Easter eats

The Cafe O’Lei ohana of keiki enjoy cupcakes and watermelon. They are Lincoln Lang, Logan Lang and Harrison Byler. The Kahului restaurant is hugely popular on holidays such as Easter. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photos

Like clockwork, restaurant seats on Easter Sunday are selling out faster than a hare can hop. Follow his fast pace and hurry to make reservations. Address requests or needs at this time, rather than at busy hostess stands in the middle of the holiday rush.

Conveniently located in Central Maui, expansive Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes at Maui Lani will be jumping from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Easter Sunday with an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet.

Chefs will roast prime rib of beef and serve with au jus and creamed horseradish, and they will hand-carve roast leg of lamb stuffed with spinach and goat cheese and drizzled in rosemary jus.

Other hot highlights are jumbo shrimp linguine with Roma tomatoes, basil, garlic and cream; lightly blackened mahimahi with fresh papaya salsa and ginger butter; mac-nut breast of chicken in lemon-caper butter sauce; and honey-mac-nut roast pork with caramelized onion mashed potatoes or steamed rice.

Made-to-order omelets and a specialty salad station add to the feast. Desserts such as Bananas Foster with ice cream, chocolate fondue, pineapple upside-down cake and apple mango cobbler remain annual crowd pleasers. Cost is $39 per adult and $19 for children 4 to 12. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 877-0073.

5 Palms restaurant at Mana Kai Resort in Kihei will draw in Easter revelers with an all-you-can-savor brunch with eggs Benedict and much more.

Listen to Ron Kuala’au during Easter brunch at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and bring your appetites for the all-you-can-eat repast.

Enjoy an array of fresh garden salads, hot-cross buns, freshly baked croissants, seafood display of ahi poke, snow crab legs and poached tiger shrimp and chef’s omelet station.

Hot entrees include roasted leg of lamb with sweet-and-sour mint glaze, Farmer John ham, crab-stuffed baked salmon with dill butter, Blue Lake green bean almandine, traditional breakfast dishes, loaded mashed potatoes, steamed white rice and desserts such as pies and cakes. Also included are a seasonal fruit tray, coffee and tea and guava, pineapple and orange juices.

The cost is $44 per person and $22 for keiki 10 and younger. For reservations, call 243-1025.

Also part of the same Waikapu golf complex is the Kahili Restaurant, which will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet with the first seatings from 9 to 11 a.m. and the second from noon to 2 p.m. with live music by Kaniala Masoe.

Kahili Executive Chef Eddie Munoz will dazzle with seafood on ice featuring poached tiger shrimp and ahi poke, and a salad bar with creamy Caesar Romaine, fresh grilled vegetables, Caprese salad and red-skin potato salad.

Hot entrees are roasted leg of lamb with rosemary-mint jus, mac-nut chicken breast in beurre noisette, five-peppercorn crusted salmon, oven-roasted prime rib and cooked-to order omelets along with a host of desserts and beverages. The cost is $42.95 for adults and $20.95 for keiki ages 5 to 10. For reservations, call Kahili at 242-6000.

As usual, the Swan Court at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will present a sumptuous Easter Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in its vaulted-ceiling spot overlooking waterfalls, lagoons and swans.

Feast on the all-you-can-enjoy buffet of hand-carved prime rib, leg of lamb with rosemary crust, house-smoked salmon, peel-and-eat shrimp with kimchi cocktail sauce, hearts-of-palm salad and domestic cheese board items.

The buffet continues with Surfing Goat Dairy cheese egg-white frittata with zucchini and tomatoes, blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup and freshly baked pastries and desserts. Cost is $49 for adults and $28 for kids 5 to 12. Call the Hyatt concierge at 667-4727.

Gather the ohana for the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel’s legendary annual Easter Sunday champagne brunch served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The feast will be preceded by an Easter worship service, followed by a petting farm, Easter Bunny appearances, face painting, an egg hunt, arts and crafts, hula and Hawaiian entertainment.

A keiki buffet will delight with pizza, hot dogs, cookies, Jell-O and ice cream with toppings. For adults, Executive Chef Tom Muromoto has crafted an award-winning menu of fresh seafood, including ahi shoyu poke and raw crab poke along with pork laulau, slow-roasted beef strip loin and other local favorites. Pile your plates with salads and hot-from-the-kitchen soup and island fish with lemon-caper sauce. For dessert, devour pies, cakes, banana bread pudding with whiskey sauce and more.

Cost is $58 for adults and $26 for kids 6 to 12 years old. Get special-event parking rates. Reservations are a must. Call KBH at 667-0124.

In Kapalua, celebrate Easter island-style at the Plantation House from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with its first brunch buffet ever. In the past, it had always presented a la carte options at holiday meals.

