Category Archives: Drinks & Apps

Izakaya Ten: a quaint Japanese gem in no-man’s land

izakaya ten

When most people think of 10th avenue, I’m guessing that the thought of great restaurants doesn’t come to mind. But if you creep up north of 20th street, there are quite a few dark horses that I wish I had discovered sooner, one of which is a called Izakaya Ten. Izakayas are Japanese drinking establishments that also serve food. Here, despite the late hours (they close at 3am!) I would never have considered food as an afterthought. The menu is chalk full of goodies. And the energy that a boozey-focus brings solves the problem of the dreary, awkwardly quiet atmosphere of typical sushi bars. Izakaya Ten teleports you from a wide, uncharacteristic avenue to a restaurant you’d expect to find on a side street in Tokyo (or Korea? there’s kim chi). It’s got energy. It’s got hard alcohol. It has massive hand written, animé style menus. There’s music playing. And because it’s so tiny, you really feel like you’re enjoying the experience together along with the patrons around you.

I came here expecting a long list of sushi, but no, the goods go beyond sliced seafood. Yes, there’s a few selections of raw fish (we ordered most of them (the spicy tuna donburi, the sashimi plate, and the toro tuna belly seared over rice), but it’s the small plates of cooked food that really got me going. And as the sake kept pouring, we lost all shame in incessantly ordering more food: shishito peppers, a crispy cod roe rice ball wrapped in seaweed, another crispy rice ball with salmon, the chilled Japanese eggplant in broth, the savory, decadent jumbo shumai, the kara age (ginger deep-fried chicken), and of course, the special fried soft shell crab. In addition to the uniqueness of the menu, the icing on the cake was the attentive Australian server who feigned to be happy to answer our constant requests for more sake and more food.

 

kara age

softshell crab

softshell crab

rice ball!

rice ball!

 

 

We were lucky to walk in on a Friday night at 8pm and get a table right away, but it would have been worth the wait. Izakaya Ten is the perfect place for a fun dinner for a group of up to 4 people, or even for a more eventful, share-plate style date. It can get expensive if you don’t reign in the ordering, but it’s a place you want to arrive hungry and uninhibited. I can’t wait to take advantage of the fact that I’m walking distance to this spot!

Grade: A+
Location: 207 10th Ave btwn 22nd and 23rd Streets 
Website

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Filed under Asian, Barbecue, Chelsea, Drinks & Apps, Erin's Favorites, Fun Group Dinner, Japanese

Beekman Beer Garden & The Butterfly: two contrasting watering holes

I’m making a point to try interesting NYC bars because lately, with the impending move, I’m living every remaining day in New York like it’s my last. Last week, I trekked down in the pouring rain to attend my friend Princess’s surprise birthday party at Beekman Beer Garden at South Street Seaport. I assume all places on the water in this area are massive tourist traps, and while most of them are, Beekman Beer Garden proved to be an absolutely legit spot for outdoor drinking. The place is literally just inches from the water with an absolutely gorgeous view of the Brooklyn Bridge that gets more dramatic as the night (and drinking) goes on. The outdoor space is massive, with half of it laid out for those who want more of a beachy vibe (sand on the floor, white umbrellas), and the other half for more of a corporate crowd that wants an awning over their head and comfortable seating. Our group stuck it out in the rain on the sandy side under the white umbrellas. The best part about this place aside from the view is the massive bar that wraps around the entire edge of the outdoor space, so I never had to wait more than a second for a drink order. The worst part about this place? The food. I made the mistake of arriving hungry, ordered an $8 quesadilla from what looked like a trailer park kitchen and was left with cold chicken, frozen sour cream and old jarred salsa. It was pretty much disgusting. So, come here for a night of boozing with friends with a gorgeous, only-in-NYC kind of view, but don’t expect high quality cocktails or grub (or a really nice bathroom).

