Chris's Short Take: More Perreca's
When you’re writing about anything out of town, it’s great to have a couple of buddies who are intimately familiar with the lay of the land. When you’re writing about Schenectady, you could find none better than Jay Larkin, professor at SUNY Schenectady Culinary School, and Michael Eck, mandolin player/local band veteran and until recently, Publicist for Proctor’s Theater. Michael was in a string band called the Ramblin’ Jug Stompers with the founder of Nippertown, Greg Haymes. Here’s a rendition of them playing out in my neck of the woods.
No one knows the food scene around here any better than Jay Larkin. He’s a second-generation culinary instructor and classroom professor at the SUNY Culinary School, and the veteran of numerous restaurants and the bar scene both here in the Capital District and up in Saratoga. Jay and I founded The Food Alliance, an organization bringing the culinary community together with not for profit food providers across the region. He suggested More Perecca’s for a meeting last fall, just one stop and I was charmed.
A month or so later Michael Eck suggested More Perreca’s for our meeting and said, “I know you, Shaw… you want the Eggs in Purgatory!” He was right.
This small café stands in the heart of Little Italy in downtown Schenectady. Perreca’s Bakery is the stuff of local legend. In 1913 Salvatore & Carmella Perreca came to America to start a bakery like the one in their village near Naples, Italy. There may no longer be horse-drawn wagons to bring their bread around town but believe me,…Perecca’s still delivers. Anthony & Maria Perreca Papa, use the same brick oven and old-world methods as their grandparents producing an amazing, hard-crusted, soft-centered Italian loaf. Personally I think it’s worth the drive from anywhere in the area just for that, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“There may no longer be horse-drawn wagons to bring their bread around town but believe me,…Perreca’s still delivers.”
My wife Bridget and I stopped there for dinner after a play at Proctors recently, ( so did the cast of The Band’s Visit.) A handful of booths and a few four-tops make up the café’s front of house, with a kitchen in full view of the floor.
Here’s the Antipasti with Giardiniera
Spaghetti with Marinara, simple and elegant.
My wife’s favorite, Chicken Parmesan
This is the kind of place you remember or wish you could remember from your childhood. The food is top-notch, the wait staff treats you like long lost nieces and nephews, and the bread,…it’ll all give you a look on your face like Michael here. THAT’S a happy guy.
“This is the kind of place you remember or wish you could remember from your childhood.”
31 North Jay Street,
Monday-Thursday: 9:00am – 8:00 pm
Friday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 7:00am – 8:00pm