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Porchetta on Smith St.

We had a nice meal there on Monday night (the old Banania spot)--A tasty baby spinach salad with grapes and a light dressing for an appetizer, roasted cod for me and pasta with sausage for SO for the main course. Anyone else been there recently?

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  1. My husband was addicted to the banana pancakes at Banania. He's had 3 others since its closing and none came close. A friend was in town last weekend so we thought we'd give Porchetta a whirl. the brunch menu was EXACTLY the same as Banania. Exactly. Then the dishes came out, also exactly the same. They even had the bread basket w/jam. I'm thinking Prochetta=Banania, at least for brunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bhkart

      while Prochetta was being "constructed" there was a sign on the door saying that they would have the same brunch menu as Banania.

    2. Recently read that Jason Neroni of 71 Clinton Fresh Food before closing is now at Porchetta.

      Anybody been recently?

      2 Replies
      1. re: oysterspearls

        Not yet. But this is really great news - raises the bar once again on Smith Street. I'll wait a few more weeks while he gets his feet wet. I read where he will be doing amazing dishes with all things pork! Here's Grub Street's blurb on it . . .
        http://nymag.com/daily/food/2006/10/j...

        1. re: livetotravel

          Oh this sounds very cool. How long has he been the chef at Porchetta? Is this the reason perhaps for some recent good reviews?

      2. Made it over to Porchetta last night to check out the new chef. Overall was a very enjoyable meal.

        We got there at 7:15 (halloween night) and it was fairly empty. But by the time our entrees came out it was more than half full, not bad for a Tuesday.

        All of their wines are both by the glass and by the bottle (maybe 9 reds and 9 whites) which is nice.

        For starters, we shared two dishes - flatbread with speck/grappa pears/25 yr balsamic/taleggio and also the chicken-liver terrine with fig marmalade.

        The chicken-liver was fantastic incl very nice presentation. Very smooth and paired great with the fig marmalade.

        The flatbread was odd...it wasnt flat at all, but rather looked like focaccia, maybe an inch or more thick. I guess focaccia is technically a flat bread.... Anyway, it was heaped with the sliced pears, cheese, speck, etc. It was actually very tasty if not at all what we anticipated. The flavors blended together quite nicely though it was hard to taste any of the individual components (i.e. couldnt isolate the taste of the taleggio or the aged balsamic).

        For entrees, he had a crispy fried pork belly and I had the Sardinian Fish Stew.

        The Fish Stew---something I normally wouldnt choose---was terrific. It was a generous piece of cod over top of a mixture of olives, baby squid and other tasty morsels I dont recall. Just the right amount of saltiness. I could have sworn it was to be served with olive oil mashed potatoes but they were absent from the dish (perhaps I misread).

        We also really enjoyed the pork belly. Extremely tender and with a tasty sauce. That said, there was nothing served alongside the pork (i.e. a starch or vegetable) which struck us as odd. Especially considering the menu didnt offer any ala carte sides to choose from. Now we were getting quite full by then so it didnt matter so much. But I really do think there should be something to balance out the meat on the plate, be it included or an optional side.

        Service was fine. A wine error was quickly fixed. The starters were a little slow to come out but the pace improved for the entrees. Desserts looked great but we were full.

        Prices are quite reasonable - nothing over $20 I think for entrees. Looks like a promising new neighborhood spot.

        Just add some sides veg / starch options to the menu please ;)

        1. We also had a very lovely meal at Porchetta about a month ago. Lentil soup and lamb ragu for me; my wife had 2 appetizers. Same experiece as previous posts: reasonable prices for tasty fare. Suspect this will become the default choice for a movie at Cobble Hill

          1. Anyone have any idea what the wait would be around 8 for dinner on a friday? Apparently they don't take reservations for parties with fewer than 6 people.

            1. OK, so I made it over there tonight for dinner around 9:30. We were a party of 3 and they didn't have any tables when we first arrived, so we had a glass of wine at the bar. We were seated in about 10 minutes by a very nice staff.

              I had a difficult time choosing from the menu since so many things seemed so delicious, but we settled on the beet / goat cheese and the chicken liver mousse appetizers, and the short ribs, fish stew and sea bass entrees. For dessert we shared some laboratorio gelato (pumpkin and bacio), which I can never get enough of.

              The food was really flavorful and enjoyable, the entrees even more so than the appetizers. There were complex flavors in every dish, and everything was very well balanced. The short ribs were especially good and extremely tender (knife-not-necessary tender), and the sea bass was cooked to perfection.

              The only bad:
              The wines seemed a bit too fruity to pair with the food (they were not bad wines, just not well-matched) and the kitchen was a little slow.

              We'll definitely be back for more. This is one of the better and more sophisticated places on Smith -- highly recommended.

              1. Has the brunch changed to reflect the new chef's food, or is it still the standard Banania brunch?