Farm-fresh and Family-friendly at DUO’s Market Night

December 18, 2015, 12:02 PM HST · Updated December 31, 5:05 PM
Kiaora Bohlool · 0 Comments
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DUO Steak and Seafood at Four Seasons Resort Maui is ranked among the finest in fine-dining. But on Friday nights, “upscale” gets dialed down a notch or two. Mason jars magically appear on the tables. A guitarist strums some classic tunes. And a big, fresh produce stand greets you near the entry.

“It’s a transformation of the restaurant,” explains 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. As in, a 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.

“The best part is being in touch with the farmers; using what’s local, what’s freshest and best,” says DUO head chef Michael Wilson. “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.”

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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.

“It’s been extremely popular. It’s very interactive,” explains 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.

“The attendants actually facilitate games and fun events for the kids depending on the age group,” Watt explains. “Sometimes when you’re on vacation, it’s the only ‘alone time’ you have at the table while the kids are being watched over there!”

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    "Source card" showing farmers who provide certain produce, on the tables during DUO's Market Night at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    “Source card” showing farmers who provide certain produce, on the tables during DUO’s Market Night at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Steak kabobs at DUO's Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Steak kabobs at DUO’s Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Jimmy Watt, manager of DUO at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Jimmy Watt, manager of DUO at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Fresh produce stand at DUO's Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Fresh produce stand at DUO’s Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Charcuterie stand at DUO's Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Charcuterie stand at DUO’s Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Keiki buffet to satisfy the kids during Market Night at DUO. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Keiki buffet to satisfy the kids during Market Night at DUO. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    "Kids for All Seasons" play area with attendants, during Market Night at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    “Kids for All Seasons” play area with attendants, during Market Night at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Appetizer at DUO's Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Appetizer at DUO’s Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Meat & fish case at DUO's Market Night, where you can choose your own cut. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Meat & fish case at DUO’s Market Night, where you can choose your own cut. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    DUO head chef Michael Wilson leads the kitchen during Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    DUO head chef Michael Wilson leads the kitchen during Market Night. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Menu for Market Night at DUO, Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Menu for Market Night at DUO, Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Ahi entree at DUO's Market Night, Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Ahi entree at DUO’s Market Night, Four Seasons Resort Maui. Photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

    Another positive: 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.” See that video here.

    Market Night opens at 5:30 p.m., with the last seating at 9 p.m. To make a reservation, call (808) 874-8000 or click here to book online. That’s every Friday, except for the week of Christmas, when DUO will host Market Night on Saturday, Dec. 26 instead.

    Kiaora Bohlool
    Kiaora Bohlool has been a journalist since 1998. With chefs in her family, she has a lifelong appreciation for food...

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