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UPDATED: Feast of the Seven Fishes at MORE Perreca's and Mallozzi's venues

MORE Perreca’s in Schenectady’s Little Italy neighborhood will offer Christmas Eve diners the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Popular still with many Italian-American families, the feast features at least seven fish dishes. Its origins are steeped in the tradition of abstinence in the Roman Catholic Church whose members did not eat meat on Wednesdays, Fridays and some other days.

One of those days is the Vigilia di Natale — the eve of the birth of the Christ child who, according to custom, was born at midnight on Dec. 24.

Dinner will be served from 3 to 8 p.m. It’s a prix-fixe event where the cost for the complete meal is $21.95. The feast may be enjoyed at the restaurant or taken home.

For starters, there will be battered and lightly fried smelts, followed by Fruitti di Mare over fresh linguini. This dish will include baccala, salted cod fish.

Next will be the clams, then mussels, shrimp, squid and haddock.

Perreca’s Bakery has been run continuously by the same family since 1913. Today, the business is operated by the brother and sister team of Tony and Maria Perreca Papa. Besides its signature hard-crusted Italian bread and traditional tomato pie, the business offers a full line of memorable half-pound cupcakes and MORE Perreca’s — the bakery café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in the newly renovated adjacent building at 31 N. Jay St.

MORE Perreca’s is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything comes with a generous portion of Perreca’s famous Italian bread.

Christmas Eve reservations may be made by calling 377-9800.

Christmas Eve buffets

Mallozzi's buffet of Italian dishes will be complemented by a variety of seafood dishes on Christmas Eve.

Fried calamari, salmon, chowders, clams and more will be available at Mallozzi's Treviso at the Italian American Community Center in Albany and at Mallozzi's in Rotterdam.

Desserts will be from Mallozzi's Villa Italia in Schenectady.

Cost is $26.95 for adults and $15.95 for kids 11 and under.

For reservations: Treviso at 456-0292 or Mallozzi's on Curry Road in Rotterdam at 355-0340.

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