Monday, June 9, 2014

Brooklyn Restaurant: Maison Premiere

What: Maison Premiere 
Where: 298 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg 
When: Bar 4pm-2am (Thurs, Fri, Sat to 4am), Dinner 4pm-11pm (Fri/Sat to 12am), 
Honeys Heart: Cocktail, oysters, Portland bartender... what's not to love! 

Over the weekend Sarah and I borrowed a bike from a friend of hers and ventured all over Brooklyn. On Saturday we started our day at the Sit & Wonder coffee shop (they serve Stumptown!) in Prospect Heights before heading to Williamsburg for the Kara Walker exhibit A Subtlety, or the "Marvelous Sugar Baby" an "Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant." Highly recommend checking this out before it ends July 6th.

We timed our bike ride poorly as it began to pour rain with sideways wind shortly after we left and lasted until we locked our bikes up by the exhibit. We were absolutely soaked and it was a rough introduction to city bike riding, but the bonus was that the sun came out and there was an uncharacteristically small line for the exhibit!

You walk in and the smell of sugar, burnt sugar, surrounds you and the majestic 35 foot tall sculpture contrasted by the dark burnt walls of the sugar factory is just incredible. I could keep going but let's get to the food and drink.

After the exhibit we were on the search for $1 oyster happy hour and we found one at Miller's Tavern but it didn't start until 5pm and it was only 4pm, so we decided to head to Maison Premiere instead, famous for their absinthe and oysters.

We started with cocktails before looking over the oyster menu. Sarah went for a Vodka Martini, served with three olives (gotta love that!).

I selected the Carondelet ($13) from their cocktail menu with Beefeater, lime, lemon, blossom honey, vanilla, and sea salt. Not only did it taste great, but it smelled equally as delicious.

After spending some time with the oyster menu and asking our bartender, who grew up in Portland, for recommendations we settled on, from left to right in orders of two, the Hammersley from the Puget Sound (Woot!), Kumamoto ($3.35 ea) from Humboldt Bay California, another one that neither of us can remember..., the Naked Cowboy ($2.75 ea) from Long Island Sound, and the Holy Grail ($2.55) from Tar Bay Maryland.

The Holy Grail won out for the #1 spot closely followed by the Hammersley. The Naked Cowboy made it on the list because Sarah said she prefers creamy oysters and our advisor did warn that they were on the bigger side... but seriously, check this out! So big. Sarah had to take that one on. I had the smaller, but still big, one to the side. It was a memorable feat and Sarah drew our adventure on her blog, RockCraftRun, on June 8th. Check it out!

The oysters were excellent, but next time we need to hit the Oyster Happy Hour Monday through Friday 4-7pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am-1pm. Warning: its a popular place and I'm sure during the happy hour it is even more packed!

Sarah moved on to a gin martini, that girl knows how to keep it classy, while I asked our bartender for a recommendation from their absinthe cocktail menu.

To compliment the oysters he suggested the Django Bird ($12) with Kubler, Ron del Barrilito, Cocchi Americano, lemon, pineapple, and cucumber. This stuck with the citrus flavors from the previous drink and was a little lighter than some of the other options.

(Our bartender from Portland!)

While eating our oysters and sipping our cocktails we noticed that multiple people around the horseshoe shaped bar had the bread and butter ($4) so we had to get it. Especially since Sarah loves butter probably more than anyone I know. The assortment of olive bread, baguette, and wheat bread were served with a seaweed butter. Not what we were expecting. Still good, but we would have been happy with something more herbal versus seaweed-y. 

The entire Williamburg adventure was great. We followed this with a bike ride over to Cobble Hill Cinema to see the movie Chef, which was a sweet and funny story of a father and his son, his family, his passion, and their future together. Basically our day was full of things I would highly recommend!