Zagat rates Capische? as "the No.1 Italian Restaurant in Hawaii." Open Table puts it in the "Top 50 Romantic Restaurants in the Country."
But for many of us on Maui, the highly acclaimed restaurant is out of our price range, except for special occasions. Now, there are deals to be had, and it's affordable during happy hour as well as for kamaaina dinners.
"We do sunset happy hour every day from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the lounge and in the bar," says General Manager Elizabeth Belbot. "We brought in some high-top cocktail tables so you can see more of the beautiful sunset through the large open doors. Our chefs like to offer things that are not on the regular menu for you to try."
Server Jessica Brown brings fresh passion fruit mojitos to the table, made from fruit just plucked from Hotel Wailea’s orchard.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
On a recent visit, we savored the lamb-and-mushroom ragu with fresh black-pepper tagliatelle, Big Island mushrooms, Osso Buco tossed in for fun and a dollop of chive creme fraiche. We also thoroughly enjoyed the orecchiette salsiccia of housemade pasta in saffron and squid-ink flavors, topped with housemade fennel sausage and garden vegetables all drizzled in extra virgin olive oil.
"We call the orecchiette 'little ears,' because that is what they look like," says Belbot. "We brought in a pasta machine and we actually make pretty much all of our pastas, including spaghettinis and strozzaprettis. And, we grow herbs and arugula in our on-site garden."
"Normally, our appetizers are in the $16 to $21 range on the regular menu," she continues. "For happy hour, they cost $10 to $12, so it's a good value."
Other happy hour dishes are the salumi antipasto plate with cured meats, pickled vegetables, roasted peppers, flat bread and fennel agrodolce (sweet and sour). The ahi carpaccio is very fresh with Meyer lemon, local radish, arugula, capers and croutons.
"Our martinis are normally $15, but during happy hour, they are $8. We have half off other cocktails, too. The drinks change, depending on what's growing in the Hotel Wailea orchards. Right now, lilikoi or 'passion fruit' is going off as well as starfruit," says Belbot.
Beer drinkers may sip $3 domestic and $4 premium beers. Or you may opt for some wonderful Italian red and white wines and glasses of proseco - all for $6 each.
"During dinner, we offer a kamaaina special. Buy one entree and you will get the second at half off. It runs through December 20th." For more details, call 879-2224.