Before I start my review, I am pleased to announce that effective this Friday, I will officially be based in the Boston area! From now on, you can expect reviews of the seafood Boston is famous for, as well as local specialties, like the Asian restaurants in Quincy.
In order to make the most of my last few days in the Greater New York Area, I decided to meet my friend for dinner at Porsena, whose name I read in a Top 10 Italian restaurants in the city. New York City has some of the best Italian food in the country, so if it made a top 10 in the city, then it’s safe to assume the food is going to be pretty good.
For dinner, I ordered a tagliatelle which was served in a tomato sauce with lamb sausage and marjoram, and was topped with a healthy heaping of ricotta cheese.
What I noticed was a distinct freshness in the sauce. The marjoram added an earthiness to the sauce, which helped the lamb quite a bit. The sauce itself wasn’t creamy, unlike a Bolognese sauce. That was the job of the ricotta in this case.
In general, this sauce exhibited the key trait in my favorite Italian sauces: simplicity. Authentic Italian cuisine generally doesn’t go overboard with ingredients, letting the food’s few components do all the flavoring; I promise that you can easily make a good Italian sauce at home and would never need to buy the stuff you get in a jar. The saucier at this restaurant simply knew how to make the most out of a small number of ingredients.
For that reason, I think Porsena was the most authentically Italian restaurant I have eaten at as of yet; I can’t really say because I haven’t actually been to Italy yet. I can see why Porsena is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in New York City as I had a very good experience. I just wish the portion was a little larger so I wouldn’t have had to grab a slice of pizza after dinner.
My pasta put me down $20. Including wine, tip, and tax, I paid about $35 for dinner last night.
Overall, the restaurant had a quiet atmosphere. While you definitely don’t need to bust out a dinner jacket, I think showing up how I typically dressed when going to school would make you a bit out of place.
The verdict: The best-est best pasta I’ve eaten for a while