As I sit and write this, Michael and I are over half-way through our Maui vacation. We’ve done quite a bit so far; we’ve seen the beach, laid by the pool, visited some of Maui’s most notable landmarks and eaten a slightly ridiculous amount food. This is pretty typical for us when we travel — we joke that half the reason we vacation is so we can eat. But seriously, that’s why. No matter where we visit, we’re true foodies, always on the hunt for the best dish, the most amazing atmosphere and an overall meal experience we won’t soon forget. We found all of that at Taverna.
When I think back to our visit to Taverna, two words come to mind: comfort food. Also, two other words: pure gluttony. Or perhaps just: damn good. I suppose you can’t really sum up a visit to Taverna with a mere two words!
The early evening Brings a golden glow That lingers above Rows of norfolk pines Along nearby office Road. A quick turn leads to Kapalua’s neighborhood trattoria, Taverna. Before the night rolls in, the room is already packed with the usual hungry suspects. Having recently celebrated its first year milestone, the future is promising. West Maui’s food-centric crowd can’t resist the allure of meticulously prepared Italian cuisine and garden-to-glass libations in a setting that is polished yet low-key.
Taverna, one of Maui’s newest restaurants, opened at Kapalua Resort a few weeks ago and like many hotspots, hit the ground running. Located in the former Vino space adjacent to the Kapalua Visitor Center, it benefits from daily visitor traffic, but on the weekends you’ll see the place buzzing with local patrons, as well…
When Taverna Maui opened in Kapalua in March 2016, it brought together as co-owners two respected names in the island’s food community: Chris Kaiwi, longtime manager of Pineapple Grill and Plantation House; and Roger Stettler, former executive chef at Four Seasons Maui. And then there’s Taverna’s sous chef, Chelsee Anderson, who calls herself a “pasta Nazi,” but whose peers know her as “Chefette.”
Last weekend I was invited to a private event at Taverna in Kapalua. If you have at least one toe in the Westside restaurant industry pool, you must already know a little smidgin about this Italian eatery. In a nutshell, Taverna is a collaboration between veteran restauranteur Chris Kaiwi, Master Chef Roger Stettler and wine specialist Greg Shepherd.