“Indulge in snow crab legs and poke at the seafood bar along with prime rib and mahimahi at the carving station,” enthuses Office Manager Kathy Felten. “Enjoy Chef Eric Purugganan’s island-favorite classics including Hawaiian sweet bread French toast and vegetable fried rice. Guests at our Easter brunch buffet can also create their own combinations at our omelet action station.”

Plantation House buffet is priced at $65 for adults and $27 for kids 6 to12. For the complete menu, visit the website at www.theplantationhouse.com or call 669-6299.

In tiny Olowalu, Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop sells some of the best baked breads, pies and home-style meals on island. Normal business hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We will feature our buttermilk fried chicken, mashed potatoes and country gravy with Brussels sprouts starting at 4 p.m. as our Sunday special,” says Leoda’s General Manager Rosie Robbins. “This is in addition to our regular menu. Chef will be baking up a storm of desserts, too, just for Easter Day.”

Call Leoda’s ahead for special orders at 662-3600.

Tucked off Dickenson Street away from the hustle and bustle of Front Street, Lahaina Coolers is an intimate eatery for locals as well as tourists savvy enough to find it. Just look for the blue-striped marlin, a massive marine trophy hung from the ceiling and perfect for photo ops.

Open at 8 a.m., Lahaina Coolers serves food until midnight and stays open until 2 a.m. for cocktails. Dinner entrees that appeal are sizzling shrimp with garlic; Evil Jungle pasta with chicken, peppers and peanut sauce on linguine; and bone-in pork chop laced with Chinese five-spice sauce. For reservations, call 661-7082.

Maui Prime Fine Foods in the Emerald Plaza in Lahaina is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays. It’s the one-stop gourmet shop for Snake River Farms Kurobuta hams, custom-cut American-style Kobe steaks, domestic lamb racks and boneless leg of lamb. Seafood and oysters are plentiful.

You may place orders now for Maui Steamer Pots in various sizes to have an Easter clam bake and buy Black River Oscietra caviar.

“Maui Steamer Pots are always a huge hit for any holiday,” says staffer Jason Mahon. “Last but not least, Maui Prime is the exclusive Maui dealer for the Big Green Egg grill.”

To place orders, call Maui Prime at 661-4912.

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Kapalua will present some holiday specials in addition to its regular dinner menu. Sink your teeth into grilled rack of lamb with seasonal vegetables and roasted pork loin in spicy mango glaze and garlic mashed potatoes. These entree go for $33.95 per plate. Sansei will also make a holiday dessert special of Hawaiian sweet bread pudding with mac nuts, chocolate chips, coconut sorbet and caramel sauce for $9.50. Call 669-6286.

Looking for hot cross buns? How about pies, cakes, hot malasadas and fabulously decorated rainbow emoji Easter cookies, cupcakes and cakes? Then head straight to Home Maid Bakery on Lower Main Street in Wailuku. Easter hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. For orders, call 244-7015.

Overlooking the Dolphin Pools and the ocean at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria resort, the opulent Grand Dining Room once again sets a festive stage for its annual Easter brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The seafood display table glistens with Pacific Coast oysters, snow crab, Gulf shrimp and ahi poke in coconut shells. Cold items are imported and local cheeses, foie gras brulee, hamachi and California sushi rolls, deviled eggs, spring vegetable crudite, heirloom tomato salad, artisanal charcuterie and breads and antipasti.

Hot entrees are orange-and-ginger-glazed pork belly, poached Hawaiian fish, roasted Brussels sprouts in citrus brown butter and soft-shell crab bao buns. From the carvery comes honey-glazed leg of lamb with leek fondue and mint jus, pepper-crusted smoked ribeye with sherry jus and guava-lavender honey-glazed suckling pig. Desserts include lemon meringue tart, vanilla panna cotta, fresh raspberry with almond cream, hazelnut financier and Kumu Farm chocolate cake.

Cost is $98 per adult and $45 per child. Call the Grand Wailea at 875-1234, ext. 51.

The expansive, open-air 5 Palms oceanfront at Mana Kai Resort in Kihei will present a special brunch buffet Easter Sunday.

Early-bird seatings are 8 to 9 a.m. for $54.95 for adults. Regular seatings are from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for $59.95 per adult. At both seatings, it’s $34.95 for kids 12 and younger.

“Join us for another fabulous Easter Brunch in our beautiful oceanfront setting on Keawekapu Beach,” says 5 Palms GM Moki Chong Kee, who oversees the friendly service team.

Delight in the lavish seafood and sushi display with green-lip mussels, shrimp, smoked salmon and assorted sushi and sashimi. Prime rib and guava-glazed ham will be carved to order. Opt for eggs Benedict or build-your-own omelets.

Select from the chef’s farmhouse cheeseboard, savor fresh snapper with ginger and scallion sauce and roasted all-natural chicken with lemon-thyme jus and an array of delectable desserts. Ask for the wine list and enjoy your holiday. For 5 Palms reservations, call 879-2607.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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