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Schenectady's Little Italy

I went to Schenectady's Little Italy on Jay Street today. What a difference from my last visit many years ago!

Cornell's has moved from Van Vranken (where it was when I last ate there many years ago) to Jay. There is ample parking and outdoor seating. Jay Street (Schenectady), Lark Street (Albany), Broadway (Saratoga) - these are Capital Region gems and remind me of NYC's neighborhoods.

Now on to the food. I stopped by Perreca's. There are a few cafe tables outside. Looked around bought a slice of pizza and some peppery taralle. Pizza was square and thick with a flavorful sauce. I have only found pizza like this in Rotterdam. Still need to venture to Troy. Peaked in Cornell's window. Must go back for dinner. Went to Civitello's. Like Perreca's their cannolis were pre-filled. Too humid for canoli anyhow. Had a hazlenut gelato. Delicious. I liked their gelato better than Eugene's and Villa Italia's. I've been craving fig gelato and no one seems to make it. Must go back and try Civitello's pignolia cookies.

Wish Cappiello Dairy and Capri were on Jay. I guess folks from Rotterdam might not want to go downtown and it could hurt their businesses. Perreca's and Civitello's might have more competition. Though all four stores have slightly different products.

Tried to find a restaurant near Union College I went to with an old BF years ago. Thought it was on Barrett. Maybe it was Luigi's? It was small, had no ambiance, excellent Italian food, value priced.

Schenectady's Italian Festival on September 12th:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid...

An article about Schenectady's Little Italy, restaurants and plans for the future:

http://www.rotterdamny.info/b-General...

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  1. Great report; I drooled over my laptop.
    At Perreca's, besides, of course, the bread and pizza, you might want to try their mini sandwiches/panini sometime.
    Civitello's-agree about the gelato; also try their lemon ice on a hot summer day.
    I was in school in Schenectady in the late 1960's. The places you might be thinking of on Barrett Street were either: Mother Ferro's; Luigi's or (not exactly sure) Villa Bianca.
    You might want to walk around to N. Center St. and check out Garofolo's Market. Also up on Van Vranken in La Gioia Deli. Both worth looking over. Mangia bene!

    14 Replies
    1. re: markabauman

      Thanks; I ate a slice of Perreca's pizza over mine :) I believe it was Mother Ferro's. Gone?

      Need to start eating at the little Italian restaurants in Schenectady. Been to Castelo's. Did a quick search of this Board. Where should I go next? Cornell's, Ferrari's, Petta's, Canali's, someplace else?

      Cornells www.cornellsrestaurant.com (closed Mondays, dinner only)
      Ferrari's www.ferrarisristorante.com (closed Sundays)
      Petta's www.pettasrestaurant.com (dinner only
      )Canali's www.canalisrestaurant.com (no hours on web site)

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Sadly, Mother Ferro's is gone, but not forgotten.
        You might want to try the similar pizza at Cappiello's sometime. They also have at lunch time baked stuffed bread rolls- eggplant, sausage, broccoli, etc. Not sure what they call them-think some places call them "stromboli".
        Sorry- I know all the names of the restaurants mentioned, but am not personally familiar. Do a lot of shopping at the market places mentioned, as well as the ever-growing Schenectady farmers market, but then usually just cook at home rather than dine out. I'm sure there are plenty others on this board who know these places firsthand. Have been to Cornell's for a few group dinners and I enjoyed it there.

        1. re: markabauman

          Thanks, markabauman. Got the eggplant to go from Cappiello's (it was mislabelled and I had a surprise pasta dinner instead.)

          Cornell's and Canali's are the easiest locations for me. Ferrari's is open for lunch and that is a big plus. Need to contact Canali's to see if they are open for lunch.

          Has anyone been to Scotti's on Union Street? What was your experience?

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Haven't been to Scotti's. A friend who lives/works nearby loves the place.
            Another place to consider is Peter Pause on lower Nott Street. Hole in the wall-great breakfasts, lunch specials, change all the time. Down home kind of place; go early.

            1. re: markabauman

              Thanks, markabauman. I think Peter Pause came up in one of my searches.

              Dolce Vita Ristorante?

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/640674

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                It's funny you should mention La Dolce Vita. I saw the wife of the bartender today and they were going to bring me a menu, but they forgot. It's largely the staff of the old Brandon's Ritz that has moved over to the new location. The owner, Randy Loren is supposed to be a very good entertainer and he sings there. Don't really know much about the menu yet; was planning to try to go sometime just because of the person I know who works there and am curious.

