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Celebrate New Year's Eve Polynesian Style at Mai-Kai Restaurant In Fort Lauderdale, New York


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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane  poses for a photo-op with Manager Kern Mattei and Patricia Parenti at Mai-Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, New York

Mai-Kai Restaurant

Patricia Parenti and TV Host Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op at Mai-Kai Restaurant

Patricia Parenti and TV Host Cognac Wellerlane pose for a photo-op at Mai-Kai Restaurant

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at Mai-Kai Restaurant


During my press coverage of Basel Week in Miami, I did a TV  show at the oldest Polynesian Restaurant in the United States, Mai-Kai Restaurant located at 3599 N. Federal Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

General Manager Kern Mattei was our host for the evening as we dined on exotic appetizers and signature cocktails.

Built in 1956, patrons and guests enjoy Polynesian dining and a spectacular Revue everynight at Mai-Kai Restuaurant.

The essence of Polynesia comes alive in the songs and dances of the celebrated Islanders Revue. Each year, owner and show choreographer Mireille Thornton creates new interpretations of village life in the South Pacific at the turn of the century.

Ms. Thornton's inspiration comes from regular visits to the islands that comprise Polynesia: Tahiti, Aotearoa, New Zealand, Samoa, and Hawaii.

Mai-Kai visitors witness Polynesia's rich heritage in dances such as the Hawaiian Wedding song where two young lovers are separated and then reunited in marriage. Or, the spirited Tahitian solo drum dance competition from Polynesia's largest annual cultural celebration, the "Heiva I Tahiti".

This year's dynamic show boasts more musicians, drums, and brightly colored costumes that light up the stage. The detailed costumes are hand-sewn and reflect the spirit of the South Seas.

They are made from hand-painted tapa cloth (from the bark of breadfruit trees), flowers, mother-of-pearl, feathers, abalone and other small seashells.

The Revue dance troupe also performs outside the restaurant for private parties, charity and community functions.

Performances are enjoyed  nightly (call for show times as they might change through out the season).

During the summer months (starting in June), the Mai-Kai features a Kids Show every Sunday evening.

Witness the children  interpret stories of Polynesia's rich heritage through graceful dance movements.

They rehearse several times throughout the spring months to learn the new dance numbers and develop skills required to keep up with adult dancers.

Decked out in grass skirts, hand-painted cloth sarongs, leis and traditional feathered headpieces, the children offer their peer audience an insight into Polynesian culture and traditions. As the children entertainers become more coordinated, they advance to the next dance level which includes different props from rhythmic instruments to knives.

The owner and show's choreographer, Mireille Thornton, began as one of the original dancers in the Islanders Revue in 1961, making her part of the longest running Polynesian dance show in the continental United States. A native Polynesian, Thornton travels to Polynesia every year to work with dance experts and find new insperation for the troupe's dances and costumes.

Providing entertainment for the entire family, the Mai-Kai dancers invite audience members to hop on stage and learn some new dance moves. Children under 12 years old enjoy the show at no charge and there is a children's menu available. Each receives a lei and a Polynesian activity book. In addition, the Mai-Kai has a special menu tailored to children's tastes including Captain Hook's Ribs, Society Island Shrimp, Bora Bora Beef and Kon Tiki Chicken.

Entrees include everything from THAI RED CURRY CHICKEN with gluten free/can be made vegetarianCoconut, bamboo shoots, sweet baby peppers, sweet peas, Thai basil, lemongrass or MACADAMIA ENCRUSTED MAHI  MAHI with Pineapple Salsa, Passionfruit Beurre Blanc.

Winner of the Opentable Winner 104 Diner's Choice, Mai-Kai Restaurant is perfect venue for your New Year's Eve Party.

For more information to book your party please visit

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in red carpet events, Art Openings and fabulous restaurants.

Pink Champagne Kisses
Cognac Wellerlane

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