Is Brooklyn Cuisine Just an Elaborate Practical Joke Now?

Does anyone still believe that hipster restaurants are really eateries, as opposed to conceptual art installations and/or elaborate social psychology experiments? If you answered “yes,” then I dare you to identify which of the below statements are not lines from a recent review of an institution claiming to be a restaurant (answers after the jump):

  1. “He’s a peer of the Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson, who conjures up strange delicacies from all sorts of primal ingredients (pig’s blood, cow’s bones, wet forest leaves, etc.)”
  2. “My favorite course was a plate of locally-sourced loam with mucosal kombucha. The accompanying homemade pickles are a $9 supplement, but shouldn’t be missed – their tangy crunch harmonizes perfectly with the heavy funk of the main plate.”
  3. “Or so I thought to myself as I pondered a pair of crimson-colored cracker­like objects, which, our lumberjack waiter gently informed us, were made mostly with dehydrated pig’s blood.”
  4. “Although I was initially skeptical of the hay-roasted herring livers, the presentation – in which the still-smoking bale is brought to the table in a brazier and the diner is offered a pair of antique Norwegian elk shears with which to remove the charred morsels from the ashes – won me over.”
  5. “The next course is a mulch-y concoction of root vegetables (salsify, lichen curls) served with the yolk of a single egg, which tasted bracing in a faintly medicinal way, despite looking, in the words of one of my city-slicker guests, like “something you’d find in the puddles of a tree stump after a rainstorm.”


Items 1, 3, and 5 are from this review of Aska, a new restaurant in Brooklyn.

Items 2 and 4 sprang from my fertile imagination, but it’s probably only a matter of time before they make their way to a menu (hand-lettered on torn butcher paper, natch) near you.

Amanda Taub


  1. The tip-off on #4 was that it would involve smoking in a public place in New York City during the Bloomberg administration.

  2. Well, loam is a kind of soil, so I was pretty sure that #2 wasn’t for real, and the elk shears seemed a bit farfetched as well, if the antique-ness is insisted upon, but point well taken, nonetheless.

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