If there's anywhere in the Boston area that's tailor-made for a restaurant-meets-lab-meets-gallery-meets-museum-meets-store, it's Kendall Square. Today's the grand opening of Café ArtScience and its parent entity, Le Laboratoire Cambridge, which itself is the United States flagship of ArtScience Labs, founded in Paris seven years ago by Harvard professor David Edwards, an inventor (and more) who has created numerous products in the realm of food and beyond.
The new Cambridge location includes not only the restaurant but also a space for experiments and exhibits in food, art, and design. Keep an eye out for the beehive-inspired hexagonal patterns throughout the space, which was designed by Mathieu Lehanneur. (The team also included architects Zeke Brown and Josh Fenollosa and contractors from C.E. Floyd Company, Inc.)
As for the restaurant, expect innovative small plates, cocktails, and more thanks to an impressive team that includes Todd Maul behind the bar (previously at Clio, where he built a reputation for his scientifically-minded cocktail program), chef Patrick Campbell of No. 9 Park and Eastern Standard, and managerial/operational maven Tom Mastricola, previously of Commonwealth, Clio, Uni, and beyond.
While diners shouldn't expect a science experiment unrecognizable as food to appear on their plates, some Le Laboratoire creations will be incorporated. WikiFoods, for example, come with edible packaging and are already available on the market in one form, WikiPearls of frozen yogurt (find them at Whole Foods.) At the restaurant, keep an eye out for WikiCocktails by Maul as well as WikiPearls of foie gras. Diners will also get the chance to try Flavor Clouds thanks to Le Whaf, a technology Edwards invented with designer Marc Bretillot. Think clouds of pizza and coffee aromas.
Here's a look at the opening lunch and dinner menus:
Café ArtScience is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
650 East Kendall Street, Cambridge, MA 02142