Porsena

4.6
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554 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 554 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
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JG
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been to Porsena before and sought it out for this trip to NYC. It was wonderful as always and my dish was just delicious!

MO
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always top notch, romantic, delish and unpretentious.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious house made pasta.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, excellent recommendations, and even better food! 10/10 would recommend.

PD
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

I loved the menu & food but will probably not return. I get bothered by restaurants that place tables 2-3" apart. It's way too close together and for the cost of a fine dining experience, I find it totally inconsiderate to the customers. The servers were all very nice although our tea order after dinner was forgotten about and my companion had to get up and find the waiter to remind him.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dinner with my wife!

MA
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

The food was nice, but not amazing and not worth the peoce

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Porsena is a gem in the east village! Do not miss this place for the fabulous pasta, quiet ambiance and wonderful dining experience.

PM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The pasta was excellent. Our server was friendly and attentive. The ambiance was alright, but nothing special.

TS
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Food not good. Pasta was bland.

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

What a wonderful place.

b
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

food has always been terrific, and their pastas are extra special. and everyone running the place make you feel at home, and come across as kind, considerate and friendly.

NF
New York Area
69 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Everything about Porsena is aces, except how noisy it can get.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent all around!

n
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time! Great food!

EC
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very nice experience overall. Seems like air conditioning was coming on and off so got chilly at times inside. We were allowed to linger and chat (meeting the boss!) with appetizers which was great but they should have waited to prepare our pasta, or we should have requested they not prepare our pasta, until the table was cleared of apps. The pastas had been sitting there and were not as hot as they should have been. Risotto great! Will go back..

JD
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food was excellent very tasty. The pastas were outstanding. The goat cheese cake was delicious. However the noise level was terrible. A table of 6 or 8 would scream and shriek at such volume that all the other diners heads would turn to see what was happening with a grimace on their faces. That was a disappointment, but the food made up for it.

LS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love Porsena — wonderful cozy neighborhood spot with outstanding food and great service. Go there every time I visit NY!

OT
Atlantic City
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love this place and their staff! And their bar is always a good meeting spot.

JC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Very nice restaurant. A little on the small side so was not at all surprised that bar seating was also reserved seating so plan on standing for pre dinner drink. The staff was very friendly and service was excellent. The food was good. My pork shank was good and BIG and my wife's pappardelle and mushroom dish was tasty but a little dry. The side dishes where limited and they only serve wine and beer. Over all happy with the experience

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious pastas, great wine list, and service was spot on.

CP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Es la cuarta vez que vamos y siento que les debo la reseña. La pasta que pedimos (calamarata con spicy lamb) riquísima, al dente. El ambiente buenísimo. La atención de Miguel insuperable.

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FB
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food in a quaint setting - absolutely would recommend to anyone.

m
New York Area
225 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This was a very good meal indeed with excellent pasta and very tasty appetizers. The wine list is good and reasonably priced. Very nice atmosphere and very helpful, friendly and good service.

B
New York Area
839 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Shared the calamari appetizer: very good. One pasta okay, the other at room temperature, sent back and a little better but the pasta was almost raw. Good choices of wine by the glass — and a generous pour: so rare these days.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Kinda average. Came a few years ago and was very good. Pasta was average as was service. ok but not good value.

OT
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is strong and reminds me of my family. Lots of acid and garlic and heat, but in balance. No fear in their game.

LK
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Charming local spot that never disappoints. Intriguing take on Italian, wonderful staff.

LK
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

I came to Porsena for my birthday dinner. I had an excellent time and the food was fantastic. My only complaint was that the server was not very attentive to our table. The restaurant was fairly busy but at times we had a difficult time tracking him down or getting his attention, for example, to ask for our cheque.

m
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite NYC spots. We visit 2 or 3 times a year and try to book a meal there every time.

M
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall4food3service2ambience3

Great food and everything about the place was amazing. The only issue was my date got the wrong dish.

NC
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Best Manhattan cocktail I have ever had and the burrata with grilled bread was delectable! We also loved the bucatini, the rigatoni with sausage and the affogado was a perfect ending to our meal. Service was friendly and fast:)

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Vacation trip

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ES
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Extremely underrated and one of the best places to eat downtown! This is my go-to place many nights!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such delicious food amazing portions beautiful restaurant

CE
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Menu was limited but food quality was good. This is our second time here and not sure if I would rush back.

RB
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The food was a little off (lack of salt in one, too much lemon in the other) but it was a Monday so that may be the reason.

G
New York Area
128 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

On this occasion, and within its relatively narrow compass, pretty nearly perfect. Pasta as always brilliant; antipasti also very good. We rarely order the main courses. There's no atmosphere to speak of; nothing gets in the way of the fact that it's a place for pasta. I could wish for some slightly lower priced wines, but I wish for that almost everywhere these days.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Sat at bat the restaurant was very crowded - the bar was quiet so that worked out the restaurant was noisy- the food was excellent - the service was mediocre at best

e
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience3

After an hour our entrees were not served. We had to leave for the theatre. Server was very rude