Porsena

4.6
406 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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.
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What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
7.8

Porsena has never been about the ambiance – it’s always been about the pasta. And this is still pasta that’s worth serious praise.

Ratings 7.5-8.0:These are restaurants that are reliable, tasty, and particularly good for whatever we have deemed them “Perfect For.” Hit up a 7.7 for Date Night with confidence, as long as you don’t need the restaurant to be the most interesting thing that happens that night.
What 406 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Omaha
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good, interesting Italian cuisine.

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J
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

The food was very expensive compared to the portioning. You would think family style would mean larger and shareable, but here obviously the opposite is true. The server was gruff and unfriendly, however the man who seated us was very pleasant. Lastly, it took 45 minutes for our dishes to come out, even though the restaurant was only half full. It’s alright for a one time visit but I would not go there again

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fresh and delicious
Pasta was amazing.
Highly recommend

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PD
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Ambiance was warm and home like. Service was personal, professional and exceptionally well done. A beautiful little gem for a dining experience!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On the way to NYTW nearby, excellent ambiance, food, staff and on a nice EV block.

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MA
New York Area
101 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went pre New Years. Space decorated with balloons. Very pretty. Food excellent as always

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MC
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The striped bass and calamari were excellent

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OT
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorites! Wonderful food and wine and friendly service.

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DS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

The food was horrible. We were very disappointed. The tagglatelle was not even edible. And it wasn’t just about the sauce. The pasta itself was all stuck together in 2 inch clumps. Horrible.

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HC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything we ordered was delicious!
The service was great.

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L
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our meal was fantastic and our price fixe menu for our party of 15 options were crowd pleasers all the way around! Everything was super fresh, yummy simple and authentic rustic Italian!

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JE
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I am always impressed by the quality and integrity of the food here. Cheaper than airfare to Rome. A great NYC restaurant!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious!

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C
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed this restaurant. A great serendipitous find. We will be back.

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A
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was amazing.. service really good..

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M
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I was somewhat disappointed with this restaurant I had high hopes given their views it’s probably a good value but just wasn’t that impressed

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JR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Great pre-Public Theater spot.

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B
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is cozy, warm and very inviting without being formal at all. The service was wonderful-very helpful with wine choices. The food was delicious, fresh and unpretentious. Everything was excellently prepared. The vanilla gelato was amazing. We would definitely return.

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CM
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I will send my enemies there!!!😝

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RL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I visited Porsena twice in one week. Once with my family, (1 wife & 3 twenty somethings) and once with 4 friends (middle aged white guys). Both visits were entirely fun, delicious and thoroughly enjoyable.
Staff is friendly, knowlegeable and professional in a relaxed atmosphere. You're gonna drop some dough but the value is there and the experience is worth it.

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B
New York Area
777 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

After several very good meals at Porsena, we hit perhaps an off night. Everything we ordered was fair except for the Lower Manhattan cocktail. An almost inedible escarole salad (certainly uncuttable) and two different mediocre pastas are the cause for our less than positive review.

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KK
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Excellent farm to table Italian food. Interesting combinations and presentation. It is a bit pricey, small portions but delicious. Nice atompsphere and great service. Not a large space.

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WS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Food was high quality, pasta was obviously fresh and cheese was great. Highly recommend the Lentils.

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JS
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely find. Perfect neighborhood gem with great food. I could eat there everyday. Modestly priced and good wine as well.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The lamb pasta is amazing. This should be your go to place for great pasta and appetizers. I love how the pasta comes out steaming hot.
A couple of times the chef forgot to add salt but mostly the meal is on point.

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f
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food & service at this restaurant was phenomenal! I would definitely recommend!

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WS
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Everyone's food was a little salty. Pasta didn't seem special. Waiter was good. Nice neighborhood place, wouldn't call it a go-to destination.

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CM
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Deliciosa la comida, muy buena atención! El lugar es lindo!

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OT
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place!!

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MF
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely! Felt like being back in Italy. Would definitely go back again.

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DK
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

All good, just too bad they can't serve any spirits. Too close to a church to get a license, so I'm told.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was crazy fabulous !

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NM
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I usually look for the "new " restaurant, but decided to try Porsena. It's a testament to "an oldie but goodie". Staff was so friendly. Food was simple and very fresh. We had the Burrata with toasted bread and sun-dried tomatoes, the Fennel salad and the Pappardelle with Chanterelle. All delicious. The pasta portion was not very big, but I feel like it's a good reminder of what a portion SHOULD look like. We were going to see a show at New York Theater Workshop, which is 3 blocks away, so location was perfect. As subscribers, we will definitely be back.

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S
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

The pasta was incredibly salty...

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MC
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are visiting New York for our one year anniversary and just happened to stumble on this place. I'm so glad we gave it a try. The atmosphere was great and the food was AMAZING. If we have time we plan on going back before heading home.

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J
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Some of the best pasta I have had in a while. Gorgeous, intimate space perfect for my birthday celebration.

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HM
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Nice ambience. Food good not special. Service slow given paucity of diners on a Monday night

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M
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in New York and probabnly my favorite Italian restaurant. Thoroughly authentic Italian regional food with a menu that always stays fresh. It's got a great energetic vibe, but is thoroughly casual and laid back. We feel so at home here. We came this time because it was the perfect way to decompress after 10 amazing days in Italy.

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RP
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service, delicious apps and pastas, very nice atmosphere! Will go back again, and again!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great wine.

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