Taverna, an Italian restaurant in Kapalua near the Ritz-Carlton, will host its second annual Under the Stars event on Saturday, Mar. 24. Taverna will celebrate its second anniversary with food from a variety of local food and live entertainment. The event will also benefit the Maui Culinary Academy.
Guests at the event can expect great food. Chef Gary Johnson of Hana Ranch and Courtney Glarita of Honu Seafood will be among the seven chefs serving the fare. According to Chris Kaiwi, a managing partner for Taverna, there will be “walk-around guest chef stations, Italian wine stations, craft beer selections and craft cocktails by our bar team and visiting mixologist Aaron Alcala-Mosley from the Fairmont Kea Lani, one of the hottest mixologists in the state.” Last year’s sold-out event was “amazing!” said Kaiwi.
This year’s event will also feature music by Kelly Covington and friends. Covington is a staple on the Maui music scene, and her sultry tones and genre-mixing styles of R&B, rock and soul with jazz roots will add sparkle to the evening.
Taverna opened its doors in 2016, and offers Italian cuisine in a beautiful setting. “Authentic Italian cuisine is what we’ve focused on since the very first day,” said Kaiwi. “Our all-craft beer selection and Italian-inspired wine program has gotten great local and mainland reviews.”
Taverna’s everyday menu features a pleasant variety of Italian fare that uses fresh ingredients. Italian options such as gnocchi, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana and a variety of pastas with filling portions. The pizzas is made with San Marzano tomatoes. Selections come nicely plated. Menu standouts include the fritto misto, with crusted fried shrimp and calamari served over a bed of arugula and tomato salsa side. The seafood is fresh and the flavors are complementary. The ciabatta is fluffy, hot and house-made. The menu also serves a solid wine selection.
The ambiance of Taverna is open, with competing and complementary elements of modern and rustic. It’s an open space, while at the same time maintaining an intimate feel, with a warm tropical breeze coming through the open windows. The open doors overlook the green hills of the golf course. The restaurant is often busy, but service is prompt and it doesn’t feel crowded or noisy.
“The interior lends itself to a warm, comfortable but urban and hip environment that has a city-feel but casual-professional service approach,” said Kaiwi. The interior has a fun blend of industrial and rustic, with wood and steel elements, hanging ferns and a beautiful horseshoe bar at the entrance.
Part of the proceeds of the Under the Stars event will be given to the Maui Culinary Academy for their scholarship fund. “We wrote a check for $2,300 from last years event,” said Kaiwi.
UNDER THE STARS
Saturday, Mar. 24
2000 Village Rd., Kapalua
Photos: Sean M. Hower