                1. re: markabauman

                  I accidentally found Peter Pause after going into the deli nearby looking for a corn muffin. Peter Pause had good looking corn muffins and I also got a cinnamon bun (server suggested it was best warm) to go. A lot of old world charm inside those walls, diner-ish atmosphere.

            2. re: financialdistrictresident

              Canali's hours:

              TUES, WED, THURS, 4 PM TO 9 30 PM
              SAT,4 PM TO 10 PM & SUN, 4 PM TO 9 PM

              I guess this means no lunch and closed Mondays. Not sure about Fridays?

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Going to Canali's later this month. Any dishes not to miss? Or to avoid?

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Went to Canali's with a group last night. Wrote a detailed report, lost it somewhere in chowhound.com space . . . maybe this is a sign that I should spend less time on chowhound obsessing about food :)

            3. re: markabauman

              markabauman, tried a Perreca's sandwich today. The roasted pepper and cheese one. It was very good. I didn't see any paninis . . .

              Also noticed More Perreca's is starting to look like a restaurant. Looks like it might have an open kitchen. Can't wait until they open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and pizzas.

              Civitello's now has a little red sign with white lettering on the fence near their outdoor seating area that says "our tables are for eating only." I wonder how their tables taste? :)

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                There's a restaurant in Clifton Park that has some chairs outside the restaurant with a sign that says "For our smoking customers". I could picture that.

            4. Went to Ferrari's for lunch yesterday. Spa Brauhaus and Ferrari's in one month, can you say RETRO? Some things should just never change. I was warmly welcomed by my friendly host. I sat in the dining room next to a "Ferrari" wall hanging and close to the kitchen so I could enjoy watching the food go out. There is also another room with a waiters' station and what looked like a family table. I got there at just the right time before the dining room filled up. My server was new but a more experienced server and Mr. Ferrari kept a watchful eye on everything. The bread was really good and in little baskets covered with a napkin to ensure it stayed fresh. I had the calamari appetizer which was cooked perfectly and could have fed 4 as an app. It came with marinara sauce. The marinara sauce was so good. Sauce like this is not easy to find. Delicious. I watched some pasta and meatballs go by as I waited for my eggplant entree. The eggplant parmesan was very good. Thinly sliced like it should be. Sadly, I've had more of the thick, overbreaded slices with something that barely resembles fresh mozzarella. Ferrari's and Cafe Capriccio are an exception to this. I wished the eggplant was a little sweeter, but the kitchen can't predict the sweetness of an eggplant . . . A delicious lunch with lots of leftovers. I drove by the Mt. Pleasant bakery where my grandmother used to buy poppyseed roll as I headed toward Crane Street. The bakery is another neighborhood gem gone but not forgotten.

              13 Replies
              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Oh, I loved your report! My Mom grew up about four houses from Ferrari's, so we went there quite a bit with Grandma. I haven't lived in the area for 15-20 years, but when I go back to visit, I can still go to Ferrari's on a Saturday night and see some of my second and third cousins, friends of my Mom's, and plenty of others. Like you, I usually go for the eggplant.
                Thanks for the report (and the memories!).

                1. re: Cachetes

                  You might want to check out the Little Italy Italian Festival on Saturday, September 12, centered around Perrecca's & Civitello's. Usually around from noon until 9 PM. Will coincide with the opening of a cafe in the other half of the building occupied by the bakery. There's usually a lot going on that weekend- the annual Greek festival at nearby St. George's, usually an art festival in the Stockade.
                  Ferrari's- a real classic fixture in Schenectady. Glad you enjoyed it. Speaking of Ferrari's (the exotic automobile, not the restaurant), that weekend is also when the Saratoga Performing Arts Center's Food & Wine Festival is held on SPAC grounds- a great event. There will be an associated display of many Ferrari autos as well.
                  Went to Bomber's Burritos last night for the first time. Food was decent, not great. Reasonably priced. Good bar specials. What was great was to see so many people in Schenectady's downtown and not just for a Proctor's show. Union students not even back yet.

                  1. re: markabauman

                    Thanks, markabauman. There is a link to the Little Italy Italian Festival on September 12th in my OP. A lot going on that weekend is an understatement. If we're in town we will check it out. This is the link to the SPAC's Food & Wine Festival: http://www.spac.org/

                  2. re: Cachetes

                    Cachetes, thanks for your kind words. You might want to check out the August 27, 2009 issue of Metroland which has a cover story by former Metroland writers who tell what they miss and still love about the area they left behind (including food & restaurants . . .).

