There's no reason to slave over a hot stove on Thanksgiving Day, when Maui chefs are creating tempting a la carte holiday menus and all-you-can-eat buffets.
Here are some popular restaurant picks for next Thursday.
Servers Candee Ober (left) and Lisa Hancock of Mala Wailea toast to the upcoming all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet to be served lobby level at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
The staff of Cafe O’Lei at the Dunes in Kahului practiced their Thanksgiving menu ahead of time and then savored each and every bite. They include owner Dana Pastula (standing, from left), Doug Evans, Napa Recopuerto and Megan Tinao. Chefs Aruel Abellon, Arturo Camacho (from left) and Randy Rosenauer are seated.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
The Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will host an elaborate buffet in its Black Rock Steak & Seafood Restaurant. Toasting to the holiday affair with a little bubbly are Director of Sales & Marketing Susan Havens (left) and Group Sales Manager Lindsay Forman.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Sous Chef Kevin Boyle of Umalu at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa will get you in the holiday state of mind on Thursday.
The Maui News CARLA TRACY photo
Dishing up sweeping oceanfront views and an open-air atmosphere will be Mala Wailea.
Early-bird seatings at 3 and 3:30 p.m. cost $44.95 adults; and $27.95 for children 12 and younger. Evening seatings from 5 to 9:30 p.m. are $49.95 adults and $29.95 for children.
Executive Chef Preston Hope will entice you with an all you-can-eat buffet in the main dining room and a la carte offerings in the lounge area.
The buffet begins with salad bar items such as sushi, ahi poke crab legs, salmon on mini bagels, sushi with condiments, sugar snap peas, beets with crumbled goat cheese, assorted cheeses, Gado Gado from Bali and chilled shrimp.
From the carving station will come prime rib au jus with creamy horseradish, herb- crusted turkey with country gravy and fresh cranberry relish, and ham with organic pineapple glaze.
Savor tomato bisque and clam chowder, then indulge in stuffed roasted pork loin, mac-nut mahi mahi, vegetables every which way, lavish desserts and seasonal fruits. Call 875-9394.
Buzz's Wharf in Maalaea will offer a special Thanksgiving menu from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday for its dine-in or takeout customers.
"We can provide dinner packages with all the fixings for individuals and for groups of 10, 20, 30-plus people," says Marketing Manager Emily Koenig. "It includes stuffed turkey breasts, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, house salad, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie."
Cost is $27 per person. For parties of more than 10 people, it's $25. The regular seafood menu will also be available.
You may also "like" Buzz's on Facebook to try and win a free turkey dinner for 10 people. The contest runs through Saturday. Call 244-5426.
Wolfgang Puck's Spago Maui has a great deal for kamaaina who like to dine early on Thanksgiving Day.
"We have seatings from 2:15 to 4:45 p.m. Thursday for a la carte reservations," says Spago's General Manager Jacques Perwin. "All guests with a Hawaii driver's license will get the Thanksgiving plate with organic free-range turkey and all of the trimmings for $24. It will be available in addition to our regular menu. Call 879-2999."
The Seascape Ma'alaea Restaurant will be open for regular hours from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. You may also want to check out its umbrella company, Maui Ocean Center, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, or you may enter the restaurant separately.
The appetizer special is butternut-squash ravioli with brown-butter glaze and balsamic reduction for $8.95. Entree is slow-roasted turkey with sausage stuffing and giblet gravy with mashed potatoes, asparagus and acorn squash for $14.95; or opt for rosemary shrimp skewers and fresh catch combo with champagne cream sauce for $15.95. Top it off with pumpkin pie. For reservations, call 270-7068.
Gannon's: A Pacific View Restaurant in Wailea will feature its regular dinner menu as well as a Thanksgiving buffet menu from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
At the buffet, dig in to all-you-can-eat roast turkey with house-made gravy, glazed ham, Italian chicken sausage stuffing with celery and toasted pecans, Hamakua mixed mushroom bread pudding, mashed potatoes, oven-roasted sweet potatoes with maple syrup, winter vegetable medley in balsamic drizzle, cranberry-ginger sauce, cornbread and biscuits. Cost is $38 adults and $25 for children ages 7 to 9. For reservations, call Gannon's at 875-8080.
At Ruth's Chris Steak House locations, you may sink your teeth into the regular menu of prime beef and fresh seafood, or you may order a three-course Thanksgiving feast for $45 per adult, and $19 for keiki 12 and younger.
