MAISON PREMIERE – WILLIAMSBURG
298 Bedford Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211
Maison Premiere is my latest obsession. Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation these days, this is the first name I blurt out.
First of all, the concept and the space itself are amazing. As the website notes it is “reflective of the staple establishments of New York, Paris and New Orleans.” Upon stepping inside you are transported to a different and more romantic, old world era of absinthe and artists and long philosophical discussions in cafes in Paris. Even the servers and bartenders fit the image. I found myself wondering where they could have possibly found a whole staff that all look like they are straight out of Boardwalk Empire or off the Titanic.
The space is fashioned to look like a hotel lobby where people would sit and drink fancy cocktails while waiting on someone or simply to pass the time. The bar even has an absinthe fountain that was modeled after one found at the Olde Absinthe House in New Orleans. In the back there is a gorgeous walled garden with tables for dining during the warmer months.
Their cocktail menu includes both absinthe and julep cocktails served expertly over crushed ice in a silver chalice. Of course the raw bar is excellent because it is the main attraction of the restaurant. At any given time they have dozens of oyster varieties as well as some more exotic things like whole sea urchins and sometimes geoduck.
I was incredibly impressed by the quality of the food. I had expected things to be hearty and rustic because the main focus is the raw bar but everything was served very elegantly and the preparation of the dishes was very refined.
We started with a basket of freshly baked pastries that came with homemade jams and butter.
Our seafood platter came out next with a wide assortment of shell shapes and sizes. At the center were our gorgeous sea urchins.
As my main I had the soft scrambled eggs which were very possibly the best I have ever had. They were so carefull scrambled that they were almost like a rich creamy egg soup. On the side was a cauliflower salad that was also incredible – beautifully sliced layers of cauliflower with a tangy dressing.
I could not help but order the apple clafoutis with cider caramel. It arrived to the table steaming hot in a little metal dish. The batter formed sort of a souffle around the tender sweet apples. Quite a decadent dish.
I also snuck a bite of my friend’s steak salad which was also fantastic. The steak was sliced medium rare and arranged in a fan around a bed of fresh greens.
I cannot wait to return and see what dinner has to offer.