                  3. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Edit: The "old" Mt. Pleasant Bakery is on Crane Street. I meant to say as I headed "down" Crane Street.

                    PS Has anyone been to the New Mount Pleasant Bakery? Is there any relation to the "old" Mt. Pleasant Bakery I remember as a kid?

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      Edit to the edit: I think it was the White Eagle Bakery NOT the Mt. Pleasant Bakery . . .Apologies for any confusion.

                    2. re: financialdistrictresident

                      Went to Ferrari's for lunch yesterday. Got one of the last parking spots on the street, placed was packed. We were lucky to get a corner table for four. Ferrari's may be my favorite Schenectady Italian. Let me say it again, some things should just never change . . . Now on to the food:

                      *Tossed salad served family style. Iceberg with roasted peppers, tomatoes, olives, cheese. Really simple and good.
                      *Bread - fresh and soft. the garlic bread is my personal favorite. So many restaurants have lousy bread, not Ferrari's.

                      APPS:

                      *Fried potatoes with hot peppers and onions and a sauce - loved this, really different and delicious
                      *Calamari - one of my dining companions now likes fried calamari after having it at Ferrari's and Canali's (both have some of the most perfectly cooked calamari I have ever had).

                      MAINS:

                      *eggplant parm - tasted my companion's, as good as last time.
                      *home-made cavatelli - tasted my companion's. One of my dining companions said Ferrari's home-made cavatelli was better than Canali's.
                      *pasta with olive oil, garlic and anchovies - simple and delicious. So much leftover I will have for lunch today.
                      *Veal parmesan - companion loved it. Huge portion, enough for a few meals.
                      *Chicken cacciatore - didn't taste it yet - maybe dinner tonight :)

                      Mopped up some of the m. sauce with a little bread. Ferrari's and Canali's have the best marinara sauce. The last time I had Cornell's it was a lighter type sauce. Depends what you like.

                      DESSERT:

                      *Tartufo
                      *Spumoni - Based on this spumoni, I may have never had home-made spumoni before . . . very good.
                      *Chocolate cake to go

                      They also have really good coffee here. I had espresso.

                      I cannot get Italian food like this in Saratoga county. BTW they only take reservations for 5 or more. Can't wait to go back.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Thanks for the report! I really love Ferrari's but live far away, so I loved reliving it through your report. Next time I make it back, I'll have to try those fried potatoes.

                        1. re: Cachetes

                          Cachetes, they were thin. Hard to describe, not quite potato chips . . .

                        2. re: financialdistrictresident

                          Went to Ferrari's again recently. The people are so nice and they make you feel like family.

                          Had fried potatoes with hot peppers and onions and a sauce - loved this even more than last time I had it. So good. One of my favorite Ferrari''s dishes.

                          Entrees come with dinner salads. Olives and roasted red peppers make a welcome addition. Reminded me a little of Carmine's salad in my old neighborhood.

                          They were out of eggplant parm, so I had the chicken cacciatore. Delicious. Chicken was a little overcooked. Entrees come with pasta and I had home made spaghetti with olive oil and anchovies. SO had the veal francese with ziti, garlic and olive oil. The veal looked deep fried, not pan sauteed like I expected.

                          We finished with espresso, home made carrot cake and spumoni.

                          Huge portions, lots of leftovers.

                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                            Fried potatoes with hot peppers and onions - yum! What type of sauce do they use?

                            1. re: Cachetes

                              Not sure but it's so good. It doesn't taste over garlicky, doesn't seem oily though the thinly sliced potatoes are crispy and deep fried. We had to have them take it away to "save us from ourselves." Maybe another Ferrari fan knows . . .

                      2. We went to Cornell's for dinner last night. The last time I went to Cornell's it was still on Van Vranken and I was a kid or maybe on a date. We got one of the last parking spots in the lot behind the restaurant. We didn't have a reservation and 7 PM on a Saturday night is prime time (Cella Bistro was our "plan B"). We were greeted warmly and our hostess/owner advised us it would be 30-45 minutes. We went to the bar to have a cocktail. The bar was standing room only and most people at the bar were having dinner so it wasn't too loud. Before we knew it and in less than 30 minutes they came and took us to our table. We had a nice large table (it could have sat 4) in the middle of the room, just before the archway that leads to the kitchen on one side and the server's station on the other. We could watch the food go by as we decided what to order. No one asked us if we wanted bottled water and we had to ask for the wine list. Otherwise service was very good and owner/hostess stopped by our table and greeted us as we left.

