Porsena

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4.5
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481 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.

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 481 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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o
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic pastas

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t
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on June 11, 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!

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

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

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WA
1 review
Dined on June 8, 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!

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OT
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on June 6, 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!

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

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

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 26, 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.

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ES
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 26, 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!

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d
Dallas
12 reviews
Dined on May 25, 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.

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

Burrata appetizer and lamb sausage pasta were delicious!

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RL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food, service and wine list at Porsena are all fantastic. It is the increasingly rare NYC restaurant where one can have a truly excellent meal in a casual setting. The quality of both the ingredients and the cooking is such that no matter what we order, we are guaranteed a delicious dish. We have been going to this restaurant for years and we are pretty fussy gourmands. We regularly eat at the best restaurants throughout the city for both business and pleasure, and find ourselves returning repeatedly to Porsena. Highly, highly recommend.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic dinner. The table was not ready, but we were able to comfortably sit at a high top until the host gave us a very large table that was by the window. It was lovely food and company.

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JR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great place before or after a show at the Public Theater

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EA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A superlative and delicious meal, created by people who truly care about the food they produce. Delicious, warm, welcoming environment.

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SG
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Italian food that impresses Italians when they get off the plane from Napoli. Don't sleep on this cute little spot in favor of something flashier or chain. This is Italian food as it should be, with a seasonal menu based on what's freshest. Save the Olive garden for the in-laws you hate, this is where you take the mistress...

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k
New York Area
49 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The staff is always welcoming, the service very good and the food tasty! We often enjoy sitting at the bar for dinner - great bartenders make us feel welcome. They have a good and fairly priced wine list. This is a neighborhood gem!

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NF
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Porsena is reliable. You can count on a good meal and audible conversation, a combo nearly extinct in New York City.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Music was really bad/loud at one point but It was kinda funny

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EV
New York Area
275 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow, this is one of those slightly off-the-beaten track places we really need to keep on our radar. A wonderful menu, with great options for appetizers, pastas and main courses. Friendly and helpful service. Every bite was delicious, and the portions were more than adequate. Delicious snap pea salad stood out among our appetizers, and both the prom tenderloin main and the garlic sausage and wilted greens pasta were superb.

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b
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was great and food very good. Had a table tucked away in window so nm less noise

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We chose Porsena for our anniversary and had an excellent time. The food was delicious. I highly recommend the crudo and anelloni! Our waiter was nice and attentive. We will definitely be back!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff goes above and beyond! What a radical experience, the food was top notch too!

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JA
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thanks to Ian Macrae and his team for their help and accommodation with several recent bookings.

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We didn’t realize the restaurant was wine only, which was a problem for some of our party.
The service was not very attentive. There was a long gap between the appetizer and the main course.
My pasta, while delicious, came out of the dining room lukewarm.

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C
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Nice meal, my dish lacked flavor and was slightly expensive for what the dish was.

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MC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the welcoming smile when you walk in, to the lovely appetizers followed by flawless main dishes (try at least one pasta dish - even if you have to share it) and finally yummy dessert; you will have a memorable meal. And if you're me, you will wake in the morning planning your next visit.

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SV
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Totally recommend! Great place for dinner if going to the public theatre or Joe’s pub. Will go back.

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HK
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely fabulous. We had a great time. Will definitely return when I'm back in NYC!
:)

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K
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant in all of Manhattan. Real Italian food. I have never had something that I didn’t like here.

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S
New York Area
61 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So nice - love everyone there
Bring back the pork chop

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t
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Shhh! Best Italian restaurant in NY. Their Tuesday weekly regional specials menu is addictive. And the Porsena bar, or Extra Bar next door, is perfect for the solo diner.

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s
New York Area
80 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great spot for after-the-movies on a Sunday. The food is very authentic Italian, the pasta perfectly al dente, the sauces (gravy) very homemade, and an excellent and eclectic wine lists. We had a Calabrian red that was delicious. The staff knew the menu and wines well.

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l
London
10 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our second visit to Porsena. The food is so freshly prepared and delicious. The service is great. It's quickly becoming a favorite.

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c
New England
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I recommend Porsena to everyone who asks me where to eat in NYC.

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j
Miami
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Food was good, but way overpriced for a very small bowl of pasta

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OT
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good! Took a friend for the first time and he thought it was great and will be back.

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MK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Great aesthetic. Salad was divine. And tasty wine.

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OT
New York Area
265 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Attractive restaurant and bar. Polite staff. Kitchen is subtle with salt and pepper, making for light and natural flavors. Portions are reasonable. Pork loin was filling and tender. Vegetables and smashed potatoes were fresh and natural. No heavy sauces or cream.

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K
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Good appetizers, good dessert but when it came to dinner, my pasta entree was disappointing. The
portion was small and not very good. $26 for a small bowl of pasta. Outrageous !!!
Plus the waiters never came to the table to offer any pepper or cheese. I so wanted to love this place but I didn't.

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AD
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Their goal of being a neighborhood place should be met, cuz they're awesome. Friendly staff who've worked there a long time (always a good sign), and DELICIOUS food. They're smart about what they serve and how. Warm atmosphere, not ostentatious, decent noise level. Please go.

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