Every week, DUO Steak and Seafood at the Wailea, Hawaii resort transforms from fine-dining to casual with a fresh produce stand, locally sourced items, and a focus on keeping kids engaged.
DUO Steak and Seafood at Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, Hawaii is ranked among the finest in fine-dining. But on Friday nights, “upscale” gets dialed down a notch or two: mason jars appear on the tables, a guitarist strums some classic tunes, and a big, fresh produce stand greets you near the entry, Maui Now reported.
“It’s a transformation of the restaurant,” said DUO Manager Jimmy Watt. “Saturday though Thursday, we’re doing great things; we have our steak menu, we have our seafood, our raw bar as well, but then on Friday we transform and offer something a little bit different for everyone around us.”
It’s called Market Night, honoring the farmer’s market. For the last year and a half, DUO has been embracing the farm-to-table concept on Maui. At every table, there’s a potted herb or vegetable plant with a “source” card attached, listing names of the local farms providing that product. Even the restaurant employees get an eco-education, Maui Now reported.
“The best part is being in touch with the farmers; using what’s local, what’s freshest and best,” DUO head chef Michael Wilson said. “We actually do a farm tour once a year where we take the servers, bartenders, kitchen staff, myself. We go from farm to farm, introduce the servers to the farmers. They see the pride behind it, and the specialty; it’s not just one farm that grows everything; most of them specialize in one or two items.”
On Market Night, there’s an à la carte menu, so items are separately priced, with some special additions. For instance, you can build your own fresh salad at the local produce stand, or assemble a charcuterie board with smoked meats, dried fruits and assorted breads, or pick out your favorite cut of ribeye, filet mignon or fish from the case, for chefs to prepare to your liking, Maui Now reported.
“It’s been extremely popular. It’s very interactive,” said Watt. “You’ll see people grazing about just like a farmer’s market, looking at what they want to have and what they want to eat, choosing their cut. It’s a lot of fun!”
Families are also in-focus on Market Night. There’s a keiki buffet just for the kids, with peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, chicken tenders, vegetables and house-made cookies. The children (ages four and up) have the option of eating that dinner, or playing afterward, in a special kids’ room, set up with movies, crayons, crafts and games. The “Kids for All Seasons” team helps keep the kids engaged, Maui Now reported.
The restaurant donates a portion of each Produce Stand salad sold to Grow Some Good, the nonprofit program helping local students create their own gardens and connect to their food sources. The organization had a hand in the garden now flourishing at Four Seasons Resort Maui, which local students named “Mālama ʻĀina Garden.”