Hop To It!

JOKE: What did the bunny say to the carrot when he hopped away? “It’s been nice gnawing you.”

Just like this joke, Easter is a time of fun, lightness and dining with family and friends. So do bring every bunny you love to brunch or dinner and do get a jump on reservations, as seats fill up fast.

CENTRAL MAUI

As usual, Cafe O’Lei at The Dunes at Maui Lani in Kahului will be a hot spot for Easter Sunday because location in Central Maui and its all-you-can-eat buffet from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Chefs will hand carve roast prime rib and serve with au jus and creamed horseradish. Other cooks will make omelets to order with your pick of jumbo shrimp, sausage, bacon, mushrooms and more.

Other hot entrees are roasted stuffed leg of lamb; lightly blackened mahimahi with fresh papaya salsa; honey-mac-nut roast pork; jumbo shrimp linguine; and chicken breast in lemon-caper sauce.

Specialty salads and desserts of bananas Foster, apple-mango cobbler, and pineapple upside-down cake round off the menu. Cost is $36 adults; and $16 children ages 4 and older. Call 877-0073.

The new Tante’s Island Grill at the Maui Seaside Hotel in Kahului will tempt you on Easter Sunday with its lunch and dinner prime rib prix-fixe special in addition to its regular menu.

Lunch hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The Easter special begins with satisfying clam chowder, followed by Caesar salad, and the entree of 12-ounce roast prime rib with au jus; steamed rice or baked potato, and hot vegetable du jour. Dessert is Kona coffee macadamia-nut cream pie. The whole meal is $26.95 per person, plus tax and tip. Call 877-0300.

Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului will present an all-you-can-eat buffet in its Polynesian longhouse of a restaurant, Rainbow Dining Room, with two dinner seatings: the first from 5 to 7 p.m.; and the second running from 7 to 9 p.m.

Begin with local favorites at the salad bar such as cucumber namasu, macaroni-potato combo; chicken long rice and crunchy mixed greens with assorted dressings. Chilled items include California roll, maki sushi, peel-and-eat shrimp, and spicy-tuna roll with pickled ginger.

Roast prime rib will be hand carved and other hot highlights are chicken tofu, baked salmon, shrimp Canton, baked Hawaiian ham, beef stir fry, vegetable tempura and fried rice. Then head to the dessert bar that includes frozen yogurt. Cost is $33.95 adults and $16.95 children 6 to 11. Call Maui Beach at 877-0051.

Situated in its new spot across from the county parking lot at 2062 Vineyard St. in Wailuku, Four Sisters Kitchen will offer two seatings at 9 and 11:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday. Pile your plate at the all-you-can-eat affair with salads, soups, omelets, seafood, pupu, Filipino and local dishes, prime rib and desserts. Cost is $24.95 for adults, and $15.95 children 6 to 11. You may BYO beer and wine only. Call 242-1135.

Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu will dangle the carrot of fun from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live entertainment and full buffet in its expansive dining room with lagoon and West Maui mountain views.

Omelets and Belgian waffles will be made to order and you may pick your toppings. Chilled on ice will be ahi poke, tropical fruits and potato-mac salad.

The hot lunch array includes roast pork, miso soup, sauteed catch, teriyaki chicken and more. Top it off with freshly-baked pies, pastries, cakes and warm bread pudding with caramel sauce.

Cost is $31.95 adults; $21.95 seniors 60 and older; and $16.95 children 3 to 12. Call 243-7788.

Bring all of your favorite “peeps” to the Kahili Restaurant in Waikapu for its annual brunch buffet with seatings at 8, 10 a.m. and noon; or the dinner buffet with seatings at 5 and 7 p.m.

Both brunch and dinner buffets will tempt you with an array of island salads, seafood on ice, prime rib, roasted leg of lamb, fresh Kula vegetables, pepper-crusted salmon and a host of desserts.

The brunch also includes cheese display, lox and mini bagels and omelet station. The dinner features Farmer John ham, shrimp with linguine, steamed crab legs and more. Cost of brunch is $32.95 adults; and dinner is $34.95. Children 6 to 12 pay half price. Call 242-6000.

WEST MAUI

Celebrate Easter at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s Swan Court with lagoons and waterfalls as the backdrop for live swans swimming around.

The breakfast buffet will be offered from 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with live music, Easter Bunny visits, and morning cocktails at special prices.

Following brunch, join Peter Cottontail in the resort’s Napili Gardens for an Easter egg hunt and arts and crafts, which will be set up from noon to 2 p.m.

As for the Hyatt buffet itself, you have price options.

