For The Improper Bostonian, MC Slim JB declares the recently-opened Cafe ArtScience "more a place to talk about futuristic ideas than to see them embodied on the plate." Many of the dishes are quite photogenic, but the "sci-fi weirdness" to be expected from the place doesn't come out as often as the restaurant's background story would suggest.
"It’s like an MIT geek’s rendering of No. 9 Park: beautifully plated food drawing mostly on well-executed but conventional French and Italian technique, served in a less-than-gorgeous room bolstered by an extraordinary cocktail program...It may not be rocket science—more like finely wrought, aesthetically driven artisanry—but it is very, very good."
In the Globe, Devra First grants Central Square newcomer Viale two-and-a-half stars out of four (between "good" and "excellent"), praising it as a "worthy successor" to Rendezvous, which formerly occupied the space. "The menu is just the right size, neither limiting nor overreaching," she writes, noting that the kitchen "is at its best when working in sneaky layers of heat," like in the saffron fettuccine, a "gorgeous" first course with the "tingle of chiles" in the background.
Indeed, it's the pasta dishes that are the restaurant's "greatest strength"...except when they're not. "Some nights [the pasta] arrives undercooked, others overcooked. And the compositions are so rich they really do work best as small portions; the larger servings can feel like too much." But overall, the restaurant "adds to the neighborhood's character."
First also shares a "Quick Bite" on Koy, a new Korean fusion restaurant by Faneuil Hall. In the "pleasantly dark, long and narrow space decorated in grays and purples," diners are eating "traditional Korean dishes alongside twists" like gochujang-glazed wings and carnitas dumplings. And the cocktails have "alluring garnishes."