Why It's Hot: This innovative eatery purveys "the future of food" thanks to founder David Edwards, a renowned engineer and Harvard professor who is also behind Le Laboratoire, a Paris innovation center that is dedicated to merging art and food-focused science. The restaurant is designed to help diners interact with his innovative ideas, and even houses a lecture hall for seminars on sustainability issues, technology and the like.
Must-Order: Chef Patrick Campbell, alum of No.9 Park, turns out classy French-American fare. But the wildest stuff on the menu will be found at the bar, where our own Mr. Wizard of cocktails, former Clio guru Todd Maul, is all about innovative boozing. Says Maul: "Progress is about looking and something and saying, 'Is this better?' Not just, 'This is the way they used to do it.'" That mindset results in drinks like this Smoked Cocoa Nib Negroni: the coca nibs are smoked then used to infuse Carpano Vermouth. That's combined with gin and Campari, with ice cubes pulled from the blast freezer and shattered with a hammer.
Insider Tip: Don't miss the Apple store-like display of Edwards' inventions available for purchase, including Le Whaf which uses ultrasonic waves to create flavor clouds, and the oPhone, a device that provides "scent-based mobile messaging." (You can use the restaurant's "HotSpot" kiosk to try it out, downloading and "texting" to friends the smell of the fragrant duck dish you just devoured.)
650 Kendall St., Cambridge; 857-999-2193