Norman

It has taken me 5 years of living in New York to have a restaurant where the staff recognizes me, but that is the case with Norman. Sam and I have spent many weekends at Norman and A/D/O (the creative workspace it is house in) while he studied for the architecture licensing exams and then for grad school. I pretend to have things to work on but mostly blog and instagram. We spend hours there. Too many hours, arguably, but it is simply the perfect place to focus. The building's primary function is as a creative work space with studios available for rent by various creative agencies. There is also a communal public work area that bleeds into the dining area - this is where we hang out. In the entry, there is always a rotating art installation and off to the side are event spaces that can be rented, like for the bougie kid's birthday I saw held there a few months back. It's never a good sign when you are jealous of an 8 year old. 

The thing that makes it so easy to spend an entire day there is just how good the food is. The restaurant is the creation of Danish restauranteur, Claus Meyer. For those, like me, who aren't aware of the celebrity status of chef's, Claus's restaurant Noma has won the award for best restaurant in the world 4 times. Casual. His Danish influence has inspired every aspect of the space from the cuisine to the furniture to the graphic design. It is clean, bright, and efficient while still being warm. There is a ton of space, which you just don't find in New York (that's why it is located in Greenpoint). Every detail has been though through - it makes being in the space enjoyable.

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The design is full on Scandinavian/Danish. You've got some classic pieces like the large bell pendant and bar stools. I have to say, my favorite part of the space is the floor-to-ceiling grey drapery. They use this to separate the work and dining area when they are setting up for dinner or for an event (I told you I spend a lot of time here). With 18' ceilings, the curtains become almost an architectural feature. Luckily, there are a lot of cheap furniture dupes from Ikea like the recycled plastic chair below. It is so cool looking - I can't believe it is only $75. The bench is a splurge piece, but how cool are those slats. When picking storage pieces, make sure you got with blonde wood to stay with the Scandinavian theme. When in doubt, keep it minimal.