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Palm-treed and lakeside, Maestro's restaurant is now open

Naturally, people are drawn to the sunshine, patio, palm trees and glittering lake.

That's why the just-opened Maestro's Mediterranean Restaurant at Manteo Resort in Kelowna's Lower Mission has more seats on its terrace than it does in its indoor dining room.

"Definitely, and especially at this time of year, people gravitate to the sun and the water," said Maestro's manager Allie Burtini.

"That's why we have 120 seats on the lakeside patio and 80 seats inside."

</who>Allie Burtini is the manager at Maestro's Mediterranean Restaurant at Manteo Resort.

The terrace's most notable feature is 10-foot-tall palm trees in huge pots, surrounded by tables and chairs and couches with firetables with Okanagan Lake as a backdrop.

Up until last October, the space was Smack Dab restaurant.

Manteo Resort decided to close, renovate, reimagine and reopen the restaurant as Maestro's with a Mediterranean theme.

</who>Maestro's chef Jason Leizert shows off the roasted seabass on the palm-treed patio.

While Maestro's had been open quietly for a few days, the official grand opening was Thursday night with an eats-and-drinks reception and ribbon cutting by City of Kelowna councillor Maxine DeHart at 6:30 pm.

"It's all influenced by what you'd find in Mediterranean coastal cities," said chef Jason Leizert.

"The freshest ingredients, seafood, share plates and a wine list of both Okanagan and and French and Italian and Spanish wines."

Leizert previously owned and operated The Salted Brick in downtown Kelowna.

At Maestro's his favourite dish is currently the roasted seabass with prawns harissa.

But he's also proud of the octopus, margherita pizza, herb pasta, paella and duck confit.

</who>Lead bartender Kyle Yrjola mixes up Maestro's signature cocktail -- the Stone Fruit Smash.

When we met lead bartender Kyle Yrjola he was mixing up Maestro's signature cocktail -- the Stone Fruit Smash.

It's a heady mixture of thyme-infused syrup with lemon vodka, lemon juice and Prosecco sparkling topped with a splash of soda.

The bartender is also a fan of the Italian Caesar made with vodka infused with garlic, basil and oregano.

Maestro's is open daily for lunch, happy hour and dinner.

The happy hour menu features $6 house wines and beer, $12 piri piri chicken and $17 margherita pizza.

</who>First cook Chikan Wong manned the pita-and-pakora station at Maestro's grand opening on Thursday.

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