Have you ever seen a cocktail in the form of a marshmallow? Potato as a froth? How about transparent ravioli? If so, you may already be familiar with the fast-growing culinary trend of molecular gastronomy, which has recently been permeating Boston’s restaurant scene. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy name, molecular gastronomy is simply a new, avant-garde style of cuisine that embraces science as a creative tool in the kitchen. Ingredients are put through chemical or physical transformations to produce a dish unlike anything else! Presentation is as much a key part to molecular dining as innovation and experimentation is. The dishes are works of art in themselves, and some are finished at the table as part of the experience.
More and more of Boston’s restaurants are picking up on the modern and trendy cuisine. Spots such as Comm Ave’s Clio, L’espalier down on Boylston, and the Leather District’s O Ya are an adventurous foodie’s dream come true. At Clio, dishes such as roasted beets with aerated molasses and a bacon emulsion offer restaurant-goers a contemporary way to experience these ingredients. The options at sushi restaurant O Ya include unique and surprising items such as Hamachi with spicy banana pepper mousse and fried Kumamoto oyster with squid ink foam. L’espalier is known for intricate and imaginative desserts, like the “Through the Forest,” a candy cap mushroom parfait with maple roasted walnuts and cardamom mascarpone ice cream. The pictures accompanying this post are all menu items available at these local restaurants.
Often offered as tasting menus at steep prices, these experimental dishes are not for those who are looking for a quick, cheap bite to eat. Molecular gastronomy is for the more experienced food connoisseur who has a broad palette, adventurous mindset, and an appreciation for inventiveness and presentation. Reviews of the previously mentioned restaurants have included comments such as “complex and beautifully presented dishes,” “unbelievable and creative,” and “best food experience I’ve ever had.” If you have the time, money, and willingness to try something completely different, try out a molecular gastronomy spot around town for a modern and unusual experience.
Or, check out this article for some DIY molecular gastronomy!:http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2013/06/10-easy-molecular-gastronomy-recipes.html