For $25.95 per adult, and $12.95 per child, guests will choose from a selection of morning offerings. Menu highlights include banana pancakes; roasted lavender potatoes; goat-cheese-and-egg-white frittata; steel-cut oatmeal; fresh fruit; and assorted breakfast pastries.

For $49.95 per adult, and $24.95 per child, you may enjoy an enhanced Easter menu such as a prime rib carving station with au jus and creamy horseradish sauce; leek, potato and white cheddar gratin; chilled peel and eat shrimp in cocktail sauce; pasta salad with baby tomato and bocaccini; and chef’s selection of seasonal desserts.

Absolut Bloody Marys and Mimosas will be available for $10 each, or $15 for two. For more details or reservations, call Hyatt Maui at 661-1234.

Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina is about as close as it gets to the waves, rocks and turtles and it’s a casual and fun place to have brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef-owner Mark Ellman says his favorite picks are the huevos rancheros and eggs Benedict as well as My Big Fat Greek salad, and wild-caught mahi ala plancha with mojo verde. Call Mala at 667-9394.

At Ellman’s other restaurant situated next door on Front Street in Lahaina, Honu Seafood and Pizza, you will find some nice Easter specials during lunch hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ahi bruschetta and the fresh oysters on the half shell are popular. So are the kale salad, and the ahi Nicoise. Call Honu at 667-9390.

5 Palms in Lahaina dishes up ocean views with plenty of seating and parking during its special Easter Sunday a la carte brunch from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The prix-fixe meal includes freshly baked muffins and pastries; and choice of tropical fruits or mixed Kula greens. Then choose from entrees such as classic eggs Benedict, prime rib French dip sandwich, grilled fresh Hawaiian catch, sweetbread French toast, or island loco moco. The meal also will include a glass of champagne or a slice of lilikoi cheesecake for dessert.

Cost is $24.95 for adults; and $12.95 children 12 years and younger. Call 5 Palms at 661-0937.

Gather the ohana (family) and come to Ka’anapali Beach Hotel for Easter Sunday Champagne Brunch.

The fun begins at 8:15 a.m. with an egg hunt for keiki ages 12 and younger years in the hotel gardens. Easter Bunny will visit the brunch throughout the day, and there will be face painting, Maui Ocean Center’s traveling marine exhibit of a saltwater tide pool and an array of invertebrate.

Executive Chef Tom Muromoto will do fun food for the knee-high keiki set with a full buffet with pizza, hot dogs, cookies, brownies, Jell-O, and ice cream.

Celebrate spring with barbecue brisket, seafood cioppino, snapper in Madeira-garlic sauce, braised short ribs, and herb-roasted chicken in porcini cream. For seafood lovers, an iced bar includes snap ‘n eat crab legs, shrimp cocktail, mussels and oysters on the half shell, and assorted poke.

For meat lovers, chefs will carve kiawe slow-roasted prime rib, passion-fruit glazed ham, and Koala rack of lamb. Do save room for chocolate-dipped strawberries; guava, haupia and Black Forest cakes, a nice variety of cheesecakes, and banana bread pudding with whiskey sauce.

Enjoy the Easter feast while listening to live Hawaiian entertainment in the open-air courtyard and Tiki Terrace Restaurant, or from the comfort of the air-conditioned Kanahele Room.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel’s brunch is served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Adults are $47.95, children 6 to 12 are $24. For reservations, call 667-0124.

Gerard’s at the Plantation Inn in Lahaina will offer seatings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. with its regular a la carte French menu inspired with an island twist.

Rack of lamb will be roasted with rosemary jus and served with potatoes au gratin; fresh Hawaiian snapper such as uku or opakapaka will be presented with fennel fondue and orange ginger sauce; and lobster tail will be beautifully prepared in tandoori spices with cognac sabayon and crab risotto. Entree prices start at $39. Kamaaina get 20 percent discount on the food. For reservations at Gerard’s, call 661-8939.

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali will serve Easter Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in its Black Rock Terrace with stunning views of famous Puu Kekaa.

Begin with tropical breakfast selections followed by seafood and specialty salads such as fresh Hawaiian sashimi and international and domestic cheeses before you hit the hot chef’s action stations with Farmer John roasted ham in lilikoi-mustard glaze and oven-roasted prime rib.

Kids will love the outdoor area set up as a fundraiser for StarWish with a jumping castle, popcorn, shave ice, games, prizes and Easter Bunny. At 9 a.m., there will be an egg hunt, and at noon, a rubber duckie race pooslside. Call 661-0031.

