Caffeine molecule logos adorn everything from the cups to the windows at Kendall Square’s Catalyst Cafe, a casual little sibling to Catalyst that chef/owner William Kovel unveiled last month. Guests can pair their lattes and espressos with pastries, salads and sandwiches, including a simple yet scintillating ham & cheese that combines smoked ham and a healthy serving of taleggio—one of Kovel’s favorite varieties of cheese. “It’s an Italian washed-rind cheese that has a little bit of pungency to it,” he says. “It’s really gooey when you melt it.” The sandwich is finished with basil pesto aioli and an acidic tomato compote before the sourdough bread exterior is pressed to crunchy perfection.
Ham & cheese, $9 at Catalyst Cafe, 75 Binney St., Cambridge. catalystcafecambridge.com