The Tropica restaurant at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa on Kaanapali Beachwalk has recently been reopened after a small fire on property required some renovations. And what glorious reopening it has been. The new beachside umbrellas are a lovely light tan while the restaurant accents are a sophisticated blend of white, black and brown, it is an absolutely stunning setting especially at sunset. The Tropica Restaurant and Bar is open Wednesday thru Sunday. The cost of dining at Tropica is similar to equivalent restaurants on Maui. However, you can go to Tropica for Happy Hour between 4:30pm and 6pm in the bar and lounge area. There are nightly specials for you to enjoy with the sunset and as well as yummy drinks such as the delicious “Tropic Dragonberry Bomb”. For more information on Tropica or the specials go to www.westinmaui.com or call 808 667-2525.
Tropica will also be serving up their signature Seared Diver Scallops with Braised Fennel Puree and Golden Potato Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon sauce at the upcoming benefit for the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) named “Maui Calls” August 13th in Kahului at the MACC for more details go to www.mauiarts.org. Executive Sous Chef, Rich Hinojosa of Tropica, pictured below has provided a delicious Golden Potato Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon sauce recipe for you to enjoy if you cannot visit Tropica or attend Maui Calls benefit to taste his delicious creations.
Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon Sauce
1. Pierce potatoes and bake at 350 degrees until completely soft, about 1-1 ½ hours.
2. Remove from the oven and cut in half. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop the inside of the potatoes into a food mill, run them through.
3. Add salt, pepper, cheese and about half of the flour. Work in the ingredients, knead the dough and add more flour if it feels sticky
4. Continue to knead until dough is be barely firm and dry enough to roll.
5. Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into long and uniformed log sizes.
6. Cut the logs into 1 inch pieces.
7. Roll the pieces off of a fork, onto a lightly floured pan
8. Heat pot with boiling water and salt it.
9. When all of the dough is cut and rolled, drop small batches of gnocchi into the salted, boiling water. When the gnocchi float to the top, they are done.
10. Scoop them out, and lay them on a tray. Coat lightly with oil and chill.
11. When you are ready to serve, brown the gnocchi in a non-stick pan with oil.
12. Season with salt and pepper, then add a half teaspoon of butter.
13. Serve with meyer lemon sauce and garish with crushed pistachios.
Method (to make sauce)
Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice 5oz
Honey 1 1/2 Tbs
Heavy Cream 3 Tbs
Unsalted Butter 1/3 lb
Salt to taste
1. Pour the lemon juice into a small sauce pot, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
2. Let the juice reduce by about half. Add honey and reduce by half again.
3. Add heavy cream and bring back to a simmer. Whisk in the butter, slowly.
4. Season with salt, add more honey or butter if necessary. The sauce should be slightly tart, and a touch sweet.
5. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, set aside.