Thanksgiving Day hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. at both Ruth's Chris Maui locations in The Shops at Wailea and oceanfront at the Lahaina Center.
The three-course meal include corn and crab chowder or steakhouse salad; followed by oven-roasted turkey with giblet gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet island corn, sweet potatoes, green beans, Southern corn bread stuffing with Andouille sausage and fresh cranberry sauce.
For dessert, choose from pumpkin pie or New Orleans-style pecan pie. Call Ruth's Chris Wailea at 874-8880; or Ruth's Chris Lahaina at 661-8815.
Sarento's on the Beach in Kihei will open early at 4 p.m., just like its sister outlets Nick's Fish Market in Wailea and Son'z at Swan Court in Kaanapali.
At Sarento's, many will order the three- course special of lump crab and applewood smoked bacon chowder; slow-roasted turkey with house-made Italian sausage stuffing, buttermilk-mashed potatoes, glazed local carrots, giblet gravy, li hing mui cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with caramel and macadamia-nut buttle gelato. Cost is $49 per three courses. Call 875-7555.
Pacific Whale Whale Foundation will make a splash with a Thanksgiving cruise aboard an eco-friendly catamaran, departing Lahaina Harbor at 5:30 p.m. and returning at 7:30 p.m. "The dinner is prepared by our chefs, and features locally grown, natural and organic ingredients," says Cynthia Mayer, COO of the organization.
Adult guests with valid ID may sip up to three alcoholic beverages, plus sodas and more. The price is $84.95 for adults and $59.95 for children ages 3 to 12. Seats are going fast; if it's booked, ask them about the Welcome Home the Whales cruise Saturday, Nov. 26, with free open house. Call PWF at 249-8811.
Tucked away from the beaten path by the tennis courts in Wailea, Joe's will feature its regular dinner menu, along with a special turkey plate for $32 per person. Order the holiday special and get Kula greens with pumpkin seeds and passion-fruit dressing, roasted turkey with gravy, savory stuffing, corn pudding with Portuguese sausage, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry-ginger compote and pumpkin pie. Call 875-7767.
Grand Wailea's Bistro Molokini will offer herb-roasted turkey plate with fixings and pumpkin cheesecake for $32. The resort's Humuhumunukunukuapua'a restaurant will do imu-roasted turkey breast, firecracker cornbread, smokey mashed potatoes, braised kale, stuffing, gravy and dessert trio for $36 per person. Call 875-1234.
With sweeping views of the West Maui mountains, free parking and plenty of space for the whole family, it's no wonder that Cafe O'Lei at the Dunes in Kahului is popular on Thanksgiving.
Owners Mike and Dana Pastula say it's one of their favorite holidays, and they do it up in style from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an all-you-can eat buffet.
Savor honey-and-macadamia-nut roasted pork; sauteed island mahi with ginger butter, papaya salsa and scallions; linguine Alfredo with jumbo shrimp; and chicken breast in lemon-caper butter.
Of course, roast turkey will be sliced with giblet gravy and sage, sausage and shiitake mushroom stuffing. Chefs will also hand carve roast prime rib of beef with au jus and creamy horseradish.
Bananas Foster will be made to order, and you may enjoy chocolate fondue, pumpkin pie and fruit cobblers. Cost is $34 adults; and $17 for keiki 4 to 12. For reservations, call 877-0073.
Want to dine at home? The Four Sisters Kitchen on Vineyard Street in Wailuku is preparing special holiday meals for pick up. All will be sliced, prepared and ready to serve.
The turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, gravy stuffing and pumpkin pie costs $64.95. The ham meal with the same sides costs $79.95. You may also opt for the 8- to 10-pound prime rib feast for $124.95, or go for the whole hog, or whole lechon, in 50 to 60 pounds for $350 or 70 to 80 pounds for $400. Orders must be paid at least 48 to 72 hours in advance. Call 242-1135.
Cary & Eddie's Hideaway in Kahului will open for dinner only at 5 p.m. Thursday, serving until closing.
The all-you-can-eat spread includes roast turkey, barbecue baby-back pork ribs, ranch baked ono, broiled teriyaki salmon, roast top sirloin, garlic mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, candied yams, corn on the cob, kalua pig and cabbage, brown rice, steamed white rice, chuke (turkey rice soup) and the complete salad island, with bottomless coffee, tea and soda fountain drinks.
Cost is $25.99 adults; and $12.99 for 10 and younger. Call Cary & Eddie's Hideaway at 873-6555.
Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu offers lagoon and mountain views from its floor-to-ceiling windows as well as great deals on its brunch.
For Thanksgiving, come dine any time from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; cost is $32 for adults, $20 for seniors older than 60, and $12 for keiki 7 to 13 years old.
Pile your plates with tom turkey with gravy, boneless ham, herb-crusted ono, mashed potatoes, sweet bread stuffing, honey yams, corn chowder, sauteed vegetables, white rice, ahi poke, Kula greens, lomilomi salmon, fresh fruits from the farm, assorted pies and bread pudding. For reservations, call 270-0307.
With plenty of room for the whole ohana, Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului will make it even easier to dine there with two seatings, one from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the second from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Begin with local favorites, such as ahi poke, chef's assorted sushi, shrimp cocktail and salads such as cucumber namasu and potato-macaroni.
At the carving station, chefs will slice roasted turkey with homemade herb stuffing, and the hotel's famous roasted prime rib with au jus.
Other hot entrees include shrimp Canton with sweet-and-sour sauce, seafood stir fry, vegetable tempura, ginger chicken, mahi in mushroom cream sauce, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, yams, fried rice, white rice, mashed potatoes and an assorted holiday desserts. Cost is $34.99 adults, $17 children 6 to 11. Call 877-0051.
In Waikapu, dine in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed King Kamehameha Golf Club, which features sweeping coast-to- coast views with Mount Haleakala rising in the middle. Enjoy Chef Eddie Munoz's Thanksgiving Day buffet with seatings from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Dive into platters piled with peel-and-eat shrimp, sliced fresh fruit, imported and domestic cheeses, grilled vegetables, island poke and edamame.
Salads and prime rib will be plentiful and hot entrees include oven-roasted turkey, panko-breaded mahimahi and roasted pork loin. The dessert extravaganza and coffee and juices are included. Cost is $36 adults, $18 for children 6 to 12.
For reservations, call 243-1024.
Coconut Grill at the Maui Seaside Hotel in Kahului will also offer lots of seating options this Thanksgiving with start times at 10 a.m. and 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
So you choose whether you want to dine at the brunch or the dinner buffet. Both will include sage-rubbed roast turkey with pan-style gravy, carved slow-roasted prime rib of beef, Farmer John's smoked ham and garden steamed vegetables.
But it doesn't stop there. You may indulge in tiger shrimp and clam campi, baked beans local-style, paniolo barbecue pork ribs, iced seafood bar, steamed rice with furikake, salad bar and desserts. Cost is $29.95 adults, and $15.95 children 5 to 12. Call Coconut Grill at 871-8881.
Enjoy Thanksgiving as you dine near one of the cozy fireplaces at landmark Makawao Steak House. Doors open at 4 p.m. Thursday, and all dinners include salad bar and sherbet or pumpkin pie.
Choose from either the roast turkey with traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, rice, country-style green beans, yam puff, dinner rolls and cranberry relish; or the panko-crusted mahi with lemon-caper sauce or prime rib of beef au jus with the same sides. The turkey plate is $26.95, while the other two are $28.95 each. Meals for keiki younger than 10 are $10.95. Call Makawao Steak House at 572-8711.
As usual, Hali'imaile General Store will be festive with its all-you-can-eat buffet from 2:30 to 7 p.m.
For the first course, you will be brought baby greens salad with apple slices, walnuts, celery and dried cranberries. Then get up and check out the buffet packed with traditional roast turkey with gravy, prime rib of beef with horseradish sauce, seafood crepes with lemon-cream sauce, savory stuffing, corn pudding with Portuguese sausage, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, biscuits and choice of pumpkin or pecan pie. Cost is $38 adults; and $22 keiki ages 7 to 9.
For reservations, call HGS at 572-2666.
Ka'anapali Beach Club, the pink pyramid at the far north of the resort, will present its all-you-can-eat buffet oceanfront near the meandering streams and waterfalls in its massive restaurant.
Former White House Chef Steven Horn will start off guests with Hawaiian seafood chowder, followed by salad bar items such as ahi poke, Kula greens, lomi salmon and fresh pineapple.
Then you may savor slow-roasted prime rib, roast turkey with home-style stuffing with cranberry sauce and pan gravy.
The trimmings include corn on the cob, collard greens, mahi Tahitian, candied yams, mashed potatoes and steamed rice. From the bakery will come taro rolls, chocolate cake and pies galore. Cost is $32 adults, and $14 children 6 to 12.
