If you're one of those people who always thought that "Manoli" was an Italian name, you may be surprised--but not disappointed--when you find out the facts about Manoli's Pizza Company in Wailea.
"Manoli is as Greek a name as O'Leary is Irish and as Pasquale is Italian!" restaurateur/owner Aaron Placourakis proudly pointed out.
As soon as you enter the large, spacious, ergonomically decorated area and hear Amy Winehouse on the sound system, you know this is not "your father's pizzeria."
Placourakis makes it real personal for this--his new "baby."
The restaurant is named after his late father and dedicated to his son. The place has "family" written all over it.
"Treat your friends like family, and your family like friends," is the Placourakis family motto.
Aaron's wife, Rhonda, is responsible for the great musical ambience and Aaron is literally all over the dining room, which overlooks the beautiful Wailea sunset skyline, as he chats with customers, recommending wines from their sustainable organic selections and making sure the service in this affordable eatery is as top-notch as his other upscale restaurants.
Manoli's features an array of fresh veggies, cheeses, meats, organically grown spinach and authentic Greek salads and build-your-own handcrafted pizzas.
The Roma tomatoes they had on the menu the evening I was there were even better than the ones I grow in my back yard--and mine taste even better than the tomatoes you get at Whole Foods!
Manoli's Pizza Company will become a favorite walk-in dining choice for families, local residents and tourists for a long time to come. The restaurant is located at 100 Wailea Ike Drive in Wailea (the former location of Matteo's).
For more information, visit www.manolispizzacompany.com.
This opinion column is written by Charles Laquidara, who has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on-island. Email firstname.lastname@example.org