STAMP OF APPROVAL . . . I recall on a trip to Kentucky last October, being given a passport-style book to get stamped at various plants on the famous Bourbon Trail.
On Friday at Lahaina Center, 100 Wines is launching a new series of worldly wine dinners and you'll get stamps and discounts, too.
"We are creating a real passport, which each guest will be issued when they take part in our events," says 100 Wine's General Manager Cindy DelleFave.
Crystal Barron, manager and wine director for 100 Wines in Lahaina Center, will present the three-course wines and foods of Spain dinner Friday and the entree choices are paella with rabbit and lots of seafood or braised oxtails.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"Each passport will get a specially designed stamp that coordinates with the country of the theme dinner. For the first six months, we will feature the wines and foods of Spain in September, Italy in October, Australia and New Zealand in November, France in December, South America in January, and the USA in February.
Friday's dinner, as well as the others that will all be held on the first Friday of every month, costs $50 per person for three courses with wine pairings.
When your passport has been completed (stamped 12 times from our different dinners)," continues DelleFave. "You will receive a complimentary chef created dinner by Lyndon Honda for four people!"
Got restaurant / dining event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday's Spanish menu looks tempting with options such as Galicia soup, octopus and potatoes, bacalao (salt cod), and seafood paella.
BITS AND PIECES . . . On Sunday, it's time to pay homage to our elders on Grandparent's Day. The Seascape Maalaea restaurant will offer lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Admission to Maui Ocean Center isn't required, but it will make for a fun outing.
Former national weatherman Willard Scott was the first person to don the Ronald McDonald costume back in 1963.
Now, the famous fast-food mascot will put on a show in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Hawaii Ronald McDonald House, kicking off at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center in Kahului. Toddlers will love the interactive performance.
Speaking of franchised restaurants, we hear IHOP has opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in a shopping mall next to the world's biggest indoor ski slope. Carb up on cakes and then schuss.
Love gourmet pizza? The new Manoli's in the old Matteo's location on Wailea Ike Drive is now offering pizza delivery during dinner.
"While we're open for lunch and dinner daily starting at 11:30 a.m., we only do delivery from 5 p.m. to Wailea, Makena and parts of Kihei," says Manoli's owner, Aaron Placourakis.
Rising-star chef Ryan Luckey has resurfaced on Maui's dining scene. Many people have been asking about his whereabouts.
Formerly with the Pineapple Grill in Kapalua, he's joined Hula Grill Ka'anapali as the new executive sous chef, working under the culinary direction of Chef-Owner Peter Merriman and Chefs Bobby Masters and Chris Schobel.
"We couldn't be more pleased than to have Chef Ryan join the culinary team here at Hula Grill Ka'anapali," says GM Orrin Cross.
"Not only does he bring tremendous experience and a desire to achieve the highest standards in culinary excellence and guest satisfaction, he also has a strong sense of ohana and aloha, which are among our primary core values."
Kihei cook Ali Bresnahan has been awarded a blue ribbon at Just A Pinch Recipes, the new community created for and by cooks in hometown America, for her Rum Coconut Slush.
Everybody loves a deal. That's why I'o On The Beach Restaurant at 505 Front St., in Lahaina is offering 25 percent off all of its entrees everyday in the bar as well as in the dining room. The special runs until the end of September.
A kamaaina special is running through September at Lahaina Grill from 6 p.m. every Monday for those with Hawaii ID.
A new two-for-one kamaaina discount is available at Gannon's, A Pacific View Restaurant in Wailea for over a dozen entrees from miso-glazed Kona kampachi to loin of lamb. . . Gannon's sister restaurant, or should I say "husband restaurant," Joe's, as it's named after legendary patriarch Joe Gannon, is doing early-bird and twilight specials with meat loaf, jambalaya, prime rib and other manly fare.