For reservations, call 661-2000, ext. 333.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa will offer its Thanksgiving buffet from 3 to 8 p.m. in its Black Rock Steak & Seafood restaurant in Kaanapali.
Autumn salads range from grilled hearts of palm to Sumida Farms watercress and bean sprouts to classic Caesar. Then peruse the cheese board before piling your plate with seafood such as ahi sashimi, sushi, smoked salmon and chowder.
Chef Bryan Ashlock's favorites include Asian-style braised beef, blackened mahi, seafood pasta vol u vent, whipped potatoes and locally grown veggies. Of course, there will be tom turkey, Portuguese sweet bread stuffing, baked yams and country baked ham with lilikoi mustard.
The ohana dessert table will be lavish with red-velvet cupcakes, French pastries, Kula strawberry mousse cake, guava chiffon cake, pumpkin pie, chocolate temptation and chef's signature bread pudding.
Cost is $52 per adult and $25 per child ages 6 to 12. For reservations, call Sheraton at 661-0031.
Five Palms Lahaina (the former Canoes) will dish up ocean views from its expansive dining room along with a three-course dinner for $29.95 adults and $14.95 children 10 and younger.
Begin with kabocha pumpkin bisque or Kula green salad, the savor the entree of rosemary-scented roasted turkey, chestnut-and-sausage stuffing, giblet gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, honey-glazed Molokai sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables, fresh cranberry relish and dessert of pumpkin cheesecake. Call 661-0937.
Bask in ocean and island views at Merriman's Kapalua. Early seating starts at 4 and runs until 9 p.m. There will be a limited a la carte menu that includes special turkey with all of the fixings. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 669-6400.
Gerard's at the Plantation Inn in Lahaina will be serving its entire a la carte menu as well as a special Thanksgiving plate. The latter is $38 and includes freshly roasted turkey, apple-and-chestnut stuffing, sweet potato puree, Molokai corn, honey-glazed yam, Madeira sauce, haricots vert and cranberry and orange compote. Kamaaina get a 20 percent discount on food. For reservations, call 661-8939.
RB Black Angus Steak House in Kahana will feature a traditional turkey plate with all of the trimmings for $19.95. If you prefer it with salad and dessert, it will cost $24.95. Hours are 4 p.m. to closing. Call 669-8889.
Dine outdoors where casual attire is welcome at Umalu poolside in Kaanapali at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. From 4 to 8 p.m., you get a Hawaiian-style Thanksgiving buffet while listening to music for $63 adults. Highlights are Diestel Farms turkey with house-made gravy, roasted pork loin over braised cabbage and mustard demi glaze, pan- seared island fish with Asian pesto crust and lemongrass beurre blanc, Okinawan potatoes with coconut glaze and New York strip steak with Hamakua mushroom sauce and sliced Hawaiian fruits. Call 661-1234.
Celebrate Thanksgiving at Ono Bar & Grill outdoors under the umbrellas at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa right on Kaanapali Beach. The annual buffet features prime rib, guava-basted ham, oven-roasted turkey, chilled snow crab claws, an autumn spread of vegetables and a host of fresh desserts made in-house.
Hours are 4:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is $59 adults and $29.50 for children 6 to 12 years old. For Westin reservations, call 667-2525.
Tiki Terrace restaurant at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel will tempt you with an all-you-can eat buffet cooked by its staff of award-winning chefs. Sink your teeth into rotisserie-roasted Turkey, shirtmake mushrooms and corn stuffing, kiowa-smoked prime rib, baked mariachi with artichokes and herbs, cold seafood bar with sashimi and oysters, knee-high kiaki buffet and tons of desserts.
Early-bird hours are from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $39.95 adults and $20 children 6 to 12 year old. The dinner feast is from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Cost is $46.95 adults, children $20. For those dining later, Hawaiian music musicians will entertain from 5 to 8 p.m., and there's a complimentary hula show at 6 p.m. Call 667-0124.
Also in Lahaina, Honu Seafood & Pizza and its sister restaurant, Mala Ocean Tavern, are baking up a storm with vegan and gluten-free pies. Order your pies by Friday for pickup the day before Thanksgiving. "We've got Molokai sweet potato and kabocha squash pie in almond ginger-snap crust; apple, cherry and poha berry pie with puffed quinoa and oat crumble; and mixed-nut "pecan" pie, that uses Old Lahaina dark rum. The pies contain no corn syrup at all," says owner Mark Elman. Call 667-9390.