Porsena Expansion Underway, Lunch Service in the Works

IMG_0164Stephen Rex Brown Work permits in the window of the new wing of Porsena.

Sara Jenkins’ restaurant on East Seventh Street is in for an upgrade “alla sinistra.”

The new wing in a storefront to the left of the dining room and bar will be dubbed Porsena Sinistra (which means, appropriately, “left” in Italian) and feature a lunch counter during the day and a wine bar at night. The space was previously occupied by Fragrance Shop New York, which reopened on East Fourth Street.

Ms. Jenkins said the lunch menu would include sandwiches, soups and salads. The bar will have a selection of Mediterranean wines, not just strictly Italian fare. She expected it would open around the end of August. (Check back later for some of the plates Ms. Jenkins has in mind for lunch). Update | 4:16 p.m. (Ms. Jenkins changed her mind and decided the menu items weren’t ready for public consumption.)

Signs in the window also indicate a noise mitigation plan in place for the new eatery. Back in February a pair of neighbors went before Community Board 3 bemoaning a loud exhaust fan in the existing restaurant.

“We’re not a club, we’re not going to be blasting techno until 4 a.m., ever,” Ms. Jenkins said. “But I also think you don’t want to make your neighbors super-grumpy.”

But Ms. Jenkins wasn’t quite so diplomatic when it came to Porchetta.Hog, the new eatery with a name very similar to her own sandwich joint only two blocks away. “It’s so pathetically copying me. But people who have eaten there don’t think it’s much of a threat to me,” she said. “At the same time, there are thousands of porchettas in Italy, so I can’t claim it as my own.”