Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fabiani's Bakery and Pizzeria, Kihei

I’ve been hoping against hope of ever finding good, reasonably priced Italian food in Maui again after Aroma D’Italia closed its doors in March 2012. Wouldn’t you know it, though, along comes Fabiani’s, a stone’s throw from where Aroma D’Italia used to be. That doesn’t mean that Fabiani’s is easy to find; while you may see their sign driving up or down East Lipoa street, the restaurant itself is back off the road in the corner of the strip mall. (Okay, it’s not THAT hard to find it.)

When you do find Fabiani’s, the first thing you’ll notice is the dessert cabinet, but we’ll get to that soon enough. The second thing you’ll notice is the ambiance, or the lack thereof. While I like Fabiani’s, the restaurant is too new and too clean to have much character to call its own. With too many TV’s, even in the dining area, its just not a place I would go to for a romantic date. In this way, Fabiani’s is like many other Maui spots that try and fail to walk the line between being a restaurant and a sports bar. Plus, there’s no view of any kind here if dining with a view is an issue for you. Fortunately, Fabiani’s is saved by its food.

Good pizza is difficult to find in Maui. Good pizza with an authentic thin crust has been virtually impossible until now. When Fabiani’s says “thin crust” they mean it and deliver it faithfully. I’ve never had a bad pizza here, so order any one of them and it’s going to be tasty without all the salt you get from chain pizza places. Though their pizzas may not be as big as something you’ll get at Pizza Hut or Shaka Pizza, pizza from those guys pale in comparison taste-wise. While you’re not going to get the best pizza you've ever tasted here, it’s definitely among the best I’ve ever had in Maui. Meanwhile, appetizers are so-so while their other dinner dishes such as the lasagna or calzone are respectable, though you probably won’t send a postcard home about them. Ah, but then there’s dessert. While I wouldn't use the phrase "to die for" here, there isn’t a single dessert that is less than wonderful; they were all worth salivating over when you first walked in. My personal favorites are the chocolate mousse red velvet cake and the cheesecake. The macaroons are all also quite good.

Service-wise, everyone is friendly and also attentive without being overbearing. I will disclose that I have not been here for breakfast or to pick something up from the bakery, but if several successful happy hours and dinners are any indication, I don't see how mornings here could be a bad thing.

Check out their menu here.