SOUTH MAUI

Ocean views are tops at 5 Palms in the Mana Kai Resort at Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. On Easter, you may drink them in as you savor an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet presented in the upper dining room from 8 to 9:30 a.m. or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

General Manager Moki Chong Kee and gang will set up a lavish seafood and sushi display, prime rib carving station, salads, fresh island fruits, made-to-order omelets, breads and desserts. Cost for the early seating is $44.95 adults; lunch hour seating is $49.95 adults; and $22.95 for children at both of the seatings. Call 879-2607.

Sip a fine red wine, sink your teeth into a big juicy steak, ladle creamed spinach onto your plate and crunch a wedge salad at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Keiki menus are also available. Choose from two prime locations. One restaurant is in South Maui in The Shops at Wailea and the other in Lahaina Center. Call 874-8880; or 661-8815.

For the ultimate Easter Sunday brunch, hurry to DUO at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, with seatings from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There, you will find a raw bar with freshly shucked oysters, cold Kona lobster tails, Alaskan king crab legs and cocktail prawns, along with sushi, both healthful and gourmet breakfast items, and an extensive array of appetizers, fruits, cheeses and salads.

Chefs will hand carve slow-roasted prime rib of beef to serve with black-truffle demi glaze; and roast leg with garlic to pair with mint jelly and rosemary jus. More entrees and a lavish display of desserts will add to the extravaganza.

Cost is $98 for adults; and $39 for keiki 6 to 12. A Bloody Mary and Mimosa station is an additional $20 per adult. For reservations, call the concierge team at Four Seasons 874-8000.

Grand Wailea will pull out all of the stops for its Easter buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Grand Dining room.

Begin with a charcuterie of chilled lobster salad; beets with apple and walnuts; and foie gras brulee on grilled artisan bread. Other highlights are sushi, shrimp, oysters on the half shell, sweet spring pea bisque; ahi poisson cru and shrimp Margarita. Chefs will carve roasted prime rib, guava-glazed ham and roasted leg of lamb crusted in Molokai coffee at action stations.

The keiki korner will feature wagon-wheel pasta, chicken fingers, sliced watermelon Jell-O Giggles and a cookie decorating station. Cost of Grand Wailea’s Easter buffet is $72 adults; and $28 children ages 5 to 12. Call 875-1234.

Three’s Bar & Grill at Kihei Kalama Village will serve its regular breakfast starting at 8:30 a.m. all the way through brunch until 2 p.m. Popular breakfast items are tropical French toast stuffed with lilikoi cream cheese and guava jelly, eggs Benedict; and chimichurri breakfast sandwich. Eye openers include freshly squeezed juice, wasabi Bloody Marys and French-pressed coffee.

Brunch starts at 11 a.m. with Three’s regular lunch menu of fresh island fish with curry and lemongrass; and Mediterranean whole wheat flat bread salad. Then, dinner starts at 5 p.m. with specials like New York strip steak rubbed in garlic and whole-grain mustard with truffle whipped potatoes and wok-seared fresh vegetables for $26.95. Call 879-3133.

Want to be pampered Easter Sunday? Sarento’s on the Beach in Kihei will present an elegant sit-down a la carte breakfast starting at 7 a.m. and extending until 1 p.m. for the holiday.

Look out from the open-air dining room and see upclose ocean views with Kahoolawe, Molokini and Lanai islands, the West Maui Mountains and Pu’u O Lai cinder cone.

Begin your day with eggs Benedicts such as the Club with Canadian and applewood-smoked bacon and oven-roasted turkey; and the Pacific with lump crab, asparagus and sauce Choron, Hollandaise-based with oven-roasted tomatoes.

Or opt for loco moco with filet mignon meatball; or bananas Foster French toast with caramelized fruit and ice cream. Call 875-7555.

Take in ocean and harbor views at Maui Ocean Center’s award-winning Seascape Ma’alaea, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“Enjoy EGG-ceptional specials prepared using sustainable seafood,” says Director of Sales & Marketing Lori Mellenbruch. “Hop on in to the Maui Ocean Treasures gift shop and discover gems from our many island-inspired gifts.”

Specials include herb-marinated lamb chops with merlot demi glaze in a combo with grilled shrimp in lemongrass cream sauce, medley of Kula vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes.

Or opt for pan-seared fresh mahimahi stuffed with crab salad and topped with a chardonnay lemon beurre blanc and medley of veggies. The specials are in addition to the regular menu and priced at $17.95 each, plus tax and tip. For dessert, you may indulge in Red Velvet cake for $4.95. For reservations, call Seascape at 270-7068.

Last but not least, Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei will do Easter breakfast specials such as French toast with fresh berry compote and whipped cream, crab cake Benedict and country fried steak. For dinner, savor prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus for $32. Call 874-3779.