East Village Italian

In 2008, Sara Jenkins decided to bring porchetta, a traditional pork sandwich popular in Central Italy, to the East Village with her popular restaurant.  Growing up in Central Italy, Sara Jenkins spent her early years being indoctrinated into the world of pasta, much like myself.  Recently, she opened a restaurant with a focus on pasta, Porsena.  Porsena isn’t too far from Porchetta; in the East Village, it’s on the same block as St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, as well as several of the more memorable bars in the region: McSorley’s, a 160 year-old New York institution, as well as a trio legendary craft beer spots (Jimmy’s No. 43, Standings and Burp Castle) who have earned the nickname of the “Brewmuda Triangle”.

Porsena pasta

Annelloni pasta with lamb sausage

Porsena compliments these bars well to serve as a solid neighborhood Italian restaurant that serves as a heartfelt love letter to that surprisingly versatile staple of Italian cooking known as pasta.  The pasta menu here regularly changes, but regardless of what you’ll find on there, it’s sure to be delicious, and there are of course some staple items that stay on the menu year-round.  The classic spaghetti with tomato sauce is the perfect amount of tangy flavor, with or without meatballs.  Another standard item is the annelloni with spicy lamb sausage, a zesty take on a unique and delicious type of pasta.  And while the exact type varies, ragu is always a staple on the menu,

At Porsena, the chef places a high priority on quality.  Even details as small as olive oil are taken very seriously; the olive oil used to dress salad was hand-carried from Italy.  When you get your pasta, you’ll find that the sauce is one of the best parts of your meal, going great with any type of pasta.  Therefore, keep bread handy to soak up any of the sauce left on your plate.  The portions, while not ridiculous, are generous nonetheless, and you’ll most likely finish your dinner full.  Yet if you find yourself with room in your stomach, the desserts are excellent, and you can always wash everything down with a beer at any of the four very qualified bars within walking distance.