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At Kendall Square’s Study, edible experiments

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

Where to Study, a new Kendall Square restaurant from the people behind Journeyman and backbar in Union Square. Like the two Somerville establishments, which are located in the same building, Study shares its location, with Ames Street Deli from the same team.

What for Experimental tasting menus of four or 13 courses (dishes also available a la carte). Menu descriptions — “LAMB: uni, pear, nori,” “POTATO: black trumpet, yellow foot, parsley root” — leave much to the imagination. The restaurant’s logo, a succulent growing from a test tube, seems apt.

The scene A streamlined space fronted by floor-to-ceiling glass panes. Copper-colored rectangles hang decoratively from above, looking like a cross between crisped prosciutto and Tibetan prayer flags. Columns are covered in fuzzy, yellow-green moss. A window into the kitchen offers an eyeful of covetable implements. At the tables, dressed-down diners in shawl-collar sweaters discuss and dissect painstakingly plated dishes, trying to figure out what, exactly, they are eating. Staffers offer in-depth explanations to those who ask. A woman with a curtain of blond hair peruses the cheese cart with a serious, scholarly expression. At the end of the evening, a man in a vest roves from column to column, meditatively misting the moss.

What you’re eating Imagination doesn’t do it justice. “RABBIT: brussels sprout, grape, cognac” (above) turns out to be a bunny from Vermont, turned into cured and smoked loin, liver mousse, and leg confit, with dried grapes and Brussels sprout leaves dressed in cognac vinegar, smoked cherrywood underneath. “MONKFISH: lobster roe, beet, grapefruit” is slices of pan-roasted fish with rounds of gold beet rolled in ash, lobster-grapefruit sabayon, lobster-roe powder scented with star anise, reduced beet juice, and lobster-roe sea salt. “COCONUT: black sesame, ginger, jalapeno” is black sesame anglaise with ginger sponge cake, mango puree, coconut-lemongrass sorbet, and candied jalapeno, served on white sesame “glass” set over a Weck jar. Shatter with your spoon and it collapses into the vessel.


Care for a drink? A glass of Mosse Moussamoussettes — a cloudy pink sparkler from France — is a perfect way to start (or end) the meal. “Froth and flowers. Drink this and say [expletive] you to the winter,” reads the wine list, every bit as descriptive as the menu is not.


Overheard People talking about “Serial,” Beaujolais, and their mothers. A lost soul comes in through the Ames Street Deli entrance: “I saw a human at the door! A human is good!” “I like when I can’t even imagine what’s coming,” a diner tells a server. “Don’t worry,” she replies. “There’s nothing flaming. Although there is something that is smoked.” “It’s like a lamb fell in the sea,” someone says, sampling the lamb dish, which turns out to be tartare. “They look like lumps of coal,” her friend counters, inspecting ink gnocchi with squid, mango, and abalone mushroom. Another customer tastes and ponders, then smiles with relief. “Oh, it’s spruce! I thought there was something wrong with my mouth.”

73 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-718-2333, www.studyrestaurant.com

Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.