NEW ON ISLAND . . . While it's already a popular daytime spot in Kula, La Provence just opened for dinner from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through September. "Ed and I arrived at 6 p.m., and the sunset temperature was perfect," says retired Maui News reporter Kekoa Enomoto. "We brought our own wine in a cooler."
She savored an onion soup, "reminiscent of an iconic 4 a.m. experience at the former Les Halles open market during my youth in Paris in the mid-1960s," Coquilles St. Jacques, or scallops in puff pastry; duck a l'orange; and a "wicked good" creme brulee.
Chef Thierry Michelier also serves French bread, salads, boeuf bourguignon, and apple tarte tatin.
Chef-owner Dana Pastula of Cafe O’Lei restaurants slices into a 65-pound lechon or whole roasted pig at the grand opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Maui Kahului Airport Hotel last week.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"One need not go to Las Vegas, let alone France for a Provencal meal," she says. "Magnifique!"
Clyde Hamai, owner of the popular appliance store here on island, knows a good upcountry restaurant when he dines there. Hamai says Sadao Kojima is back at Pukalani Square with his own sushi bar called Kojima's.
It's closed on Sundays, but otherwise serves freshly rolled sushi and other items six evenings a week. Kojima is a well known chef who has formerly dazzled diners from Sansei to Isana to Cafe O'Lei at the Dunes. This is another upcountry chef who allows you to BYOB.
Speaking of Cafe O'Lei family of restaurants, its owners wowed the VIP crowd as caterers at the grand opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Maui Kahului Airport Hotel last Thursday.
"Our new Bistro in the hotel lobby has a great selection of flat breads and ribs, we also have fresh salads and items to grab and go right before your flights," says General Manager C. Kaleo Kenui.
"We also have a full, sit-down menu and a fire pit to relax and unwind, kick back with a cocktail on light pupus with your friends."
The Bistro's tagline is to "eat, drink and connect at the Courtyard." It serves breakfast daily until 11 a.m. and light evening fare at 5 p.m. But The Market, also located in the lobby, offers snacks and refreshments 24/7.
As reported here previously, Cafe O'Lei owners Michael and Dana Pastula have bought Makawao Steak House. "The former owners closed it and we are conservatively hoping to reopen it mid August," Dana told me at the hotel grand opening.
The state-of-the-art pizza oven has been installed and the furniture has been arranged. Now, I just got word Manoli's Pizza Co. will officially open Monday in the old Matteo's spot in Wailea. Hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and you may quench your thirst with not one, but two, discounted happy hours daily.
MAUI CALLING YOU . . . Plans for Maui Arts & Cultural Center's 17th annual benefit gala, Maui Calls, are in full bloom. The event will flow from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10 under the Yokouchi Pavilion and outdoors in the A&B Amphitheater.
Magnanimous Committee Chairs Wendy Peterson and Gloria Buckingham have hand-picked this year's theme, In Celebration of the Lei.
Like last year, JMD Beverages co-owner Alan Jahns has assembled an outstanding array of vintners and wines for the event and will introduce a new winery, Owen Roe, as well as favorites such as Saintsbury.
Development Director Carol Gentz says that 18 Maui restaurants and chefs have been confirmed. For tickets, call 242-7469 or visit www.mauiArts.org
BITS AND PIECES . . . Has anyone seen the new blog by Chef-restaurateur Peter Merriman? He's quite the astute political activist. In addition, all of his restaurants in the state will launch sustainable seafood specials in August and we'll have more next week.
Summer is the time to check out the shave ice at the new Da Green Tee Shop and Cafe in the old Hokama Building in Wailuku. Upstairs, it's a sea of teenagers standing in line, or hanging out at tables and listening to music and having fun. The shave ice is similar to what you get at the Snow Factory on Oahu and the combo toppings are flavorful and colorful, too.
Downstairs in the shop, you may buy hemp T-shirts and other casual island clothes.