                        Now on to the food:

                        Perreca's bread and butter.

                        APPETIZERS

                        *Chicken livers with mushrooms and onions (sauteed and finished with a touch of sherry) - very good
                        *Shrimp oreganato (they couldn't leave the bacon off the clams casino or we would have had that) - 4 large shrimp, good, probably wouldn't order again

                        ENTREES

                        Entrees came with a small green salad.

                        *Haddock Livornese - very good, similar to a puttanesca but no capers. Fish was cooked perfectly.
                        *Veal - SO had veal and I can't rmember if it was francaise or milanese. He also had marinara sauce on his pasta so I got a chance to try Cornell's marinara sauce. I liked the sauce at Ferrari's better. Cornell's was a little lighter.

                        We had espresso and took leftovers home (portions were large). No room for dessert.

                        Cornell's has been around since 1943 for a reason. The menu says "In loving remembrance of Nicholas and Pasqualina Cornell."

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          Likewise, we had frequented Cornell's back in the late '60's as college students and had befriended the Cornell's. We also went to the Ritz for pizza- which eventually became Brandon's, which recently closed and will re-open with new owners. A number of the staff migrated over to La Dolce Vita on upper State St. in what was most recently a Chinese restaurant. Know the bartender well and he has recommended it, but haven't been yet. A few years back we went to a cooking demo at a now-closed restaurant supply company near the back of Cappiello's Dairy. The demo (marinara sauce, etc.) was done by the grandson of the Cornell's, who I believe is one of the current chef/owners. When I told him I remembered his grandparents and their cooking, tears came to his eyes. You're right about why it's been around so long. Drove past Perreca's today to check out the construction on the new cafe-very excited about that. Not sure how I'll spend September 12-as it is my birthday and their anticipated opening- but visiting the new cafe and the festival might be high on the list.

                          1. re: markabauman

                            I felt like Nicholas and Pasqualina were there in spirit. Such nice people running the place. Good food too.

                            PS SO also liked Ferrari's sauce better . . .

                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                              I agree with both of you about the respective sauces. Cornell's has a nice room in the back that is good for meetings, parties, etc. Have been to a number of events in the back room and the food and service for a group is as good as for a small party of diners.

                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  Just drove by Perreca's and it looks like the cafe is quite a ways from completion. I believe that they had hoped to have it done by tomorrow's festival. Still should be a great time. May drop down late after the SPAC Food & Wine festival which has some Italian Trade Commission sponsorship. Should be a great day for Italophiles.

                                  1. re: markabauman

                                    Perreca's and More is now open. They were giving 50% off. Pizzas not available yet. Menu is posted on the blackboard. Monday looks like my favorite menu day :) Nice cafe space with open kitchen. No table service - place your order and they bring it to you. I had the eggs in Purgatory. Very good. Can't wait to go back. Did some shopping at Perreca's and had gelato and espresso at Civitello's. Doesn't get much better.

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      Sitting in More Perreca's having lunch: eggplant, zuppa di peace, escarole, Perreca's bread, of course. Everything else that goes by looks great. Service great; beautiful airy light space. Can't wait for the pizza!

                                      1. re: markabauman

                                        markabauman, thanks for the report. Any ETA on the pizza?

                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                          Hi FDR; liked it so much on Saturday for lunch before heading to Cappiello's, etc. went back again on Sunday for breakfast prior to the Farmers Market. Was disappointed that a dish we saw on Saturday that someone had for breakfast-the eggs in purgatory- would not be served on Sundays (breakfast only, but they don't consider that dish part of the regular breakfast menu). To answer your question-they questimate next week. Apparently the pizza will be totally different from what they sell next door- a thin crust pizza. Anxiously awaiting!

                                          1. re: markabauman

                                            Thick or thin, right next door to each other, and gelato across the street. Does it get any better?

                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                              Only if we were in Italy.
                                              Buona festa di tacchino a tutti!

