Porsena

4.7
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511 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
Just a few blocks from Astor Place, Porsena is a trattoria in the convivial Italian tradition where friends and neighbors gather along with tourists and passers-by. Chef Sara Jenkins has drawn on memories of her Tuscan and Roman childhood to create a pasta-centric menu featuring Italy’s finest artisanal pastas, served with traditional and imaginative sauces, as well as a series of tasty antipasti and hearty main courses. Modeled after the simple restaurants in Italy that serve as neighborhood dining rooms, the menu focuses on a timeless list of classic Italian dishes such as maccheroncini al ragu and spaghetti con le vongole. Porsena is just the kind of colorful neighborhood restaurant you might be thrilled to find in the narrow back streets of Rome or Florence.
What 511 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Denver
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

A really good night out. Food was great (though we did have to send back a pasta- but it was remade in minutes).
Perfect NYC casual Resturant....

GM
Miami
45 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

We had a birthday celebration and were served at the chef’s table. The starters and pastas met everyone’s expectations. There was more than enough food to go around. We kept ordering wine throughout the entire meal. The service was amazing because Adolfo kept the wine and food coming. Everyone said they would return because the pastas and sauces were delicious.
The restaurant was very noisy because of the music volume.
If people are eating and trying to hear each you have to speak over the music volume and other patrons.

MD
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved this restaurant- very attentive staff (even manager came by to check on us). Would def make this a usual spot for dining!!

j
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Lovely small restaurant, unfortunately there was a family with a terribly behaved and loud toddler who ruined everyone's evening....not the fault of the restaurant.

OT
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Overall it was very good. We were seated right when our reservation time was. The place was loud and our waiter was very quiet which made it hard to hear any recommendations but the food was overall very good (the burrata appetizer was the best) and it was an enjoyable evening with friends.

l
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing appetizers and delicious pasta dishes. My only complaint was the wine list, it was confusing and hard to pick. But the one we ended up with was good. But the food is outstanding!!

M
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is so lovely, warm, and delicious! The atmosphere felt like a cozy home and the food was simple, but fantastic.

JD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Super cozy restaurant with hit or miss pasta. We even had to return one, it was completely tasteless. Not worth the price.

OT
Washington DC
96 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good, solid food. Service was a little slow, but not terrible. Nice.

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently wonderful!

V
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great food and service, but a very loud room. Prices reasonable.

YT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

nice style, good food, will go again , their pasta is a little special different from most Italian restaurant, which I enjoyed it very much.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

we were seated in an alcove near thefront window and door and away from the general sounds of restaurant diners. our server was very knowledgeable and attentive, the food was delicious, especially the pasta dishes for obvious reasons. everyone enjoyed the choices we ordered while enjoying conversations together.

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been here 4 times and it gets better every time

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a perfect evening and location for a family reunion of friends who have not seen each other in years. Thank you!

FP
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing bartender! Walked us through the menu. Found the perfect wines. Excellent food and wine!

RN
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Porsena is relaxed and comfortable with a really delicious and inventive menu.

LA
1 review
Dined on 5 August 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We had to ask the hostess for our server every time we needed to order. Appetizers were fine, but underwhelmed with the entire meal, especially as the menu was so promising.

SS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this restaurant. It was recommended by my sister and I met a friend who knows tons of nyc restaurants. We both loved the atmosphere, the food, the service. Will definitely be going back when I’m in the city.

y
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 29 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

one of the best pasta places in nyc. friendly and knowledgeable staff
guided me to a great white wine that was reasonably priced.

NF
New York Area
65 reviews
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

When Porsena is full, around 7:30/8pm, the chatter from the other diners becomes annoying, almost irritating. The food is delicious, but the racket can make a meal disappointing.

M
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on 21 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

I loved Porsena and would have given it 5 stars all around but their A/C was not working and it was very hot. To their credit they called us to warn us but we had already left for the restaurant. They did give us a complimentary delicious dessert.

OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Very good food, but it was very hot inside the restaurant due to the weak A/C and heat outside, which made it uncomfortable to enjoy ourselves. Would definitely go back (and rate higher) if it was cooler weather.

WK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 18 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite Italian restaurant in NYC! Feels like a place you would find unexpectedly on a side street in Florence and keep going back to.

FS
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on 10 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved those “theme” dinner nights ! Basque night was divine !!!

LB
1 review
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an incredible time at Porsena--the food was heavenly, the service was lovely--we weren't rushed, had a leisurely, relaxed time, and have not had authentic Roman & Umbrian cuisine anywhere this good outside of Italy. I will be returning frequently!

JW
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sophisticated yet cozy and casual, this is the embodiment of a Village Italian restaurant. Food was heavenly and perfectly prepared. We were not extremely hungry, so we just had starters and pasta. Can't wait to savor a main dish next time. It's obvious that the chef and the establishment know exactly what they're doing. I'll be back.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 26 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, excellent. Totally consistent.

JE
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 22 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I am always impressed by Porsena. We were a large table and they accommodated us graciously. The food is consistently outstanding. The friends I brought enjoyed themselves immensely and commented repeatedly that they would be sure to return. An exceptional value.

AD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place; ambience. Love the little window seat. TBH we came for the refugee food festival with Syrian Chef Diaa. It was excellent. Will return to try the Italian menu.

o
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic pastas

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t
New York Area
35 reviews
Dined on 11 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Don't miss their weekly Tuesday prix-fixe menu highlighting one of the regions of Italy. Keeps me coming back for more!

m
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic, traditional Italian, perfectly sized portions, very fairly priced. The perfect spot if you're missing Tuscany.

WA
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was SO flavorful and unique, but not crazy off the wheels either. Nice and quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Sat right in the front window with my family which was nice. Waiter appeared pretty intoxicated (slurry, alcohol smell), but was perfectly nice and didn't mess our orders up or drop anything! Would definitely recommend and go back!

OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on 6 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing meal at Porsena after the Blue Man Group. Exceptional service and great atmosphere. Highlights were the Ceasar salad and Prosciutto appetizer. Also enjoyed the Ravioli! Thank you for a great meal!

J
Austin
11 reviews
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the food, wine choices, staff and ambience! Highly recommend!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent experience. Great food. But the acoustics in the dining room need to be fixed. The design was quite nice but the noise was magnified by the design.
The bar area does not suffer from this issue.
Overall, I love the restaurant.

ES
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Extremely underrated place in the East Village! Been here several times and always fantastic! They also change the menu so there’s always something great to try - can’t say enough good things! A favorite!

d
Dallas
12 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious pasta, great service and I loved the goat’s milk cheesecake!! We go every time we go to NYC.

RB
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on 14 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Burrata appetizer and lamb sausage pasta were delicious!

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