Ten Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day

If you’re lucky (as I am), you have a mother who loves you so much, she looks for opportunities to bring joy into your life. She may buy you a thoughtful gift, spoil your kids, gauge your mood by the tone of your voice or know just what to say to make you laugh.

While all moms may be joy hunters, they are as singular as the shape of a cresting wave. In their honor, here’s a list of Mother’s Day ideas.

On the Wednesday before Mother’s Day, take Mom on a pau hana shopping excursion at The Shops at Kukui’ula. After checking out clothing stores and art galleries, buy her a glass of wine at Merriman’s Beer & Wine Garden.

Watch Morris Wise of Hula Baby Biscotti and Chris Spinosa of Ko Bakery make a vanilla rum short-cake at the Kaua’i Culinary Market.

“The shortcake is not like the sponge cake you buy at the grocery store,” says Spinosa, who is also the pastry chef at Gaylord’s. “It’s a dense cake, more like a scone or pound cake.” Fresh fruit from the market will be used in the topping and everyone gets to sample the finished cakes. The guys also will be selling individual-sized Meyer lemon shortcakes as well as Hula Baby biscotti and granola.

At the Saturday Kaua’i Community Market at Kaua’i Community College in Puhi, Spinosa and Wise will feature Ko Bakery’s scrumptious Coconut Coast Cake. This three-layer butter cake is iced with coconut-infused buttercream and sprinkled with toasted coconut. Six- ($30) and 9-inch ($42) sizes are available and should be preordered for pickup at the market. Call 212-8882 or email aloha@kobakery.com.

Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day. If Mom prefers a relaxing day at the beach, order a custom-made gift basket from The Wine Shop in Koloa. They can work with any budget and fill the baskets with wine or spirits and gourmet food such as specialty cheese, crackers, spreads, dips and chocolate. If you need portable glasses, ask for the reusable, eco-friendly GoVino wine glasses. To place an order, call 742-7305.

Admission is free to everyone at Allerton Garden on Mother’s Day. The family can walk through the gardens at their own pace or shop at craft and food booths. Hula Baby Biscotti will be there with Cloud Brownies – a house-made dark caramel swirled into Ko Bakery’s signature chewy brownie, topped with Hula Baby’s handmade marshmallow cloud and drizzled with chocolate.

If Mom prefers fine dining Mexican-style, bring her upstairs to Tortilla Republic’s elegant open-air dining room. It’s now open for Sunday brunch, and a DJ spins Buddha Bar – a combination of lounge, chill and world music.

“We’ve taken our breakfast menu and added some brunch items such as an enchilada burger,” says owner Jordan James. There also will be a cart laden with prickly pear juice and seasonal fruit for tableside mimosas, as well as a Bloody Mary bar. For reservations, call 742-8884.

Gaylord’s offers an al fresco Sunday brunch, where Mom can relax and unwind surrounded by the restorative and inviting atmosphere. A generous buffet offers whole roasted salmon crusted in a rainbow of spices; red wine-braised short ribs; zesty tarts; sweet and savory pastries, and fresh fruit, including pineapple and papaya from on-site gardens.

A la carte items are folded into the price and include blackened New York strip steak and eggs; omelet du jour; and ahi tuna Benedict with wasabi hollandaise. Brunch costs $29.95, or $39.95 with champagne. There will be live music in the courtyard from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For reservations, call 245-9593.

Many moms need more than an afternoon to unwind. Follow tranquil spa treatments at island resorts with meals designed for Mother’s Day. Brunch at Ilima Terrace ($55, inside the Grand Hyatt) offers a “farmers market” selection; sushi, poke and raw bar; cakes and pastries; and a carving station. Entrees “from the kitchen” include pan-roasted chicken with braised kale, peas, heirloom carrots and natural jus. After a round of golf at scenic Poipu Bay Golf Course, Mom can enjoy brunch ($31) at the Poipu Bay Clubhouse. For reservations, call 742-1234.

RumFire, Sheraton Kaua’i’s signature restaurant, offers a special brunch ($55) as well as a three-course (prix fixe $45) Mother’s Day dinner that features a contemporary twist on a mother’s most memorable dish. The staff created shrimp and lobster sausage with shellfish curry fume, braised fingerling potatoes and a soft poached egg, which is based on one mom’s turkey meatball curry with potatoes and eggs. For reservations, call 742-4RUM (4786).

At St. Regis Princeville Resort, treat Mom to an uplifting brunch at Makana Terrace ($60). Excellent service, outdoor dining and sweeping views of Hanalei

Bay offer mom a luxurious escape. Polished silver trays stacked three high hold an assortment of exquisite cakes; tender and robust lamb tastes of rosemary and garlic; a smoked salmon, sashimi, poke, nigiri and sushi bar offers light and fresh alternatives, and the eggs Benedict over creamy taro hash is topped with a perfect little poached egg and lilikoi hollandaise sauce.

For a refined and delightful alternative, try afternoon tea ($39) at the St. Regis. Miniature scones are accompanied by Meyer lemon curd, Devonshire cream, island fruit preserves, tea finger sandwiches, fresh fruit tarts, tea cookies and miniature pastries. There’s an assortment of organic hot teas and iced teas, including green tea infused with ginger and black tea with muddled fresh pineapple. For reservations at the St. Regis, call 826-9644.

Marta Lane is a Kaua’i-based food writer. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.

Gaylord’s Mother’s Day Brunch
served 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Adults $52, with champagne $62
Keiki 3-5 $25
Specialty brunch menu will be served