                        2. Sounds like this side of Schenectady is bouncing back nicely! Hooray! They probably should've started the LIttle Italy there long ago and by now it'd be bustling. A bakery moved there from Rotterdam, no? I forget the name now.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: netmover

                            You're probably thinking of Villa Italia which has been a big hit in downtown Schenectady. It's on Broadway, across from the back entrance of Proctor's theater. The bakery, which, of course, has it's cakes and Italian pastries also has panini at lunch, gelato and good coffee/espresso/capuccino in a beautiful cafe setting. Great before, after (or both!) going to Proctor's. It's also on the way to Cappiello's Dairy, as well as heading up Broadway to the Bellevue area, where Capri Imports is located. It's been difficult to actually create (or re-create) a true Little Italy there in the same sense as Arthur Avenue, the old days of NYC's Little Italy or even Boston's North End, since the Italian presence is so decentralized in Schenectady- there are some great little restaurants and markets in various locations of the city, but it's great that there is now a bit of a concentration in the long-hoped for Little Italy conception of what Jay St. is becoming. Apparently, a number of buildings were bought up when the plan was first conceived (or just held on to) for real estate speculation, which might make further development of businesses a little more difficult.

                            1. re: markabauman

                              Sitting in More Perreca's. Asked about when pizza will be available. Got a shrug ofthe shoulders. Asked possibly next week. Got a "maybe". Still good.

                              1. re: markabauman

                                Thanks for the update and your excellent perspective on Schenectady's (somewhat geographically dispersed) Little Italy, markabauman. Sometimes I stop at Cappiello's, head on to Capri and stop on Jay Street on the way home after visiting family :)
                                So far the best Italian food I've had in the Capital Region has been in Schenectady, except for Cafe Capriccio in Albany. Have not been to D'Raymonds yet.

                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  Have not been to D'Raymonds, but it's on the list. A good friend, who is Italian-American and whose opinion I value, says it's his favorite in this area. Don't think he's familiar with Schenectady, however. May not get to More Perreca's until next weekend at the earliest for another pizza update.

                                2. re: markabauman

                                  Went for breakfast yesterday. Tried companion's French toast. Very good. Eggs in purgatory were better the last time I had them (one egg was well done this time). Still no ETA on pizza . . .

                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                    Thanks, FDR. Was thinking about going tomorrow in hopes of finding pizza (we'll be going to a house tour in Schenectady). The good thing about still not having pizza is that it makes us try other things instead, which we've found all to be good. Standing by.

                                    1. re: markabauman

                                      Thanks! It was Villa Italia...great place. For some reason I thought they had relocated to Little Italy, sounds like they have an even better location. Good for them!

                                      As for Pizza, I know you are waiting impatiently for Perrecas, but have you ever been to Marino's Flying Pizza? IT IS THE BOMB!!! Nowhere near Little Italy, but then again that's still a pretty sad excuse for a LI anyway! What do they have 3 or 4 places down there now?

                                      1. re: netmover

                                        Haven't been to Marino's; really not overly familiar with the Schenectady pizza scene-I'm sure it's been discussed elsewhere. Usually just pick up a couple of squares while shopping at either Perreca's or Cappiello's. Some people have recommended Pizza King on Jay St.; haven't tried it. Went back after a long hiatus to Fireside on Eastern Parkway; just okay. Must be some good pizza out there somewhere....

                                    2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      After fasting for my cholesterol test I went straight to More Perreca's for breakfast. Had the eggs in purgatory. Cooked perfectly this time, with delicious Perreca's bread. Nice and spicy. Still have not had the pizza yet. I tried but it wasn't available at 10:30 AM :)

                                      Checked out Garafalo's and will definitely go back with SO.

                              2. Has anyone been to Appian Way recently? Doesn't look like they're open for lunch. I read somewhere that they have fig gelato . . .

                                A bit dated, yet interesting review:

                                http://www.metroland.net/back_issues/...

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                  I think the sisters only do dinner. Fig gelato, ummmm. Had some gianduja yesterday at Villa Italia. Had thought about stopping at Perreca's again to check on the pizza update, but didn't make it there.

                                  1. re: markabauman

                                    Thanks, markabauman. Went to Perreca's and More this week, had an egg and pepper sandwich. Delicious! Latest ETA on pizza - not until after Christmas. Apparently the owner shares an oven with her brother who is busy meeting the demand for Perreca's bread during the holidays. Merry Christmas!

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      Hope everyone had a good Christmas. Most understandable about the pizza. One phenomenon is to go to either Villa Italia, Cappiello's or Perreca's on Christmas Eve day. The lines are literally out the door. Don't know if they are still doing it, but a while back, Villa Italia had guys in short red jackets doing valet parking that day. Can be a pain to wait, but most people are patient and in a festive mood. I went Wednesday.

