Fish and pasta are on the menu this Lenten season in the Grandview and Marble Cliff community.
Our Lady of Victory Church, 1550 Roxbury Road, will hold its 24th annual fish fries, and St. Christopher Parish, 1420 Grandview Ave., will present its fifth annual pasta dinner each Friday during Lent, March 7 through April 11.
Our Lady of Victory serves more than 4,000 fish dinners each year, raising around $20,000 annually.
"We draw people from all over, not just members of our parish or the (Grandview and Marble Cliff) community," said event chairman Jesse Oddi.
"I think so many come to our fish fry because we use fresh perch, not frozen, and the $9 cost is all-inclusive. You get everything, including beverage," he said.
The menu includes fish, along with potatoes or rice, salad or slaw, beverages and desserts prepared by parishioners, Oddi said. Pizza also will be available for children.
Cost is $9 for adults, $5 for children. Carryout is available.
"We've kept the price the same for several years now, even though the price of fish, like everything, has gone up," Oddi said. "We may not make as much money, but we still make money."
"It's a fun family event filled with good food, camaraderie and fellowship," he said.
Proceeds are used to benefit the church and its various missions, including hosting family dinners for the homeless at the YWCA Family Center, Oddi said.
The fish fries are held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the church's Parish Life Center.
St. Christopher began holding its Lenten pasta dinners five years ago.
"We wanted to do something different for our Lenten dinners," said Jackie O'Reilly, the church's administrative assistant.
"A lot of churches hold fish fries and there are a lot of children who don't really like fish," she said.
Meals cost $7 per person, $4 for children, $25 for families. The menu is all you can eat and includes pasta with meatless sauce, vegetables, tossed salad and homemade dessert. Beverages are available for purchase and carryout is offered.
The dinners are held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Trinity School cafeteria.
"It's a really fun family atmosphere," O'Reilly said. "The kids love to go out and play on the playground if the weather's nice. Some people stay the whole evening."
Each week, the sauce is provided by a different local restaurant.
"We have both a red marinara sauce and a white alfredo sauce each week," O'Reilly said. "You get to try out a different restaurant's recipe each week."
Participating restaurants are Z Cucina Ristorante, March 7; Trattoria Roma, March 14; Emelio's Catering, March 21; TAT Ristorante, March 28; Bravo Cucina Italiana, April 4; and Dempsey's Restaurant, April 11.
Mark Dempsey, owner of Dempsey's and a St. Christopher parishioner, came up with the idea of the Lenten pasta dinner, O'Reilly said.
The proceeds from this year's dinners likely will be used to help the church catch up with its snow-removal bills, she said.
"We've had an expensive year of snow removal, like everybody," O'Reilly said. "In past years, we've often used the money we raised to benefit the planning for our annual festival in June."