The Underground Gourmet on Porsena; Lowbrow Lunch Meats Go Gourmet

Porsena. Photo: Danny Kim

In this week's New York, the Underground Gourmet scopes out Porsena, the pasta-focused sit-down spot from Porchetta's Sara Jenkins. There they find noodle dishes capable of curing Seasonal Affective Disorder, as well as examples of "pasta innovation at its finest." The rest of the menu is worth exploring, too, and Rob and Robin deem the restaurant "a dependable neighborhood canteen with a talented kitchen, a smart staff, and a menu that gives you plenty of enticing options, pasta or no"; it earns four stars.

Meanwhile, lowbrow lunch meats are having a moment as chefs look to their childhoods. On menus from Osteria Morini to Seersucker, you'll find mortadella, bologna, and, yes, even Spam. For the vegetable-minded, this week's In Season is the lotus root, rendered sweet in a dessert preparation from Annisa chef-owner Anita Lo. And if you could use a taste of the antics of chef and showman David Burke, he has a new stage at the James Hotel in Soho.