                                  2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                    Has anyone been to Appian Way lately?

                                    Need to get my "ducks in a row" before track season starts on the 23rd and we typically avoid downtown S. Springs.

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      Not to deflect your question, FDR, (haven't been to Appian Way in a while), but has anyone been to More Perreca's for their dinner? Was there recently for lunch/pizza, but didn't ask about dinner. Nothing online. Was in the bakery today, should have asked.

                                      -----
                                      Appian Way
                                      1839 Van Vranken Ave, Schenectady, NY 12308

                                      1. re: markabauman

                                        markabauman, not sure if they're open for dinner yet. I called 518-372-1875, line is continually busy.

                                        1. re: markabauman

                                          We were at dinner in Galway and were told the sisters may be taking a break from the Appian Way again . . .Can anyone confirm this? We still have not been and Appian Way was going to be one of our track season dinner spots. . .

                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                            The sisters (Anna & Gina) are in the kitchen. Finally found my way to Appian Way. The Metroland Best of 2011 cover page was taped to the front door (Best Trip-to-Italy Italian). Italian music was playing. The decor was not at all what I expected (not dark like D'Raymond's or Ferrari's). It's smaller, which we prefer. Service was excellent. Now on to the food:

                                            Started with a glass of the house red wine, bread and olive oil.

                                            I had the insalata di arancia. Sliced oranges with cracked black pepper, olive oil and chopped garlic. Garnished with some chopped parsley. Delicious. Refreshing in this hot weather. Garlic was not overpowering. Enough for four people as an appetizer.

                                            I asked my server for suggestions and luckily he had some opinions.

                                            I had the chicken cacciatore with a side of homemade linguini and red sauce. What flavor the cacciatore had! Large portion, took some home.

                                            After years of searching for fig gelato in the Capital Region (and first stopping at Villa Italia to see if they had it) I managed to have dinner at the Appian Way when they had several gelato choices, but NO fig!

                                            So I had some chocolate and rasberry gelato followed by an espresso and called it a night.

                                            Can't wait to go back to Appian Way with SO . . .

                                            http://metroland.net/2011/07/14/food-...

                                            http://metroland.net/back_issues/vol_...

                                            -----
                                            Appian Way
                                            1839 Van Vranken Ave, Schenectady, NY 12308

                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                              Went back to Appian Way with SO. We had melanzoni al telefono (gently fried eggplant stuffed with mozzarella, served with marinara sauce) and insalata di arancia (a favorite).

                                              SO had the veal piccata. Said it was bland. I had the chicken natural - chicken sauteed with mushrooms. Very good. Liked the broth/sauce.

                                              We finished with espresso. Made stove top :)

                                              SO liked Appian Way better than Ferrari's, Canali's and Cornells.

                                              Can't wait until the sisters find figs worthy of becoming fig gelato . . .

                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                  Went to Appian Way. There was a nice fire going in the fireplace. We had some wine (their wine list is extensive: red or white). Our best meal there so far. The fresh bread was better than previous times. We had the eggplant app. SO had the veal osso bucco special. I had the chicken cacciatore. Comes with side salads and a side of pasta. Side salads were okay (I usually don't get mine). We shared some fig gelato and pear gelato for dessert. Espresso. Made the old fashioned way - on the stove top.

                                                  Same excellent service.

                                                  Lots of leftovers to take home. My cacciatore was easily enough for two.

                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                    Got back to Appian Way again. They have an extensive wine list, red or white. We had the aranciata appetizer. SO had calamari and said it was the best dish he's had there. I had the chicken cacciatore.

                                    2. I was just at Perreca's bakery and had the greens and beans soup. WOW..Possibly the best soup Ive ever eaten. Very hearty. It also has pork and italian sausage in it. Accompanied by a good chunk of Perreca's bread which I topped with the soup...MMMM... I also bought a slice of tomato pie (delicious) as well as a huge chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. Cant wait to try!!!

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: kdrossi13

                                        Come back today or tomorrow for their zuppa di pesce; also excellent. Have to stop in for a pizza update.

                                        1. re: markabauman

                                          Still waiting for their pizza. Called again and Maria said the pizzas at More Perreca's were in "beta testing mode".

                                          1. re: JWW

                                            Maybe we could apply to be "beta-testers"?

