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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bite-Size Review: Porsena

It was an unenviable task a few evenings ago for friends Bee and Khai to select a restaurant in all of New York city for us to dine for the first time since we last got together four years ago.  These kinds of decisions rank way up there in complexity and stress levels as pushing a nuclear warhead button, buying your first home, and debating to wear Louboutin versus Blahnik.

Khai perusing the menu

Fortunately, they picked Porsena, an unassuming trattoria tucked away in the East Village.  Cozy and comfortable - there are only two rooms and a bar - Porsena is billed as a "pasta restaurant" but their appetizers are as much of a highlight as their carb cousins listed below on the menu.  My particular fondness is for calamari, and Porsena's version (the spice is a definite plus) is among the best I've ever had.

Here are the highlights of our excellent dinner:
My favourite dish of the evening: spicy seared calamari with lemon, olive oil and bread crumbs
Green beans fennel with celery, toasted almonds and pickled red onions
Pasta al Pomodoro - an elegantly simple dish of spaghetti, tomato sauce, basil and parmagiano
Spaghetti con Vongole - manilla clams, garlic, parsley and crushed red pepper
Panna cotta with pistachio and dark chocolate

Porsena - 21 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003, United States.  Telephone +1 212-228-4923

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