For most people, the name Albert Einstein brings to mind other things—his theory of relativity; his famous formula about energy, mass and the speed of light; his hair—before it evokes the hospitality industry. But the people behind Hotel EMC2, which opened in May, see no disconnect between the world’s best-known scientist and their visually extravagant restaurant, named in his honor.

Where to look first? Most prominently, a two-story wall of cabinetry assembled from chests of drawers and stacked bookcases is crammed with artfully arranged volumes, many in antique bindings, on scientific subjects. Across from it, a gigantic sculptural contraption made of pipes, spiral tubing and glass cylinders hangs over the copper-topped bar like the lab equipment of a mad mixologist. It dispenses infused liquors, bitters, spirits and even a house shot, but its primary role may be to dazzle. There’s also a whimsical mural, framed paintings and other artwork, and a king’s array of gleaming vintage copper pots suspended near the open kitchen.

Dishes from executive chef Brandon Brumback (Union Square Hospitality Group, One Off Hospitality Group) communicate clearly in a theatrical environment that would overpower lesser food. Each of his elegant compositions arrives on a plate whose color and form show it off to best advantage. His ever-evolving seasonal menus draw heavily on in-season fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs and a longer list of housemade foodstuffs than most chefs attempt. The fact that not only are the breads made here but also the butter gives you an idea of their scope.