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Matthew Kenney’s Latest, Nodding to Japan, Opens in the East Village

Matthew Kenney’s Latest, Nodding to Japan, Opens in the East Village


Arata will be Matthew Kenney’s fifth restaurant in New York.

Jeenah Moon for The New York Times


ARATA The chef Matthew Kenney’s stock-in-trade is vegan cooking, though he prefers the term plant based. His latest restaurant, his 14th globally and fifth in New York, looks to Japan. It sits next door to the vegan pizzeria Double Zero, and the Mexican place Bar Verde, both of which list him as a partner. Arata, which has sleek, minimalist décor, will serve kimchi pancakes; several salads; rice cakes with long beans and sugar snap peas; tempura mushroom hand rolls; and steamed buns with mushrooms, eggplant and other fillings tucked inside. Assorted ramen and udon bowls will brim with ingredients like chickpeas, smoked tofu, Sichuan tempeh “sausage” and baby bok choy. A cacao matcha tart is one of the desserts. The bar will mix inventive cocktails that feature vegetables, as well as classic drinks. It’s not surprising that all this comes with a “wellness” message. (Opens Friday): 67 Second Avenue (East Fourth Street), 212-658-1948,


YAMADA CHIKARA NEW YORK You’ll need a scorecard for this. Chikara Yamada, who owns the restaurant Yamada Chikara in Tokyo, is opening his first American outpost, Yamada Chikara New York. Mr. Yamada worked at El Bulli, in Spain, so molecular gastronomy and international flavors inform his Japanese food. A parade of fried skewers called kushiage are the focus of the 10- to 12-course omakase ($180), for which the finale is a matcha tea ceremony. (Wednesday): 249 East 49th Street, 646-952-0364,

PRIMO’S This suave Art Deco bar was installed in the Frederick Hotel, a vintage property that was the Cosmopolitan. Martinis and cocktails that involve absinthe, vodka and coffee are a specialty: 129 Chambers Street, 917-512-3432,

CHICHA CAFETIN AND COCKTAILS Vanessa Palazio and Adam Schneider, the couple who owned Little Muenster, drew from Ms. Palazio’s Nicaraguan background for this new spot, which merges street food like quesillos (corn tortillas with cheese and toppings) and Nicaraguan guacamole with hard-cooked egg. Also on the menu are churrasco steak, salpicon rillettes made with shredded short rib, and black clams poached in coconut milk. The bar, run by their partner Marshall Altier, relies on iterations of rum. Nathan Meshberg, who owns the hot sauce company Fort Greene Farms, is another partner. The colorful 60-seat restaurant and bar is in a repurposed warehouse space (Wednesday): 198 Randolph Street (Gardner Avenue), Bushwick, Brooklyn,

MACCHINA At this Italian restaurant in a modern industrial space, ricotta is stuffed in pizza crusts, agnolotti may be made with carrot, and a Stromboli measures two feet. It is not related to the Upper West Side restaurant of the same name that recently closed: 365 Third Avenue (26th Street).

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