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New Wailuku restaurant ushers in some sparkle for the New Year

Sake clams. AYA GANZ photo

As the holiday fun of dining on Maui continues, let’s enjoy these last days of 2019 and make them count. How ’bout taking a friend to a stunning new restaurant in Wailuku? SixtyTwo MarcKet, the prize of a lifelong dream of chef and owner Marc McDowell, is right on time to usher in some sparkle for the New Year.

The restaurant found its perfect fit right next door to the Historic Iao Theatre. It’s a great place to have breakfast before exploring Wailuku town or to grab lunch before a show.

Every morning, fresh produce is brought in and Chef Marc starts to play; creating beautiful, delicious meals that intrigue and delight our tastebuds. Marc presents an exciting upscale menu at a great price. Flavors and textures are exquisitely combined and arranged. Marc, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., came to Maui in 1991 and worked with some of the best restauranteurs on island. Bev Gannon, of Hali’imaile General Store, helped him form his early career by showing him the importance of utilizing and focusing on the harmonization of our island’s seasonal bounty.

Marc tells us that every farmer he teams with adds a personal fingerprint to SixtyTwo, “Everyone is invested in the success of the restaurant . . . even the art on the walls is local,” he says. The art and the menu change every 62 days, keeping SixtyTwo current and seasonal. “We want to focus on the freshness of everyone’s produce,” said Marc. Hand-picked delights are showcased at the front of the house, like a glamorous farm stand, bringing the diner closer to the farms from where their food came. Pesto and spice rubs made in house are also available . . . super gift ideas for foodies!

Chef Marc started my experience off with his scallop and hamachi carpaccio. An absolute winner. Fresh Asian pear, pomegranate seeds, edamame, red grapes, grapefruit, micro mint with a Spanish ponzu sauce are served with raw scallop and raw fish. The flavors were exciting and different. Stunningly plated. Just perfect.

Next was his breathtaking coconut and taro oyster Rockefeller. A stunning take on the classic. Really interesting and refreshing. It consists of oysters with a creamy coconut bechamel in a luau leaf with a lilkoi hollandaise sauce. I’ve never seen oysters done this way. A must try.

I was also served the sake clams. Tiny steamed clams in a miso sriracha broth with daikon and bonito flakes are served with toasted crusty bread. This warming broth took me back to Cape Cod summers, but with a unique new flavor combination.

Then I had Marc’s papaya and shrimp salad. Curried shrimp with shallots and fresh mint are served on top of a papaya. Beautiful. The flavors were delicate and perfectly done. I finished off with a fried chicken sandwich: buttermilk, hot sauce breaded fried chicken thigh, jalapeno pickle slaw, spicy aioli on a sweet bun. Wow! What a great tasting sandwich!

For the finale, I was given a trio of 62 MarcKet’s decadent desserts. A vegan, gluten free chocolate tart: rich and creamy and just sinful. The calamansi tart: bold, tangy and bright. And a slice of gingerbread cake: I was in heaven. Don’t skip dessert!

So pick a friend or two or three and take them to SixtyTwo MarcKet for a dynamite meal that is farm stand chic. Upscale food at a great price.

* SixtyTwo MarcKet, 62 N. Market St., Wailuku. Call (808) 793-2277.

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RING IN 2020

Ring in the New Year in style at one of the following restaurants offering special New Year’s Eve celebrations:

Cane & Canoe, at Montage Kapalua Bay, will offer an exquisite four-course prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Butter-poached Keahole lobster salad, Wagyu beef tartare, pan roasted Colorado lamb chop and frozen chocolate mousse are some of the course choices. The cost is $120 per person. For reservations, call 662-6681 or visit caneandcanoe.com.

The New Year’s Eve dinner celebration at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel will feature a special dinner menu available from 5 to 9 p.m.

The cost is $75 for adults and includes a glass of champagne and party favors. The cost for children is $45. Keiki age 5 and younger eat for free with a paying adults.

Reservations are required and may be made by calling 667-0124 or visiting tikiterracerestaurant.com.

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