NYSF Review: Maxim’s at the Norm inside the Brooklyn Museum

Maxim NYC

Where and when?

Pierre Cardin Exhibit, July 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing and Iris and Gerald Cantor Gallery, 5th Floor

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion is the first New York retrospective in 40 years .

Maxim at the Norm
Photo by Michael Morrissey

The Food at Maxim at the Norm

Saul Bolton, The Norm’s executive chef, and Andy Mejias, the restaurant’s chef de cuisine, have designed a menu for Maxim’s at The Norm as an ode to French cuisine in general and a homage to Maxim’s in particular. Offering à la carte and prix fixe options, the menu features French classics such as Gougères, Steak Frites and Marquise de Chocolat.

The $45 three-course prix fixe highlights contemporary versions of dishes from the Maxim’s de Paris cookbook, Chez Maxim including Salade Lyonnaise – seasonal greens, bacon lardons, croutons, poached egg; this was worthy of plate licking. Refreshing and light but not lacking in a delicate balance of flavors.

Photo by Michael Morrissey
Maxim New york city
Photo by Michael Morrissey

Poulet Rôti aux Pêches – roast chicken, grilled peaches, baby arugula, chimichurri sauce;

Chicken is always my choice as it is the test of perfection for any french Chef. This was seasoned with salty crispy skin and moist perfectly prepared meat. The accent of grilled peaches was not necessary but accessorized this plate like a Chanel suit and pearls.

Coquilles Saint-Jacques – pan-seared scallops, oyster mushrooms, artichokes, escarole, white wine sauce;

Scallops can easily go wrong quickly. I love scallops but many seafood lovers shy away from this delicate dish. This would win them over. Cooked perfectly with a nice sear. Beautiful bite. Dressed with the most amazing sauce and balance with the oyster mushrooms and artichokes. This is a plate that dreams are made of.

Profiteroles -vanilla ice cream, praline, warm chocolate sauce. How much better could it get ?

Our server Kyle and his expertise suggested we also get something off the menu to end this epic experience by bringing us the Marquise de Chocolate crème Anglaise. Beautiful creamy rich chocolate swimming gently in a cream sauce splashed with berries. A perfect dot at the end of this sentence.

The Drink

Maxim new york review
Photo by Michael Morrissey

Cocktails inspired by the life of Pierre Cardin (who at 97 is still active with his fashion, licensing and restaurant empire) were created by Loriana Sanabria for Maxim’s at The Norm. They include the Le Costumier, or The Costume Maker (champagne, St. Germain, gin, lemon juice, hibiscus lime syrup), which is a reference to Cardin’s penchant for designing costumes and masks for the theater. Additional cocktails include The Cylindre (Cognac, absinthe, pomegranate jelly, lime juice, hibiscus lime syrup), named after Cardin’s men’s collection, and The Tailor’s White Sangria (white grape juice, pomegranate vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, honey, pinot grigio), among others. The sangria is a nod to the 1950 hiring of Cardin by Christian Dior as a tailor for the House of Dior.

Loriana greeted us as we entered this spacious room with hints that we have walked into a French bistro. Lush banquettes surround the room. Accented by Pierre Cardin inspired art. I heard the ceiling was designed in-ceiling murals styled in European history from the masters. My eyes were drawn to the long bar across a single wall anchoring the large space bringing what could be cold and empty to a warm romantic space you never want to leave.

Chris was our bartender. Very engaging. His passion for his mixology shows in the care he takes with every drink. As you know my photographer and partner, Mike is always on the quest for the best old Fashion. Chris did very well. Not being a brown liquor person myself my sip was very inviting.

Lori’s expert creation of the specialty cocktails had Chris encourage me to try the Espace. Tequila, lime, triple sec with blue curacao. Beautiful and so delicious this drink will be in my food memory bank for a long time.

Above the food, which was all exquisite. From the salad to the espresso.

The service was beyond outstanding.

Maxim’s at The Norm’s entire staff lead by Lori should be doing Ted Talks on customer service.

Lori sets the tone with her knowledge of the museum. The why and where of how Maxim’s came to be.

Her care and detail with every moment of service were outstanding.

Kyle and his professionalism, charm and lovely personality win you over quickly.

Chris’s engaging passion for mixing to not outshine his passion to please the customer.

Customer service is difficult, hospitality is one of the hardest.

Coming from this industry and using my skills every day to exclude kindness and grace, I could not have been more impressed with this group in Brooklyn.

It’s all about caring what you do and how you do it for the end game to be – how you make the other person feel.

We as customers in New York can be jaded, typecast as harsh and brash, rude and crude. If you’re nice in NY you must be from out of town.

This New Yorker never believed that. It’s not harsh, brash, rude and crude but super busy. Super stressed. Pressures of living in a competitive city as we do and trying to keep our heads above water sometimes those smiles we normally would have don’t come out as quickly or often.

We have come to accept bad service, rude people, and just ok.

Come to the Norm and this will be the new normal.

The Norm will be closed from Wednesday, August 28 through Wednesday, September 4.

We look forward to seeing you once we reopen on Thursday, September 5.

Remember you only have until January…when another amazing pop up will replace Maxim’s.

Let’s see how they top this at The Norm.



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