Saturday, November 18, 2017

Divine dining at Chef Bev Gannon’s Haliimaile General Store in upcountry Maui

Patti and Richard Pietschmann

Every visit to Maui includes a trip upcountry to Chef Beverly Gannon’s Haliimaile General Store. And yes, it was once, back in the day, a true general store serving that area just below Haleakala. But 30-years-ago, Beverly, an enterprising, talented and uber-creative young chef  converted the property into a chic but casual eatery that fast became one of the most successful and highly touted places to dine in all of Maui. Everything about Haliimaile speaks perfection from the food to the service and design. Because of that it attracts a wide variety of clients from rock stars and other celebs to locals and tourists.

I must confess that  Richard and I are friends of the owners (that's Richard on the left below with Joe Gannon),  but that does not in anyway sway our judgment as the food, time after time is heavenly.  Our most recent meal was so good that we oohed and aahed audibly.

To begin with
Hawaiian Ahi Cakes—OMG I was in foodie heaven
Radish herb salad, wasabi ginger tartar sauce 

Kalua Pork & Goat Cheese Wontons—so  delicious
Crispy wontons, mango BBQ dipping sauce – 
Togarashi Shishito Peppers—simply sensational
Blistered semi-spicy peppers tossed with togarashi,
kabayaki sauce 
Sashimi Napoleon—did I say ‘heavenly’ this dish rocks your taste buds
Layers of Ahi tartare, smoked salmon, sashimi ahi, crispy wonton stack, wasabi vinaigrette – 

Watermelon Salad—refreshing and delish

Compressed raspberry infused watermelon, feta cheese,
roasted pistachios, Kalamata olives, micro argugula,
raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette – 14
To continue

 Whole Opakapaka—we have eaten this island fish often, but it was rarely served like this, or this tasty.

Meyer Lemon Marinated Half-Chicken—she know her way around a bird

The Grand Finale

A celestial union of chocolate and caramel 

Beverly also operates an over-the-top, celebrity-centric,  popular catering business that's a perfect choice for weddings, parties and special occasions.

Location:  900 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768,

Hawaiian Airlines launching new Airbus A321 service between West Coast

Jet 'Maile" is first of 18
Patti Pietschmann

Hawaiian Airlines welcomed  the first of 18 Airbus A321neo aircraft --one of its new fleet of single-aisle aircraft that will offer  non-stop flights to more islands, starting with service to Kaua‘i, Maui, and the Kona Coast on the Island of Hawai‘i.
 “Maile,” named after a vine native to Hawaii and traditionally used for lei making and celebrations, features a new livery featuring a silver maile lei wrapping around the fuselage as the carrier’s “Flower of the Sky” Pualani icon gazes forward from the tail of the aircraft. “Our new A321neos are ideal for our West Coast to Hawai‘i markets. They will bring Hawaiian’s unique blend of Hawaiian hospitality and industry leading operational performance to more travelers than ever,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “As we welcome our A321neo fleet, some of our wide-body aircraft serving the U.S. West Coast will be deployed for further long-haul expansion.”
The first take-off  is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2018 on the carrier’s existing Kahului-Oakland route. New A321neo service between Kahului and Portland will launch on Jan. 18. Hawaiian’s seasonal summer wide-body service currently offered between Līhu‘e and Oakland will resume April 11 as a daily A321neo flight. Daily service between Kona and Los Angeles launches March 11 with wide-body aircraft before converting to the A321neo in the summer. Click on for tickets to all routes operated by Hawaiian Airlines.
The mid-range 189 passenger A321neo aircraft provides 16 comfy recliners in Premium Class and 45 Extra Comfort economy seats. Cabins are adorned with textiles and other materials that homage to traditional Hawaiian crafts such as bark cloth (kapa) and fishing nets. Other details range from sand-inspired wall panels to Hawaiian language signage and LED mood-lighting that evokes images of  Hawaii's sunrises and sunsets. There is also wireless streaming entertainment, USB outlets, and additional overhead stowage space.

Corporate statements
 “Airbus aims to further its customers’ goals for passenger and revenue growth, and market penetration by incorporating new technology and design into industry-leading models that deliver both a better passenger experience and economic efficiency,” said John Leahy, Airbus commercial chief operating officer-customers. “For a unique and discerning airline like Hawaiian, the A321neo delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and lower noise and carbon emissions, reducing the environmental impact.”
“We’ve been powering aircraft at Hawaiian since 1929 and we appreciate the continued confidence in Pratt & Whitney,” said Chris Calio, president, commercial engines at Pratt & Whitney. “From the Wasp-powered Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker to the PW4000-powered Boeing 767 to the GTF-powered A321neo, we’re honored to continue the tradition.”
View more photos from the event HERE.

About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian®, the world’s most punctual airline as reported by OAG, has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 13 years (2004-2016) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisurehave placed Hawaiian among the top of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i.

Now in its 89th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline. Hawaiian offers non-stop service to Hawai‘i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 jet flights daily between the Hawaiian Islands, with a total of more than 250 daily flights system-wide.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines). For career postings and updates, follow Hawaiian’sLinkedIn page.

