ArtScience Culture Lab & Cafe’s Benjamin Lacy admits that his sea urchin panna cotta might at first glance be a bit of a head-scratcher to less adventurous eaters. The new executive chef adds pureed huitlacoche—a fungus that grows on corn—to lend a sweet, mushroomy note to the umami-rich dish, overflowing with a tide of textures and flavors. “It’s surrounded by things that are a little brighter, sweeter and crunchier,” Lacy says of the set cream, part of his recently revamped menu that fuses classic French techniques with Mediterranean flair and local produce. From the crunch of puffed amaranth and sweet corn shoots to the hint of heat from chili threads, you’ll want to dive in after your first bite.
Sea urchin panna cotta, $16 at ArtScience Culture Lab & Cafe, 650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge (857-999-2193) cafeartscience.com