ACIDULATED APRICOTS, sous-vide salsify, aerated mustard, olive brine gel—Marc Lepine is as much a scientist as he is a chef.Ten years in, the kitchen at Atelier is as inventive as ever. There’s little giveaway, either in the unmarked door that leads to the restaurant or in stripped-down menu descriptions such as “sweet pea globe,” “celeriac and hock,” and “venison,” but the cooking is exuberant. Gazpacho comes looking more like a floral arrangement, duck is served in a terrarium, and there are even edible balloons for dessert.If the dishes are unfamiliar and wildly inventive, they are always tasty and unmistakably beautiful. A typical plate, bright with colour, might include an orb, some hoops, a few splashes and plenty of crumbles. When the restaurant opened, it seemed outrageous to operate in Ottawa with only a tasting menu, but the concept has proven remarkably popular, and reservations in the 22-seat dining room remain as rare as duck teeth in a terrarium.