Black-eyed peas, grapes and noodles promise prosperity

Some foods are just plain lucky to eat on New Year’s Eve. What associates these dishes with good fortune, exactly? That’s tough to pinpoint, but much of the answer has to do with symbolism and superstition.

It also has to do with a human tradition of eating something special, like a birthday cake, to mark the passage of time. So what will people be biting into at the top of 2021 to set them up for success? We talked to food historians Megan Elias, food writer and director of the gastronomy program at Boston University, and Linda Pelaccio, who hosts culinary radio show “A Taste of the Past,” about some of the lucky foods you’ll find on global New Year’s menus.

Black-eyed peas and lentils

Legumes, such as beans and black eyed peas, are rich in bioflavonoids and zinc, which help protect the retina, thus lowering the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.

Legumes, such as beans and black eyed peas, are rich in bioflavonoids and zinc, which help protect the retina, thus lowering the risk of

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Making plans for New Year’s Eve? Celebrate with special meals at these restaurants + more

There’s just enough time to squeeze in one last decadent meal in 2021.

Many restaurants are offering special prix-fixe menus on New Year’s Eve. At these relaxing meals, you’ll be leisurely served course after course while you sip champagne and reflect on the past year.

Here are North Jersey restaurants (and a few other venues) hosting special events on New Year’s Eve.

1776 by David Burke, Morristown

One of the bars in the restaurant, 1776 by David Burke is located next to the Morristown Green and is now open as staff members get the restaurant ready to serve dinner.

One of the bars in the restaurant, 1776 by David Burke is located next to the Morristown Green and is now open as staff members get the restaurant ready to serve dinner.

Celebrations at 1776 begin at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. The restaurant will host live music and entertainment, along with serving a four-course prix-fixe meal. Dishes include halibut with caviar butter, veal chop with crab legs and roasted rack of lamb. The party runs until after midni. Price is $150 per

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Hana Bistro pivots to mobile eatery after restaurant closes | Edina

Hana Bistro, the Pan-Asian restaurant that permanently closed at 50th & France this summer, is making a return – but this time, it will do business on the go.

For its next chapter, the eatery it will operate a food truck in and around Edina and Minneapolis in addition to providing private dinner parties. The choice to shift to the new model came after the restaurant experienced over a year of difficulty with the pandemic, said Stephanie Lan, who runs the restaurant with her husband, Ben Lan.

“It’s fun and exciting,” she said. “It will be enjoyable for the customers as well as for us while we make (the food.)”

Serving Japanese, Chinese and other Asian dishes, Hana Bistro has been in business since the fall of 2017, when it first opened at 50th & France. Since the Lans sold the space in July, it has been taken over by

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‘New Year’s Eve is like our Super Bowl’

By 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve, the dining room at Beijing House in Norwell will not be packed with people.

Instead, it will be wall-to-wall paper bags filled with those red and white takeout boxes.

The restaurant’s three phones will ring endlessly.

Workers will move nonstop to keep up with demand, turning out more than 500 orders as a line of hungry revelers snakes outside the front door.

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“New Year’s Eve is like our Super Bowl,” said Ching Puskarich, who has owned and managed Beijing House for 26 years. “We use all the available space for the bags, even the buffet station. It’s busy. I have extra people to work, but we have a good system.”

Tsang's Village Cafe in Hanover is a local favorite for Chinese takeout on New Year's Eve.

Tsang’s Village Cafe in Hanover is a local favorite for Chinese takeout on New Year’s Eve.

That is a scene typical of

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