Is a Movie Behind This Michelin-Starred Restaurant’s Decision to Reinvent Itself as a ‘Giant Lab’?

Screenshot from "The Menu"

As reported here, Noma, a Copenhagen-based three-Michelin-starred restaurant that has repeatedly been ranked the world’s best, hosted a limited-engagement pop-up in Dumbo last April. The event was limited to 50 guests per each of five nights, and the cost was an astronomical $700, before tax. The menu, comprised almost exclusively of locally foraged ingredients, including fjaesing, a fish that swims in the waters off Denmark, and æbleskiver, a savory snack consisting of deep-fried batter balls.

If you were among the hordes of disappointed diners who failed to make the cut for the New York visit and were planning a trip to the source to chow down on chef René Redzepi’s reindeer brain custard with bee pollen or quince and fermented rice ice cream with oyster caramel, you’d better plan on going soon. According to CNN, Noma will close at the end of 2024, returning the following year as a “giant lab” named Noma 3.0.

A statement on the restaurant’s website explains that the new Noma will be “a pioneering test kitchen dedicated to the work of food innovation and the development of new flavors, one that will share the fruits of our efforts more widely than ever before.”

The declaration sounds harmless enough, if a little bombastic. But that hasn’t stopped foodies from idly speculating that the inspiration for Noma 3.0 is Hawthorn, the fictional restaurant depicted in the 2022 horror flick “The Menu.”

Broken Palate observes:

In a bizarre twist of life-imitating-art-imitating-life, people on social media are blaming The Menu for the decision to close Noma. The movie is a terrifically scathing black comedy that utterly eviscerates the pretentious side of the culinary industry and is a must-see for anyone who has ever preferred a burger to a $1,200 tasting menu.

See also…

Noma, Currently the World’s Best Restaurant, Popping Up in Brooklyn in May