Café Artscience

Restaurants, American creative Cambridge
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Café Artscience
Photograph: Wayne Chinnock
Café Artscience

It’s not a laboratory in the traditional sense of beakers and lab-coat technicians, though servers wear white shirts and bartenders extract “alcohol paints” with a fractional distiller. Café ArtScience is a one-of-a-kind restaurant—half familiar dining experience, half sensory trip. The brainchild of Harvard University professor David Edwards, it’s the food and beverage arm of his adjacent art/design/scientific innovation hub, Le Laboratoire. Cozy couch seating (along with marble tables and chairs) encourages chemistry between people. Executive chef Patrick Campbell (No. 9 Park) gives classic cuisine a contemporary touch with his inventive small plates, such as cauliflower velouté with sea urchin, lobster oil and curry salt; and saffron cavatelli with Prince Edward Island mussels and Calabrian chili. Playful desserts include the “tiny spoon” (literally a spoonful) of PB&J or other flavors. Alternatively, stimulate your senses with Edwards’s culinary experiences. You can smell your way through dinner with Le Whaf, “flavor clouds” that are inhaled, not eaten, such as the Whaf Tiki cocktail. Cachaça rum is turned into a vapor and served over flavored ice in a snifter. Or savor his cutting-edge WikiFoods, such as WikiPearls of foie gras flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen, encased in an apple “skin” and dusted with fennel pollen. Mixologist Todd Maul (Clio) commands the WikiBar—a long, curved 24-seat bar with white leather seats. Like an open kitchen, theatre unfolds behind it: Bartenders use a blowtorch to burnish the orange and cherry for the Burnt Cherry Wood Old-Fashioned.

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Venue name: Café Artscience
Contact:
Address: 650 East Kendall St
Cambridge

Cross street: between Athenaeum St and Linskey Way
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 7am–midnight, Sat 5pm–midnight (food served until 11pm)
Transport: Red line to Kendall/MIT
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