A delicious way to help hurricane victims

Several restaurants taking part in Wednesday's Schenectady Serves fundraiser
Cavatelli Amatricina dish by the chefs at Aperitivo Bistro.
Cavatelli Amatricina dish by the chefs at Aperitivo Bistro.

Schenectady is cooking up a recipe for relief with Schenectady Serves. 

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday along State Street, local restaurants are coming together to serve a meal and help raise funds for victims of hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

For $5, attendees will receive dinner from either Nico’s Rooftop Tavern, Mexican Radio, Aperitivo Bistro, Johnny’s or Rivers Casino & Resort. Tickets may be purchased at Proctors and food will be served along State Street. 

The proceeds will go to communities in East Texas (Woodsboro and Bayside) and the Florida Keys (Summerland Key) through Funds for Puerto Rico are also being considered. Organizers of Schenectady Serves hope to raise over $25,000 and as of Tuesday afternoon, $1,070 had been donated. 

The event is modeled after a 2016 fundraiser which helped to raise money for victims of a devastating earthquake in Italy. Last year, $17,000 was raised. 

Schenectady Serves is organized by the participating restaurants, the Schenectady Office of the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, DeCrescente Distributing, The Alt, The Daily Gazette, Discover Schenectady, the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp., Mallozzi’s, Mazzone Hospitality; Proctors, Rivers Casino & Resort, the Schenectady Armory Center, and WGNA, which will provide music. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held inside Proctors.

For those who can’t attend, but still want to give, donations can be made at

Here’s a glimpse into what Schenectady Serves will have to offer: 

Aperitivo Bistro

A few local food stops are coming together to create Aperitivo Bistro’s choice meal of Cavatelli Amatricina. 

The dish layers pasta with fresh red tomato sauce with prosciutto and a touch of cream. Codino’s Food of Scotia will donate the pasta and the Perreca’s Bakery of Schenectady will donate the Italian bread that’ paired with the dish.

“It’s a popular dish in Italy named after the town of Amatrice,” said Suzy Wenskoski of Mazzone Hospitality. For those who went to the benefit for the earthquake victims in 2016, it’s the same type of dish. 

Mexican Radio

Mexican Radio is serving up two versions of their Bocadito Chili Pie.

According to manager Lori Selden, the dish is similar to the Southwestern style “Frito Pie,” which layers chili with Frito chips and garnishes. 

But Mexican Radio takes it to a new level. Instead of Fritos, they use tortilla chips and top them with chili, melted cheese, scallions, lime crema, jalapeño slices. 

“We have a very dedicated vegan and vegetarian community here,” Selden said. 

The vegetarian/vegan version substitutes the meat chili for seitan, crumbled tofu, hot peppers, three types of beans. The toppings include a vegan cheese and crema, along with the scallions and jalapeno slices. 

Rivers Casino & Resort 

The casino is slated to serve beef tacos with a twist. They’ll be serving short-rib tacos with jicama apple corn slaw, salsa verde and queso fresco. 

Nico’s Rooftop Tavern 

For each ticket, Nico’s will be serving two slices of their classic cheese pizza. 


Johnny’s traditional meatballs with a red sauce topped with parmigiano reggiano with a side of Tuscan garlic bread. 

A previous version of this story misspelled Lori Selden’s last name.

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

Leave a Reply