WHERE Ames Street Deli
WHAT Moss-covered columns that anchor the Kendall Square restaurant’s dining room. Adjacent sister restaurant Study gets the same treatment.
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WHOSE IDEA Co-owner Tse Wei Lim, who also co-owns Somerville’s Journeyman and backbar, wanted to create soothing dining environments in the heart of sleek, sometimes stark Kendall Square. Durable reindeer moss seemed like just the thing to make the restaurants cozier and more at one with nature. He ordered it by the crateful and then strung it through chicken wire. “The space was very boxy and full of straight lines. I wanted to soften it up and bring light into the rooms with natural, living things,” says Lim. “When you walk in, it’s like ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ You’re not in Kansas anymore.” One downside: Often guests enjoy touching the topiary, which causes crumbling. “We’re probably going to need to get more moss,” Lim admits. 73 Ames St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-374-0701, www.amesstreetdeli.com