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Small Bites


Small Bites

Luna 61 Moves to Tivoli 55

Last summer Luna 61, Dutchess County’s high-style vegetarian restaurant, moved from

61 East Market Street

in Red Hook to 55 Broadway, in Tivoli. But change the name to Luna 55? No way.

For more than a decade, owners Peter and Debra Maisel have been nourishing enlightened (and sometimes clueless) diners with sophisticated menus based on fresh, organic, and (whenever possible) locally grown ingredients. Nobody, least of all Luna’s fiercely loyal customers, wants anything to change.


So, just one superficial change to note: the new space is larger overall, set on two levels joined by a spiral metal staircase. Debra says that in addition to their core of regulars, they still get the odd newcomer, like the husbands who don’t want tofu “because they’ve heard that soy is good for women, and they’re afraid it will cause them to grow breasts.” Flat-chested Peter still does all the cooking, and Debra still does the baking — no white flour, but plenty of chocolate fudge cake. Don’t get upset, but Debra says they are planning to change the menu, just a teensy bit, in 2007.

Luna 61, at 55 Broadway in Tivoli, is open Tues.- Sun. for dinner and Sun. brunch. 845-758-0061, www.luna61.com

Another one bites the dust

We hear that a lease dispute was the reason behind the sudden November closing of Beacon’s first upscale eatery, OII. The demise of the funky fusion restaurant — which was lauded for its “bold food” by local critics as well as the New York Times after its October 2005 opening — is a big loss for the constantly evolving river town… Another heralded fusion restaurant, Goshen’s

Park Place

, also shut its doors in 2006, about a year after opening in the former Goshen Inn… And in Poughkeepsie, La Batisse, a French eatery in a charming 19th-century house, also called it quits in November. The brainchild of Max Bernard, previously of Manhattan’s trendy Park Bistro and Les Halles, the restaurant opened last January. And of course, it’s not just the newbies that don’t make it. Perhaps the biggest shock of the year was the closing of Aubergine — the beloved Columbia County inn and restaurant — after 12 extremely popular years in Hillsdale.

Let’s see what 2007 brings.


Hi, I’m Jane, and I’m a Meat-aholic

The Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society (MHVS) was founded 10 years ago by a Kingston woman who one day noticed that her dog’s leg looked a lot like a leg of lamb. Since then, the group has grown from 40 to 160 members. Now MHVS president Roberta Schiff wants to make it easier for those who are considering a jump to the greener side. She’s come up with a plan she calls “Veggie Buddies.” The idea is to pair an experienced vegetarian — a sponsor, if you will — with someone who’s considering becoming vegetarian or vegan. The buddies might take a trip to a health food store, share recipes, or cook together — whatever it takes. And naturally, the sponsor would accept those guilt-stricken, 2 a.m. phone calls from the would-be vegan who just wolfed down a giant spoonful of Chunky Monkey.



Schiff says it takes about three weeks to break an addiction to SAD (the Standard American Diet). This month, in gentle protest against a nation of belching, meat-eating Super Bowl watchers, MHVS is holding its own Souper Bowl, on the Sunday before the big game (Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Reformed Church in Rhinebeck). Potential veggie buddies are welcome.

For information, call 845-876-2626 or e-mail Robbie@mhvs.org.


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