The East Village just got a new vegan pasta and wine bar thanks to Matthew Kenney, the vegan chef who is creating a plant-based lifestyle brand that offers delicious dining options from coast-to-coast. SESTINA will open for service in East Village starting August 14th with a second location slated to launch in the Culver City area of LA in September.

The East Village space where SESTINA will live was formerly occupied by Kenney’s Plant Food and Wine, a fine-dining plant-based restaurant (which still has a location on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, CA). The concept pf SESTINA is to better cater to the neighborhood and focus on alternative dining options, like its novel meal kit program for those seeking options for chef-driven at-home meals. Kenney’s SESTINA brings a fresh concept that “embodies the spirit of the neighborhood with elegant, comfort cuisine, creative small plates and desserts, plus a sustainable wine program,” Matthew Kenney's statement tells us.

In addition to in-dining, SESTINA will offer a meal kit program that enables those wanting an option to cook in the comfort of their own kitchens to do so. SESTINA’s online marketplace offers these ready-to-cook kits that include all ingredients needed to make SESTINA dishes right at home. Bottled craft cocktails will also be available to purchase to-go with meals.

SESTINA's dine-in menu features several well-known pasta dishes and additional, formative takes on classics. “SESTINA offers a healthy, plant-based adaptation of universally-loved Italian classics, and the best pasta you will ever eat,” says Matthew Kenney. “Using the highest quality ingredients, honoring traditional styles – while constantly experimenting with new dishes – is what makes it unique, not just in the plant-based market, but the restaurant industry as a whole.”

The 1,000-square-foot interior restaurant features an open concept kitchen as well as patio seating. The glass-enclosed pasta bar is the focal point of the room and provides an interactive experience where you can watch chefs create the dishes. The MKC team designed the space to create a relaxed yet refined, clean and comfortable environment featuring a monochromatic design highlighted with wood accents throughout.

The beverage program highlights biodynamic and organic Italian wines, all of which are vegan of course. Additionally, guests will experience an innovative cocktail program that pays homage to classic Italian cocktails characteristically interpreted by MKC.

Adrian Mueller

“This is a huge year of growth for the plant-based market, especially given the current health crisis,” says Kenney. “People are realizing that they need to take care of themselves more than ever, in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable. We continue to see a real shift in the restaurant industry, which has been something I’ve been working toward for a very long time.”

You can look forward to more MKC establishments scheduled to debut in new cities throughout 2020. Double Zero Pizza is currently expanding into additional locations throughout Baltimore and Boston, all to open this year. Other restaurants slated to open include Avivar, an all-day restaurant at the One & Only Palmilla in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; AYRE at the Amrit Ocean Resort on Singer Island, Florida; and the second Hungry Angelina, an upscale casual concept with an attainable price point, in Dumbo, Brooklyn opening next month.

This year has been a busy one for Kenney and his team. Earlier this year Kenney announced the opening of his first Bay Area restaurant, BAIA. He also recently debuted a line of frozen prepared meals available for order on Amazon called Plantmade, and also launched a plant-based cooking school.