Justin Pronovost named his newly opened East Cambridge cafe, Curio Coffee, for the unusual and intriguing objects he has collected to decorate the space. On one shelf, there’s a horse’s jawbone; an old barnacle cluster and natural-history books from the 1800s adorn others. Over the La Marzocco espresso machine hangs a fiberglass cow’s head from the former Hilltop Steakhouse in Saugus. A Mission-style oak counter came from Lawrence District Courthouse. Pronovost, 33, says he wants the 15-seat coffee shop to “evoke a turn-of-the-century vibe like a 100-year-old European cafe.” Its espresso drinks are brewed with Counter Culture beans and crafted with grass-fed milk. Hot chocolate is made with Taza Chocolate cacao, and loose-leaf teas come from Mem Tea. And the cafe’s specialty is cooked-to-order Belgian Liege waffles ($3.50). The warm, ragged-edged treat is made with yeasty brioche dough and embedded with bits of pearl sugar, filling the pockets with crunch and caramelizing the exterior. Served in a waxed paper bag, it’s a perfect to-go snack when you don’t have time to linger with a cappuccino and enjoy the curiosities. 441 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 857-242-3018.
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.