Gigi Moves In

Though Vassar College’s Alumnae House was originally constructed in 1924 to cater to, well, alumnae, it has since opened the doors of its catering hall, pub, and 45-room hotel to the Hudson Valley community at large.

This year, Gigi Hudson Valley — restaurateur Laura Pensiero’s burgeoning culinary business — has taken over as the exclusive caterer, with plans to reopen the pub as a full-service restaurant sometime in late 2010. Pensiero’s empire began with the popular Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck; it has since expanded to include a market at Red Hook’s Greig Farm and both on- and off-site catering services. Well-known for the nearly exclusive use of seasonal and local meats and produce, their fresh “Hudson Valley Mediterranean” cuisine features ingredients from dozens of Valley purveyors, and their specially designed seasonal menus always hit the mark — think fresh corn, berries, and barbecue in summer; greens, squash, and rack of lamb in winter.

The Alumnae House can seat up to 100 guests, and it hosts every type of function from weddings to baby showers. “Weddings here are really so special,” says Chris Derringer, a house employee who is excited about the new arrangement. “You always look forward to a change.” To book an event at the Alumnae House, contact manager Martha Barry at 845-437-7000, ext. 7150.

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