Cafe Artscience. The bad news: beloved, mad scientist-style mixologist Todd Maul is moving on from Clio at the end of May. The good news: it's only because he's part of the team behind Cafe Artscience, a wild sounding new space opening in September in Kendall Square. According to Boston magazine, Artscience is the brainchild of Harvard professor David Edwards, a Mr. Wizard of foodstuffs who creates things like inhaled chocolate and Wikipearl, a line of treats served in their own self-contained, edible (and thus, eco-friendly) packaging. Artscience will open next to Edwards' Le Laboratoire Cambridge, a forthcoming sibling to his Paris-based facility, and the 120-seat restaurant will feature an experimental menu from Eastern Standard's Tom Mastricola and cocktail program from Maul.
Parla. Because there just aren't enough "speakeasy-style" establishments opening up around town (end: sarcasm), an Italian spin on the concept is coming to the North End. According to a neighborhood news site, Parla (Italian for "to speak") is opening on Hanover Street within days. The menu from chef Eric Buonagurio will be focused on small plates, including monkfish osso bucco and squid ink gnocchi, and the beverage program will feature an all-Italian wine list, craft beers, and spins on classic cocktails - like the Bee-Sting Julep, a habanero and honey twist on the mint julep. The opening must be imminent, because the restaurant is already posting glamour shots of the drinks (seen here) and interior on its Facebook page.
United for Boston's Own. It's an expensive fundraiser, but a unique and important one too. If you have the cash for a good cause and an impressive meal, buy one of just 60 seats available for "United for Boston's Own" ($500, available here) on Monday, April 14. It's a benefit for the families of firefighters Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh, whose lives were lost in battling the Back Bay fire at the end of the March. A nine-course, wine-paired dinner will be prepared by an all-star lineup of chefs: Ming Tsai (Blue Dragon and Blue Ginger), Michael Schlow (Tico, Via Matta), Ken Oringer (Clio, Coppa and Toro), Jamie Bissonette (Coppa and Toro), Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), Ying Ten (Oishii), Mike Smith (Toro) and Clio's pastry chef Monica Glass. Also joining is Jay Hajj, chef at Mike's City Diner, the charming and retro eatery that will host this unexpectedly high-end benefit.