                                            1. re: markabauman

                                              Can you imagine??? Hope springs eternal!

                                              1. re: markabauman

                                                Add me to the beta-taster list :)

                                                Thanks for the update

                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                  THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!

                                                  I had to take my nephew to Schenectady this morning for a math competition and told him that we were going to More Perreca's for lunch afterwards. Imagine my surprise when we walked in only to be told that the pizzas are now being served! They only started serving them yesterday but I was very impressed with what I ate today. A four cheese coal fired thin pizza filled with delightful flavors, the crust was chewy and crackly and bready and licked with the high heat of that beautiful 97 year old oven. Fantastic!

                                        2. Went to More Perreca with some friends from out of town. Some friends had eggs in purgatory with grilled Perreca's bread. One vegetarian friend had pasta and veggies. I tried the eggplant with a side of escarole. Delicious and value priced.

                                          Fellow soup lovers, please note they don't have soup on the menu in Summer. They're now open for dinner (until 8 PM) Wednesday-Sunday and I believe they have table service for dinner. Still have not tried their pizza yet . . .

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                            Finally had the pizza! They had eggplant, anchovy or cheese. I asked what they suggested and they said the eggplant. I went at noon and the place was packed. Luckily it was nice weather so I sat outside. The crust was thin and crispy. Delicious.

                                            If you want a grandma's slice you can go to Perreca's bread next door or across the street to Civitello's (where I had chocolate gelato for dessert).

                                            Please note Canali's is now open for lunch.

                                            PS Regarding grandma slices:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/368865

                                            http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                            http://midtownlunch.com/downtown-nyc/...

                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                              Been back to More Perreca several times. A favorite breakfast and lunch place when in Schenectady where lunch options are limited (unless you want a Greek diner or pub fare at Pinhead Susan's/Grog Shoppe.)

                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                  Went to More Perreca's. One of us had French toast. Three of us had eggs in Purgatory. This dish has changed . . .not enough red sauce. Still spicy. Two of my 3 eggs were over easy one was well done. Delicious. They have a charming patio out back now . . .looks like the new tables and chairs were being unpacked.

                                                  Walked over to the Schenectady Greenmarket and The Open Door Bookstore on Jay Street. There is some delicious Peruvian food at the Greenmarket. Tried it last time I was there.

                                                  -----
                                                  Schenectady Greenmarket
                                                  432 State St, Schenectady, NY 12305

                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                    FDR-
                                                    If you're back at the Greenmarket sometime, check out Thunder Mountain Curry- great mix of either Indian or Southeast Asian specialties. Still have to get to More Perreca's for one of their dinners.

                                                    -----
                                                    Southeast Asian Restaurant
                                                    741 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

                                                    1. re: markabauman

                                                      Thanks, markabauman. Will be over that way on Sunday :)

                                                      1. re: markabauman

                                                        Late breakfast at More Perreca's today. My friends raved about the eggs in purgatory. We asked for more red sauce. I had the pepper and egg sandwich. Delicious.

                                                        PS markabauman, probably won't be there until noon-ish have to take my friends to Amtrak & bus first :)

                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                          Went to More Perreca's with a friend visiting from out of town. Sat on the patio. Gorgeous day. It doesn't get much better. We both had eggs in purgatory (she never had this dish and I've only been to 2 restaurants that have it on their menu). I asked for my eggs runny. What is it lately? The eggs in purgatory aren't as good as they used to be and my eggs never seem to be cooked properly. This dish has become inconsistent. . .

                                                      2. re: markabauman

                                                        markabauman, had the curry (and beets and jasmine rice . . .and cauliflower . . .). Please note Thunder Mountain Curry will not be at the Schenectady Greenmarket anymore. Today was their last day. Will be at Troy Greenmarket.

                                                        So it's Peruvian or More Perreca's for me :)

                                                        Also had some plaintains (some of the best I've ever had!) and a tamale from the Peruvian place I like . . .

                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                          Yes; one of the partners will be away for a while; Mike will be focusing on his other activities. Took home the curry plate and a pad thai. Both excellent. He'll be missed in Schenectady. I'll just have to catch up with him in Troy!

                                                  2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                    re: 8/13/10 post - I meant Cornell's, not Canali's . . .

                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                      Was at Civitello's for some gelato and learned they plan to start grilling on their little patio this summer.

                                                      Has anyone been? Is the grill in action yet?

