Porchetta Deals in New York
The Polish church of Saint Stanislaus, a vestige of the old neighborhood if ever there was one, stands rather majestically across the street from the gleaming white, six-stool shop that Sarah Jenkins opened in 2008. Unlike Saint Stan’s, Porchetta is small, hip, modern, serves beer and is devoted to just one thing—pork. The sizzling meat, with each roast covered in crunchy skin and dripping with juice, is neatly displayed in the glass case and treated more like a designer accessory (well, it is from Niman Ranch) than the oozing hot hunk, just off the rotisserie, that the aroma confirms it must be. Above all, the scene suggests the porchetta sandwich, on beautiful flour-dusted bread from Grandaisy Bakery, is exactly what sophisticated downtown palates want today. The concept of porchetta is totally Roman; the idea behind Porchetta much more New York. Just think of it all as operating within the new parish of East Village.
Since 1983, Pappardella has been an Upper West Side staple for pizza, prosciutto-piled plates of antipasti and, of course, pasta—and it’s still satisfying diners with its old-world vibe and serious food. Mood lighting, servers clad in crisp collared shirts and ties, and black-and-white framed photos of the motherland still while the menu veers from classic Tuscan cuisine with dishes such as the coriander-crusted seared tuna appetizer served aside green-flecked and garlicky orzo, and the kale salad with goat cheese, avocado, house-roasted red peppers, and pine nuts in a tangy vinaigrette. The house specialty pasta is pappardelle buttera, featuring wide noodles wrapped around sweet and spicy sausage, sage, English peas, and vodka sauce. But, if you’d prefer to keep it light ‘n’ snack-y, another excellent Pappardella plan is to load up on prosciutto and porchetta platters with house-marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, and fancy cheeses. The charcuterie is tender and juicy, possessing some of the best flavors in recent meaty memory, and there are plenty of outstanding wines to match up with them.