4912.

The pink pyramid Ka’anapali Beach Club delights the whole family at ‘Ohana Bar & Grill, poolside and oceanfront.

Savor the all-you-can-eat buffet from 4 to 8 p.m. with roasted butternut-squash soup and lobster bisque. Salad bar items range from tropical fruits to truffled wild rice and asparagus. Dive into the chilled seafood cocktails and poke station.

At a carving station, chefs will slice kiawe-roasted strip loin of beef; herb-roasted turkey with natural gravy. Pile on green bean and mushroom casserole; yams glazed in lilikoi; roasted spaghetti squash with brown sugar butter; creamy mashed potatoes; kalua turkey; grilled mahimahi with corn and shrimp salad; and pumpkin ravioli.

From the bakery will come corn muffins; Molokai sweet rolls; chocolate-cream pie; and Maui pineapple upside-down cake. Cost is $38.50 for adults, and $20 for keiki 5 to 12. Call ‘Ohana at 661-2000.

Cane & Canoe, the signature restaurant at the Montage Kapalua Bay, will present an all-you-can-eat buffet from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a seasonal craft menu by Chef de Cuisine Robert Barrera.

Highlights include Upcountry farmers market table; Diestel Farms organic roasted turkey; lehua-honey glazed Berkshire ham; misoyaki Kona kampachi; and sides of haricot verts; Yukon Gold potato puree; and roasted parsnips will be plentiful. So will the children’s station and desserts from caramel apple cupcakes to holiday macaroons. The cost is $90 for adults and $30 for keiki 5 to 12. Call Montage Kapalua Bay at 662-6681.

For the ultimate Thanksgiving experience, you may book Montage’s famed Cliff House for lunch with family and friends and have it cooked by Executive Chef Chris Damskey. A 72-hour advance reservation is required. Call 662-6505.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel will present early-bird seating from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $47 for adults and $26 for children 6 to 12 for the all-you-can-eat buffet. The dinner buffet from 3 to 7 p.m. features live Hawaiian entertainment. Cost is $53 for adults and $26 for children 6 to 12.

Renowned as “Maui’s most Hawaiian hotel,” KBH exudes hospitality and warmth from the valet to the servers. Its Executive Chef Tom Muromoto is also the reigning “Best Chef on Maui,” and he’ll wow you with kiawe-roasted turkey with corn, sausage and sage stuffing; slow-roasted prime rib; rosemary-roasted pork loin; and passion fruit-glazed ham along with a cold seafood display of fresh oysters on the half shell, ahi poke and crab legs.

Crunch salad items from a host of local favorites; and pile your plate with hot entrees and noodles. The little ones will delight in the keiki buffet, and there will be desserts galore. Reservations required. Call KBH at 667-0124.

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will present an all-you-can-eat buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in its Swan Court restaurant. Enjoy views of swans, lagoons and waterfalls along with gourmet brunch featuring mustard-rubbed turkey, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and an array of artisan cheeses, freshly baked pies and more. Cost is $65 for adults, and $33 for children 5 to 12.

Hyatt Maui will also be jumping with Drums of the Pacific luau, and dinners at Japengo, ‘Umalu and Son’z Steakhouse restaurants. For Hyatt reservations, call 667-4727.

The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas will present a Thanksgiving dinner buffet from 4 to 8 p.m. in its Auntie’s Kitchen with a seafood bar, farm fresh greens, hand-selected cheeses, herb-roasted prime rib, kalua turkey with gravy and cranberry relish, kalbi salmon and guava-glazed ham. Cost is $59 for adults and $29 for children ages 4 to 12.

The Westin KOR will also present a Thanksgiving prix-fixe dinner in Pulehu, an Italian Grill from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., starting with mushroom ravioli in a prosciutto and parmesan consomme and kale salad with tart cherries, Marcona almonds and Gorgonzola cheese. The third course is herb-roasted turkey, lemon-cranberry sauce and gravy served alongside wild rice stuffing with sausage, apples and garlic greens. To end on a sweet note, pumpkin panna cotta with hazelnut crunch will be served.

Cost is $75 per person. For Westin KOR reservations, call 667-3254 or visit

At Maui’s newest property and the sister resort of Westin KOR, the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, also in Kaanapali, will feature a special Thanksgiving brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in its signature restaurant Mauka Makai, located poolside.

