*how we rate restaurants
In a nutshell:
Quality Italian/Mediterranean dining with a relaxed vibe.
Can get crowded at Happy Hour.
“This sauce makes me smile.”
Bistro Casanova is centrally located in the heart of Kahului, a 5 minute drive from the airport. The offshoot of sister restaurant “Casanova” in Makawao, Bistro Casanova is known for high quality Italian/Mediterranean cuisine with a touch of Pacific influence. There is a compact, fully stocked bar, indoor main dining room and al fresco seating on the patio. Bistro Casanova also offers a Saturday brunch with lunch menu available.
Tip: Visitors will find it convenient to dine here on arrival/departure day – if you do, show your same-day boarding pass and they’ll comp you a sweet crepe for desert!
Due to its location outside the resort areas and close to the business hub of Maui, they’re not catering to the tourist crowd – which is exactly why you can expect to see a diverse mix of business, co-workers toasting pau hana, couples and groups.
The full bar means just about any drink request is possible, and Bistro Casanova offers a selection of wines that pair well with any meal.
Happy Hour from 4-6pm Monday thru Saturday is a favorite with locals in Kahului, especially those ending their day at the office. During Happy Hour carafes of Chianti, Pinot Grigio, mojitos or margaritas are only $5.
The tapas menu is available starting at 3pm and the majority of the menu changes weekly. The night we visited tapas such as spinach potato gnocchi, oyster shooters and fresh Haiku figs with prosciutto were available.
The lunch menu features pasta dishes that can be customized to your preference with options such as wild mushrooms, chicken breast, seared scallops, clams, or meat balls, with creamy garlic sauce, pesto or homemade meat sauce. sandwiches, paninis and sweet and savory crepes like the Sarah (smoked salmon, capers, green onions and sour creme) are also available.
The high energy mellows to a simmer after Happy Hour and the dinner menu expands with Antipasto, pasta and entree selections.
We opted for a glass of wine, Argiolas Costamolino for myself and the Malbec for my companion. Salads range from the more traditional green Kula salad and Caesar (parmesan shavings and optional anchovies) to the Quawck salad (shredded duck, Kula onions, dried cranberries and goat cheese) or the Kaupo salad (seared flank steak with gorgonzola dressing and truffle oil).
The melanzane alla parmigiana is similar to an egglplant parmesan with luscious layers of baked eggplant, marinara, mozzarella, basil and parmesan. Ahi tempura is available on the antipasto menu as well, which may be a bit of a surprise for a restaurant that is decidedly more Mediterranean, but ahi is practically a necessity for any Maui restaurant. The ahi was gorgeously rare, with more of a suggestion of tempura coating- a delightfully light starter and ideal for those who want to get fresh island fish with every meal.
Bistro Casanova prides itself on making many of its ingredients in-house. Such is the case with the tagliatelle alla Bolognese. This dish is a must try for anyone who has fond memories of family recipes labored over and presented with love, or for those simply desiring that heart-warming quintessential Italian meal. The large noodles, meat sauce and meat balls are homemade and it’s almost hard to believe this dish is prepared for many people; it truly tasted as if a beloved matriarch had made it in her home kitchen just for me.
For the main course my companion opted for the lamb chop with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and rosemary infusion sauce and rich scalloped potatoes. The lamb clean and light, was cooked as desired, unbelievably tender and seasoned to perfection.
Entrees such as ossobuco, duck confit, bouillabaisse, and paella for two, as well as several pasta dishes and steak and pork chop options are available at dinner service. A fresh catch of the day is also offered.
Dessert is available at lunch and dinner. It can be difficult to choose between sweet crepes like the Mistress (Nutella, banana, rum) and the Suzette (orange, lemon, Grand Marnier) or classics such as the decadent homemade chocolate cake or heavenly and award-winning tiramisu.
Other Reviews: *ordered by accuracy