Todd Maul, Patrick Campbell, and Tom Mastricola to Join Forces for Cafe Artscience
The restaurant will be a collaboration with Harvard’s David Edwards and his forthcoming Cambridge think tank.
In restaurant supergroup news, we have gotten word that Clio beverage director Todd Maul, Eastern Standard (and formerly No. 9 Park) chef Patrick Campbell, and Commonwealth (and formerly Clio) general manager Tom Mastricola are teaming up to open Cafe Artscience, a collaboration with Harvard’s David Edwards (who you might know from culinary inventions like Le Whif, AeroShot, and, most recently, Wikipearl ice cream from his Paris-based lab, Le Laboratoire).
The restaurant, slated to open in September at 650 Kendall Street in Kendall Square, will be adjacent to (and closely affiliated with) Edwards’s forthcoming Le Laboratoire Cambridge, a think tank of sorts that will have both a lab and exhibition component.
And if there was a match made in cocktail heaven, this just might be it: Maul, who has made his name at Clio using equipment like a centrifuge and a rotovap, will have full access to Edwards’s lab (and will be bringing his gear with him, he says). “We will be taking a think tank and a restaurant, and kind of throwing it all together,” Maul says. “What I was doing at Clio were baby steps as compared to what is possible.”
Food-wise, the cuisine will be both approachable and experimental. “The very experimental cuisine you can sort of opt in to,” Edwards says. From Campbell’s perspective, the key is balancing the two ideas. “We will certainly be using any technological advantages that are afforded to us as long as it makes the food better,” he says. “I believe in the foundation of classical food, but if we can manipulate and update dishes to feel appropriate for the space with the use of some of these things, I’m great with that.”
The actual menu is still in nascent planning stages, but Campbell says he’s initially thinking it will contain smaller composed dishes (“I don’t want to use the term ‘small plates.’ That’s not what this is,” he says) sized somewhere between tasting and appetizer portions. There might be some large-format items, plus “several raw [or] chilled seafood items, salads, and seasonal proteins that will be treated appropriately.”
There will be a test kitchen component to the restaurant, and on select Sundays, Maul says, they’ll open up the test kitchen to the public. Participating diners will be able to “inexpensively” sample experiments within themes like “carrots” or “smoke,” and provide feedback to the chefs. “It’s very interactive and inclusive,” Maul says. “At a certain point you can get so absorbed in your reality that you need an outside voice.”
There will be a 23-seat bar and about 120 seats in the dining room. Maul will remain at his post at Clio through the end of May, so you have almost two months left to imbibe a Todd Collins or black-lime-infused gin and tonic.