                                                  3. Had a quick dinner at More Perreca's on their charming new patio just before they closed at 8 pm.

                                                    Started with a caesar salad. Amazing croutons. They added anchovies upon request. The dressing didn't taste like caesar dressing?

                                                    Had a glass of red wine and thin crust, brick oven eggplant pizza.

                                                    Everything was delicious and an excellent value at $21 +tip.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                      Been back to More Perreca's many times. The patio will be open soon. Went for lunch a couple times recently. Had the eggplant pizza. Enough for two. Delicious. Another time had the eggplant panini (huge! enough for two) followed by chocolate gelato at Civitello's. More Perreca's is my go to brunch/lunch place when I'm in Schenectady.

                                                    2. The Little Italy Streetfest will be Saturday, September 10, 12 pm - 9 pm.

                                                      1. Perreca's has a web page (and is on Facebook):

                                                        http://perrecasbakery.com/

                                                        Just discovered the Italian page here:

                                                        http://www.wheretoeatinschenectady.co...

                                                        Two pages: "Sit-down, get waited on" type (aka table service) or the pizza page (aka counter service). Don't agree that Aperitivo and Cella Bistro are "fine dining". Maybe Cella Bistro's dining room (has cloth napkins. . .). Fine dining implies a sense of formality (beyond table service) to me. I guess they're fine dining for Schenectady?
                                                        Went to Canali's again recently. Good old school, red sauce place. Reservations are a must (people were lined up waiting for tables). Very good meal. Excellent service. Good for groups (and there were several large tables). Portions are huge, prices are moderate. A good family restaurant, good value.

                                                        I shared a calamari app. Cooked perfectly. My mom didn't even know she liked calamari until she had it at Ferrari's and here :)

                                                        Several people had shrimp cocktail apps.

                                                        I had eggplant parmesan and it was enough for 2-3 people. Also had a side of the house-made cavatelli. Others had veal parmesan, veal dishes, spaghetti and meatballs (huge meatballs!), tortellini with cream sauce, ravioli.

                                                        We had coffee and espresso.

                                                        Will go back if I'm in Rotterdam for dinner.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                          Forgot to mention their eggplant is the classic preparation: fried (no light versions for me). Also, their eggplant seemed sweeter than other places.

                                                        2. Civitello's has a patio! It's really nice with the lawn behind it. Seating looks comfortable. Amazing what a little competition in the neighborhood does for the dining public. Not sure if they're open for dinner. They have grills on the patio and you can get a hamburger, etc. for lunch. I took it all in while I ate my chocolate hazlenut gelato.

                                                          The new townhomes on Union Street near the Whitney and Bier Abbey (more outside seating) are just around the corner. Schenectady's looking (and tasting) pretty good in the Little Italy/Jay Street vicinity.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                            Went recently to Marotta's on Union St. Technically not in the Little Italy section, but close by-next to Manhattan Exchange, etc. Nice patio as well.
                                                            Our group of four had some interesting pizzas that we shared. I liked that they had Perroni on tap.
                                                            Another welcome addition to that area.
                                                            http://marottaspizzany.com/index.htm

                                                          2. Per Times Union:

                                                            http://www.timesunion.com/living/arti...

                                                            A few I haven't tried:

                                                            Randy Loren's Dolce Vita
                                                            John Riccitello's
                                                            Johnny's

                                                            Mangia!

                                                            1. Returned to More Perreca's recently for lunch.

                                                              No more menu on the blackboard or counter ordering. Table service now. Tables are covered with lovely, black vinyl tablecloths.

                                                              Had a cup of vegetarian greens and beans. Also a fried pepper and egg sandwich on Perreca's bread. I left a slice of bread behind, two were enough carbs for the day. I think the extra slice is to hold the fried eggs and peppers together. Gets a little slippery :)

                                                              Very good food and service. Friendly. Dinner service ends at 8 pm so will probably remain a breakfast and lunch place for us. Can't wait until it's warm enough to eat outdoors on their patio.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                More Perreca's, more changes.

                                                                New menu. Added 2 booths where long counter once was. Not sure why anyone would sit there, two of the worst tables. Maybe for a quick breakfast or lunch. Request front of the restaurant or weather permitting, patio, for the best seating. Casual and delicious.

                                                                Once Track Season starts this Friday we'll be heading to Schenectady more. Still want to try Johnny's:

                                                                http://www.johnnysdowntown.com/ordere...

                                                                The Yelp perspective:

                                                                http://www.yelp.com/biz/johnnys-schen...