Pierre-Luc Moeys and Nicole Paturel launched their mini Ulster County dining empire ten years ago when they opened Cafe With Love in Saugerties, a wonderful if teensy spot that they subsequently sold. After that came Oriole 9 in Woodstock, then Yum-Yum Noodle Bar across the street, a Yum-Yum branch in Kingston, and Yum Yum on Wheels in various locations (including your house or party venue, if you like). Now they’ve opened a cafe in Stone Ridge where Jack and Luna’s used to be. It’s called Lekker, a clunky word, but apparently Dutch for “delicious.” Moeys is Dutch, so we can assume the translation is accurate, and, if Oriole 9 is anything to go by, the food will be somewhere on the delicious scale.
The cafe is open daily for breakfast and lunch, with a menu that includes eggs, yogurt and granola, French toast with seasonal berries, tofu scramble, a Cuban press, and red quinoa salad. There are daily specials, including a stew, prepared grab-and-go foods for those too rushed to make dinner, and delectables like Dutch apple pie and chocolate ganache tart. As in the health-conscious couple’s other eateries, ingredients are organic and mostly from local farms.
A polished concrete floor, apple green accents and orange molded chairs make the airy space feel modern and relaxed. There’s even a tiny table for kids and a blackboard where they can express themselves with colored chalks — a quaint notion, judging from the tot who was perched there, playing a video game on her mom’s phone when we stopped in. Silvery furniture makes the small patio look invitingly hip.
Do-it-yourself service begins at the counter facing the door, where a big sign declaring Order Here makes things clear. Then you grab utensils and napkins, plonk down, and wait for the announcement that your food is ready. If you need a little indulgence (and you do), stop in and squeeze yourself some super-fresh orange juice using the gizmo in the corner, get coffee and a chocolate croissant, or an almond one, or an apple turnover… or choose something heartier. My other half really enjoyed his fresh-tasting corned beef hash, and my Oaxaca tacos topped with chorizo, avocado, cilantro and eggs were such a tasty, filling breakfast, I skipped lunch — not something I often do.
Don’t miss the grown-up, house-made sodas, served in folksy Mason jars. The honey-ginger one is absolutely lekker.