Gather around to feast on fresh-from-the-garden salads, roasted butternut squash and kiawe-honey soup, and roasted turkey with all the fixings. Chef action stations will feature prime rib and island-style roast pork. Sweet endings include an impressive display of malasadas, pumpkin crunch cakes, assorted Japanese cheesecakes and more.

Cost is $55 for adults, and $27 for children ages 6 to 12. For reservations call 662-6370 or visit www.westinnanea. com/maukamakai.

The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa at Pu’u Keka’a on Kaanapali is celebrating Thanksgiving with a festive feast with seatings from 4 to 8 p.m. at its signature Black Rock Kitchen. Three different birds from traditional herb-roasted turkey with Portobello-mushroom herb stuffing; to smoked mole turkey served with chorizo-sweetbread stuffing; and a buttermilk-fried turkey with a jalapeno-cornbread stuffing, will be presented.

Other mains are herb-crusted prime rib; honey-mustard and brown-sugar-glazed ham; steamed clams and mussels; and pretzel-mustard-crusted salmon. Side dishes, a chilled seafood display and desserts take it over the top. The cost is $62 per adult and $31 per child ages 6 to12. Reservations are required. Call the reservations line on Oahu at (808) 921-4600.

Some people crave foods other than traditional turkey meals for Thanksgiving. If you are in this category, then the Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina is the place for you. Plus you can shop ’til you drop between dining and even take in a movie at the theater there.

Both Captain Jack’s restaurant and Cool Cats Cafe at the Wharf Cinema Center will be open a half day from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Operating on regular hours Nov. 23 will be Down the Hatch along with other Wharf Cinema Center restaurants Tiki Tiki Thai, Shaka Sushi and India Express.


Wake up to Thanksgiving Day breakfast at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon in Paia from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or enjoy a special turkey feast from noon to 8 p.m.

Kalua turkeys will be guava-braised and slow-smoked over kiawe coals. There will be house salad with papaya dressing, wild mushroom and turkey gravy; Portuguese sausage, sage and mac-nut stuffing; Hawaiian sweet purple potatoes topped with honey and marshmallows; mashed red potatoes blended with garlic and herbs; coconut-and-almond green beans and your choice of pumpkin pie or pineapple crisp. Cost for the meal is $34. Children younger than 12 get half price. Reservations are recommended. Call Charley’s at 579-8085.

Marco’s Grill & Deli in Kahului will entice you with breakfast items and lunch and dinner fare such as pizzas, crisp salads and sandwiches. Fresh mahimahi is grilled and served piccata-style with capers, onions, butter, lemon juice and a unique twist with clam juice, tomato and fresh garlic over a bed of linguine. Crab mac ‘n’ cheese or plain for kids is comforting; and Lovin’ Spoonful fudge cake may be cold or heated with ice cream. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 877-4446.

Hosting Thanksgiving at home or going as a guest to a party? Takamiya Market, renowned as the “little giant of Happy Valley,” will open its doors from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. But it will be closed on Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26.

Buy ahi and tako poke, Korean ribs, teriyaki meats and char siu that can be thrown on the grill for pupu. You’ll find turkey bentos and you may order sushi and sashimi platters ahead. Its kitchen facility, Dani’s Catering, will also be open for pickup Thanksgiving Day with advanced orders on turkey, ham and such. To order, call 244-3404.

Home Maid Bakery in Wailuku remains a local favorite decade after decade for pumpkin, custard, apple and French apple pies. Hot malasadas are always popular on the holidays and come in cream-filled (can be with pumpkin) and plain, sprinkled with sugar. Pumpkin mochi is a seasonal treat. Rolls and breads are all baked in-house, too. Thanksgiving hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s best to order ahead. You may call 244-7015.

For 28 years, the Hard Rock Cafe fed the homeless and the hungry on Thanksgiving Day. Now the LahainaTown Action Committee will carry on the tradition from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the King Kamehameha School Cafeteria at 611 Front St., Lahaina. Donations for turkeys and supplies and volunteers to help set up, serve and clean are needed. Visit

Have a joyous Thanksgiving, everyone!