For media inquiries, please visit Hawaiian Airlines’ online newsroo

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Delta waving goodbye to iconic 747 in 7 steps

The end of an era for the once beloved jumbo jet
Patti Pietschmann

It's almost over for Delta's 747 but there will soon be more chances to see and perhaps take part in some of the final flights – the last to be flown by any U.S. passenger airline. 
Here are seven things to know about Delta’s big goodbye to the 747:
Delta is operating the Boeing 747-400 on daily scheduled service between its Detroit hub and its partner hub at Seoul-Incheon.

The final regularly scheduled flights of the Delta 747 will be Flight 159 at Detroit to Seoul-Incheon at 12:31 p.m. on Dec. 15. 

Final Asia Pacific arrival: Flight 159 at Seoul-Incheon from Detroit at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. 

Final Asia Pacific departure: Flight 158 at Seoul-Incheon to Detroit at 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 17. 

Final U.S. arrival: Flight 158 at Detroit from Seoul-Incheon at 10:14 a.m. on Dec. 17

Delta will take the 747 on an employee farewell tour from Detroit to Seattle on Dec. 18, Seattle to Atlanta on Dec. 19 and Atlanta to Minneapolis-St. Paul on Dec. 20.

Employees and retirees can purchase a seat on these flights on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at noon ET Nov. 20 at a discounted rate, with all proceeds going to the Airloom Project, the organization behind the 747 Experience exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum.

The 747 will fly a handful of sports team and ad-hoc charter flights through Dec. 31.
Delta will fly its final 747 to its retirement place in Arizona in early January. This ferry flight will not be open to passengers.
Delta will be celebrating the iconic and revolutionary 747 throughout December in all of its channels and encourages customers, enthusiasts and employees to share their own tributes and remembrances using the #DL747Farewell hashtag. 

Farewell 747.

Kihei Maui's newest gastropub is a barrel of fun

The Shearwater Tavern mixes food and drink with fun for all
Patti and Richard Pietschmann's first look

The joint was jumping with a mix of young couples with babies in hand or cabooses, millennials and the rest of us.  We were meeting up with an old friend we hadn't seen for a long time, who lives in Maui and suggested Shearwater Tavern. "It's less than a year old, serves great fresh, locally-sourced food and is lots off fun, Bonnie assured us.

Well with dozens of beers, lots of wines, all sorts of cocktails, and amiable Chef Carl at the helm you can't go wrong.

Chef sent a starter with some mighty fine looking scallops (which I couldn't eat due to shellfish allergy, but Bonnie loved).

Next came asparagus with a fried egg! Quite creative and tasty.

Then some charred broccoli.

Bonnie ordered her favorite lobster roll.
Richard opted for the opakapaka, which was lovely.
I had the Mahi Mahi on pasta but liked the opaka better.
The talented Chef Carl paid a visit to our table.
He suggested the Key Lime panna cotta for dessert, which was heavenly.

There are many more menu comforting choices such as  pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, ribs and pastas (and beyond).

Shearwater scenes

1270 South Kihei Road at Azeka Mauka Shopping Center, 808-793-2324,

The Wedge-tailed Shearwater – ‘Ua‘u Kani – is the bird that the restaurant is named named after. These native Hawaiian birds live at sea and come to shore only to nest. They burrow in sand, grass, soil or rocky crevices and both parents raise their single yearly offspring. They return to the same burrow year after year.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Another fabulous foodie fantasy at Il Piccolini

Dining out at LA's finest with Patti and Richard Pietschmann

The best Branzino anywhere

A lobster salad like no other
L.A’s top Mediterranean/Italian eatery,  Il Piccolino’s  indoor and patio dining areas are  exquisitely-decorated and filled nightly by  discerning diners.  Even when all tables are filled, the noise level stays low enough so couples could listen without straining because a quiet ambiance is what this culinary work of art and efforts by a pair of  beloved co-owners Silvio De Mori and Eddie Kerkhofs is all about. The two men alternate hosting the restaurant which is open all day starting at 11:30 a.m.  Both are masters of game but it is Silvio whom we’ve come to known best because he is coincidentally always there when we are.
SilvioDebonair, Italy-born Silvio strikes quite a presence greeting nearly everyone who walks in by name—there is a regular clientele of neighborhood denizens, show biz folk, and people who will drive in from the Desert just for a finely-tune meal made with truly the best ingredients money can buy and lovingly selected by Silvio and Eddie (who don’t cook but know the ropes well).
So what else makes Il Piccolino special? The food as mentioned above is impossibly delicious time after time. And we go often, so frequently in fact that Silvio creates special menus for us. Last night he decided to fill us to the brim with all the seasonal dishes on the menu.  It was a feast for bigger stomachs but we managed—although a good amount came home in a doggy bag. It’s not easy to control yourself when the food is just so heavenly, aphrodisiacally scrumptious.
We swooned over every course from an impossibly delicious lobster salad for Richard  (I’m allergic to shellfish) and a so fresh assortment of greens, strawberries, kiwis, walnuts and goat cheese for me that was perfectly dressed.
We had pasta bathed in truffles, Branzino that’s the best in LA, filet of sole that doesn’t get any tastier,  a heady tuna tonnato, desserts that
make your taste buds do a dance and of course some mighty fine wine.

Il Piccolino is open all day starting at 11 a.m. and is perfect for special occasions or anytime you need one of the best meals you ever tasted. Il Piccolino, 350 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, Phone(310) 659-2220, valet parking is just $7.