Kensington’s Sor Ynéz is Hosting a Fiesta del Sol to Celebrate its Grand Opening
, a new Mexican restaurant from Sojourn Philly, celebrating indigenous Mexican ingredients, with a focus on a modern and sustainable future, is celebrating its grand opening June 20 th
with Fiesta del Sol. The solstice celebration will be held 11a to 5p and will feature live music courtesy of Jessee Hernandez, indoor and outdoor all-day dining, the debut of brunch, drink specials, and more!
“After a successful poco sabor, we are excited to welcome guests and neighbors to enjoy our fresh, flavorful and vibrant fare at Sor Ynez; we’ve opened our patio, dining room, and bar, and have expanded hours and menu offerings, and added happy hour and brunch,” said Jill Weber, owner.
Sor Ynéz, Sojourn Philly’s fourth concept in Philadelphia, opens in the burgeoning neighborhood of West Kensington. Executive Chef Alex Tellez has created thoughtful and vibrant Mexican dishes celebrating traditional ingredients and methods, served on handsome plate ware from contemporary Mexican designers and artisans, in a 50-seat dining room reminiscent of Mexico City’s once decadent Casonas, whose histories are recorded in the layers of plaster finishes.
Beginning June 20 th, the restaurant which has been operating with a limited menu and hours, will now be open Tuesday through Friday 4p-9p, Saturday 11a-9p, and Sunday for all-day brunch 11a-5p. Happy hour will be offered 4p-6p Tuesday through Friday beginning Monday, June 21 and will boast $1 off draft beers, $6 Mexican wines by the glass, $6 mezcal, $8 Frida cocktails as well as traditional and spicy margaritas, $8 Paloma Spritz, and $9 Ranch Water. The happy hour food menu offers a rotating seasonal selection of menu items including:
- Pescado Dorado – fish topped with cilantro, tomatoes and onions slowly poached in the oven with olive oil, served in a fried corn tortilla, topped with cabbage-cilantro slaw and Valentina sauce $5
- Sikil Pak -Grilled tomato, onion, garlic with toasted pumpkin seeds puree topped with lime, orange zest, finished with chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Served with a side of crudité $6
- Jicama and Mango Callejare – Jicama, cucumber, carrots, and mango dressed with tamarind, hibiscus, chamey sauce and finished with tajin-$5
- Queso Frito – breaded chihuahua cheese, fried and finished with micro cilantro and a side of smokey chipotle-$6
Sor Ynéz, Café Ynez’s sister restaurant, blends the modern and traditional of Mexican cuisine, with many dishes highlighting indigenous plant-based ingredients. Executive Chef Alex Tellez, a Mexico City native and The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College for Culinary Arts graduate, has created a menu that focuses on authentic ingredients and dishes inspired by Aztec cuisine.
Menu highlights include:
- Tlacoyo – Inspired by the staple dish found in any of Mexico City’s tianguis, Sor Ynéz’s tlacoyo is made from blue corn masa, stuffed with black beans, seared on the plancha till crispy and gooey in the inside from the beans, garnished with salsa verde, nopales and queso fresco.
- Sikil Pak – Is a thick, hummus-like dip made from pepitas, tomatoes, habaneros, and citrus, and garnished with pomegranate seeds. Served with our house chips and crudité for the perfect dipping. Sikil Pak is inspired by Yucatan’s cuisine.
- Alt Pastor – the alt pastor is Cauliflower – marinated with dried chiles and spices – is cooked on the trompo, cut and served traditionally on tortillas with pineapple.
The bar program will be mezcal-heavy with a focus on Mexican wines, curated by owner and vinologist Jill Weber. Cocktails will feature fresh pressed juices such as guava, mango, tamarind, hibiscus, and more. Guests can sit at the terrazzo and brass bar, designed by Taller Lu’um and Steven Daily Studio, and enjoy cocktails such as Juana ($11) composed with tequila, lime, orange liqueur, and charred corn, and Frida ($13) mezcal, rye, lemon, hibiscus-cinnamon simple syrup.
Sor Ynez’s interior, designed by internationally renowned artist, Miguel Antonio Horn, is inspired by the rich legacy of craft and historic artisans that define today’s contemporary design. The restaurant’s design elements and furnishings from light fixtures to chairs to platexware were made by Mexican artisans and celebrate each raw material’s inherent beauty. Highlights include “Silas and Banca C” Tzalam and hand woven paper chord chairs and bar stools by La Metropolitana, distressed plaster and lime washed wall by XOXO Plaster, traditional enamelware sourced from Utilitario Mexicano and Bar Industrial, bathroom floor to ceiling floral wallpaper made from vinyl tablecloths, and more.
The restaurant’s centerpiece is a Huichol Sor Ynez, serving as an ofrenda inside the restaurant. Ofrendas are small altars depicting patron saints or the Virgen de Guadalupe where people leave candles, flowers and other offerings.
“We worked with Taller Lu’um and the artisans of Wixárika to create an ofrenda of Sor Juana made from the intricate craft of traditional beadwork. Wixárika, also known as Huichol beadwork, is a traditional craft used in ornament of object and textiles. The 5’ tall ofrenda to Sor Juana is decorated with symbols and patterns that frame the image of a phoenix rising behind Sor Juana” said Horn.
A mercado featuring traditional Mexican wares from local Mexican artisans and makers will be added in the coming months for guests to peruse and purchase, both in-person and online.
Sor Ynéz is located at 1800 N. American Street in Kensington, adjacent to the new NextFab location in the building that houses the Neon Museum of Philadelphia.
“Sor Ynéz is inspired by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a Mexican nun, scholar and feminist from the 1600’s,” said Jill Weber, Co-Owner of Sojourn Philly and Sor Ynéz. “She was an iconoclast of her time, self-taught in Greek, Latin and Nahuatl (the language of the Aztec) and spurned the needless constraints placed on women in the 17 th century. Ynez remains an icon in modern Mexico and epitomizes the merging of modern and traditional.”