Creative Dishes Are “The Norm” in New York’s Brooklyn Museum

The new restaurant gathers inspiration from its exhibits and local Brooklyn surroundings
norm

The Norm

The skillfully decorated dining room at the Norm looks like a masterpiece in and of itself.

Move over, lame old cold-cut sandwiches and chicken nuggets — the coolest museum restaurant in town is about to put you to shame.

As the first museum café in the city to actually curate an exhibit within the restaurant itself, The Norm at the Brooklyn Museum is designed to look like a “storage room,” decorated with the bright green crates that the art travels in. An entire wall of paintings, hung in no particular order, reference different eras and cultures, as though they are waiting to be showcased in an exhibition. Vintage crystal glasses and plush green lounge chairs successfully round out the aesthetic and create an experience like none other.

The Norm’s music playlist is even curated to match the museum’s current exhibits.

Featured on the “Snack” menu is the Bombay snack mix, a riff on Southern Indian mix with spicy fried legumes, coconut, cilantro, red onion, and limes; homemade jerky; an assortment of meats and cheeses; and chicharrones al pastor, fried pork skin accompanied by a salsa made of tomatoes, pineapple, and other ingredients.

After being open just a week, the waitress was able to make a recommendation, based on customers asking for red wine vinegar for the chicharrones, which is actually a high-end version of pork rinds, so that it “cuts through some of that barnyard pork flavor.”

“The Garden” section features an innovative roasted carrot salad served with bulgur, Medjool dates, sumac, and spiced yogurt; and curried cauliflower, fried twice in herb infused batter, tossed with curry leaves, cilantro, pickled yellow raisins and pickled mustard seeds, and topped with micro-planed Pecorino sardo.

Entreè highlights include Tonkastu-style ramen, its rich broth cooked for 48 hours, and Free Bird Farms roast chicken, a local cage free bird braised in traditional chocolate-tinged mole poblano served with a tamale and watercress salad.

The restaurant is named after Brooklyn Museum Trustee Norman Feinberg, who donated the funds needed to re-imagine the former Saul’s restaurant space.

“The Norm speaks to Brooklyn’s amazingly diverse communities. It’s inspired by the Brooklyn Museum and by the borough’s neighborhoods, streets, and avenues. We live in Brooklyn, eat in Brooklyn and love in Brooklyn!” said chef Saul Bolton.

Props to Chef Bolton to agreeing on the name change­.

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