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SARA JENKINS - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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SARA JENKINS

Porsena’s Extra Bar Opens Tomorrow; Pylos and Porchetta.Hog Temporarily Closed


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IMG_0164Stephen Rex Brown Porsena’s bar back in July.

Porsena’s next-door bar will open tomorrow for lunch and dinner. The Local spotted chef-owner Sara Jenkins prepping Extra Bar this evening, and a Tumblr page lists the small plates (e.g. lemon potatoes with caviar and Surryano ham with spicy greens) that will comprise the “fleeting and changing menu, reflecting inspirations from the Mediterranean, random travels by Sara, and found ingredients.” Ms. Jenkins said the narrow space, which is made up mostly of a bar and boasts a map of Rome on one wall, won’t be ready for photos until Friday; in the meantime the chef has been posting images of dishes such as yellowfin tuna puttanesca, gulf shrimp and black spaghetti, and a salad of yellow zucchini, tomatoes, lemon vinaigrette, pecorino Romano, herbs. See Porsena’s Twitter feed for more.

When we last updated you on Porsena’s annex in July, Ms. Jenkins had a few words for Porchetta.Hog, the relative newcomer that she said was “so pathetically copying” her other joint on Seventh Street, Porchetta. Well, guess what? A sign on the door of that fine establishment indicates, without explanation, that the place is “temporarily closed.” A call to the restaurant went unanswered.

Further down Seventh Street, Greek favorite Pylos is also temporarily closed – “for renovation,” according to a sign on the door. Work was being done at the restaurant this evening and an outgoing phone message indicated it would reopen Sept. 8.

Update | 11:00 p.m. Porsena has sent over its lunch and dinner menus, below.

Opening Lunch Menu

Opening Evening Menu


Public Theater Ribon-Cutting Set for Oct. 4, Mayor May Show


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IMG_0060Melvin Felix
IMG_0001Stephen Rex Brown A peak inside Mr. Carmellini’s new restaurant
on Lafayette Street.

Does Mayor Bloomberg have an East Village trip penciled into his schedule?

A spokesperson for Joe’s Pub let slip that the mayor would be attending a ribbon-cutting at the Public Theater on Oct. 4. In a subsequent e-mail she said she couldn’t confirm Mr. Bloomberg’s attendance (mayoral plans are fickle, after all), but it’s clear the re-dedication ceremonies are going to have some star power. The theater broke ground on what was expected to be a $40 million renovation project in March. Earlier this month, ArtsBeat reported that the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, founded by the parents of Eliot Spitzer, gave $4 million to the theater.

It’s uncertain whether Andrew Carmellini’s hotly anticipated mezzanine lounge, The Library, will be in full swing for the celebrations, which come exactly a year after an upgraded Joe’s Pub reopened; the chef didn’t respond to an e-mail inquiry. This week, Eater reported The Library would open in the second week of October.

Just one block south on Lafayette Street, work continues on Mr. Carmellini’s somewhat mysterious French restaurant in the former Chinatown Brassiere space, as you can see in a photo we snapped earlier this week.


Aromatherapy Shop Moving To Fourth Street; Porsena May Move In


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IMG_0708Stephen Rex Brown Owner Lalita Kumut, along with her friend Daphne Blake (left) and her cousin, Maka Inthraphuvasak, pack up the Aromatherapy store on East Seventh Street.

After 20 years, a fragrance shop on East Seventh Street is moving three blocks south, and the owner of Porsena is considering expanding into the vacated space.

Lalita Kumut, the owner of Aromatherapy Bath and Body Oils, said that her lease had expired in December, but that she’d been holding out for a new location. “My customers told me to wait until another lease came up — I’m a good tenant,” Ms. Kumut said. “Finally, I found something nice.” Read more…