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Innovation

Café ArtScience: The future of fine cuisine here today

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The modern interior of Café ArtScience is on par with the futuristic menu. (Wayne Chinnock)

A place where drinks float in the air and diners inhale their food isn’t waiting for us to colonize the moon. The future of contemporary fine dining is open and serving meals now, in Boston.

Café ArtScience, which blends innovation and technology with French-American cuisine, is the brainchild of a biotech engineer, inventor, creator and Harvard professor named David Edwards. If you’ve ever eaten the scientifically designed WikiPearl skin that covers fruit, ice cream and cheese, it was his invention.

“The café is more like an Apple store when you enter,” says Edwards, who opened the restaurant in October.

But don’t let the interior fool you. Edwards has hired a team of executive chefs to create meals for diners who want contemporary cuisine with a little adventure in it. Café ArtScience does so much more than fill your belly.

“We are really interested in how people consume food and their reaction to form and texture,” Edwards says. “It’s not simply a matter of wanting to provide food, but we want to learn together.” 

So, while you’re eating, expect to participate in a dialogue about the importance of food, another experience Edwards wants for diners.

But first and foremost, Café ArtScience is a restaurant. Edwards says everything is fresh and locally sourced, with powerful textures and more. “Aroma matters a lot here. The scent experience is a big deal, too.”

Ten years ago, Edwards moved to Paris to open Le Laboratoire, an art and design center where he spends half of his year inventing, and where he wound up experimenting with chefs. The innovations they created delivered healthier food, but it wasn’t accessible to consumers. Edwards decided to turn his ideas into something real, and Café ArtScience was created.

To set the mood, Edwards suggests ordering the signature cocktail, the Whaftiki, which has flavored ice cubes, alcoholic vapors and lots of Appleton 12-year rum. An actual cloud of alcohol floats within the glass, kept contained by a sugared cachaça cap garnish, which is cracked and inhaled before the drink is poured. A bartender says the drink is like jazz, perhaps because of all the vibrant ingredients.

Edwards also recommends the wagyu beef carpaccio with Canadian lobster in a truffle sauce. For dessert, order a couple of tiny spoons filled with petit macaroons in varieties like Petit Rose Macaron and Clarified Lime Mousse.

But keep in mind: The menu changes often. So get there fast – or keep going back.

As Edwards continues to blaze trails with his inventions and creations in the food industry, he envisions people becoming even more conscious about food. “I think that we will be using our five senses in a more intelligent way and being a lot more aware what we put into our stomachs,” he says.