A cocktail, beer and wine bar by YourBar pours libations throughout the evening. Owner Nick Saussy says, “Jeff and Kaili wanted ‘simple,’ so we crafted two different cocktails in barrels. The Tequila Manhattan has been the most popular by far.” (Find the recipe in this issue’s Maui Mixology story, “Go, Cocktails!”) Also on the bar menu: Maui Brewing Company’s Ali‘i Imperial Pilsner, a refreshing crafted brew, perfectly suited to the warm afternoon.
Elsewhere, Austin native John Sandbach, owner of Smoke and Spice, is proving he knows his smoke. Since 2012, John has catered to lovers of slow-cooked meats. His appetizer, kiawe-roasted lamb marinated in coriander and mild chili, draws raves, as does a juicy and tender entrée of slow-smoked Hawaii Ranchers beef rib eye crusted with rosemary, coriander and black-pepper-spice herb. Juices from the meat mingle with a creamy potato-and-aged-Gruyère-Parmesan gratin — the potatoes sourced locally from Kupa‘a Farms in Kula.
Beast & Spoon’s Executive Chef Daniel Radovcich and General Manager Marluy Andrade make gourmet catering look easy as they plate precision-cut slices of vegetable terrine: layers of fire-roasted beets, zucchini, Maui onions, asparagus, spinach, creamy goat cheese and crème fraîche. Aged balsamic vinegar de Modena blended with an herb-infused extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts provide the perfect acidity and crunch. A memorable braised-ginger vinaigrette finishes the Maui chopped salad: a medley of cabbage, mung-bean sprouts, heirloom carrots, cilantro, and house-roasted macadamia nuts.
I mosey up to Outrigger Pizza’s station, where Chef Kevin Laut proffers a slice with a side of story. “Jeff and I met when he was looking for a wood-fired pizza oven. I sell pizza ovens on Maui and we hit it off right away. About a year later, we installed the oven at [Kaili’s] house in Ha‘ikū, and I offered my pizza services for the wedding.”
Perfect, thin-crusted pizzas emerge from the 700° oven, their crusts flecked with brown, puffed and airy. I savor the simplicity and comfort of yeasted bread, sweet tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil just moments out of a smoky, wood-fired oven. Over the course of the evening, I return for seconds and thirds: shredded kalua pork with sweet, caramelized Maui onions, bell peppers, and fresh mozzarella on liliko‘i garlic aioli; white-cheddar mushroom pizza topped with truffle salt and Parmesan.