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beekman

erin photo

holding the birthday girl @ Beekman

Later last week, after I came across this article on SeriousEats, I had an undying incentive to see what Michael White’s The Butterfly was all about. The food looked to die for and so did the cocktails. One flip through that slideshow and I was ready for action. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I was instantly disappointed by the lack of energy in the place. It may be the low, slowly revolving ceiling fans, lack of music, or retro decor that threw me off, but something about the place just didn’t scream “let’s drink!” to me. I sat at the tiki-like bar and ordered a Paloma, one of the more interesting drinks on the menu with tequila, grapefruit, and some kind of aperol foam that I later read was created with a soy protein. Despite the bartender’s claim that it wouldn’t be sweet, it was freaking more sugary than a pixie stick. The foam tasted like tropical fruit medicine, and I couldn’t avoid it to get the drink underneath. He noticed my discomfort and offered a mojito, which I gladly accepted. Props for good service. I didn’t have the chance to order the food, and although it looks hearty and interesting, I doubt I’ll be back. Ambiance is (almost) everything to me and I just felt awkward in the relatively empty space with tons of servers watching my every move. Maybe it was just the early start time.

thebutterfly01

The Butterfly storefront

The best kind of bar for me is one that has great drinks, solid food, and the perfect atmosphere for my mood, which often changes. That’s why Rusty Knot still reigns supreme. My search for other great bars continues…

Beekman Beer Garden
Grade:
A-

The Butterfly
Grade: B

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Gran Electrica, El Toro Blanco & ABC Cocina: a sampling of modern Latin American fare

Beans, cheese, guacamole
I miss San Fran Mexican
Still can’t get enough.

I’ve been on a Mexican whirlwind lately because, well, I am actually always on a Mexican whirlwind. These past few weeks I’ve sampled some of the most popular Latin American restaurants to date, and while I was overall underwhelmed by my experiences, there were definitely some standout dishes that may entice me to return…should the opportunity present itself.

Of the three, ABC Cocina was definitely the standout. My visit here was very happenstance. I had a satisfying dinner of a juicy kobe beef cheese burger  at ABC Kitchen with my boyfriend, and then we both realized that Jean George’s new restaurant was just across the way. We asked to see the menu, and boom, the next thing we know we were eating our dessert in the form of Latin American appetizers (though note that Chef JG describes this food as “a fusion of tradition and innovation combining yesterday and tomorrow”…). The disappointment was the flavorless, gummy fried peekey-toe crab and corn fritters with chipotle mayo, which I pretended to enjoy as JG nervously walked by (investors must have been in the house). What made up for it were bright and impeccably flakey sweet pea empanadas with yogurt and the delicate sauteed mushroom tacos. The cocktails were absolutely amazing and, as promised, inventive. I had the gin and coconut water, which was served up with ginger in an ice cold martini glass. The energy in the restaurant is vibrant and sexy, and the rest of the menu looks divine so I hope to return for a more honest experience (as opposed to a post-cheese-burger evaluation).

Inside

Inside

peeky toe crab fritters

peeky toe crab fritters

green pea empanadas - delicious!

green pea empanadas – delicious!

I’d say the second best was Gran Electrica in adorable Dumbo, where I literally was able to try almost everything given I was going with a chef and restaurateur for “research” (thank God). Unfortunately the garden was wet and unattainable the evening we went, so I didn’t even get to experience their most attractive asset. On top of that, the double-sided chips were stale, the guacamole was over-smashed and monotonous with minimal “mix-ins”, and the flautas de pollo with salsa verde, though actually quite taste and bright, were served cold. That said, there were things that I loved, like the verduras en escabeche (pickled vegetables), the light romaine salad, the creamy, havarti filled and steamed chile rilleno, the deeply flavorful Frijoles de la Olla (black beans with oregano and queso fresco) and the quesadilla setas stuffed with oyster mushroom, queso fresco and jalapeno. The refreshing Tostada Jaiba, with peekytoe crab, lime, citrus and avocado, was inventive, crispy, and well-balanced, but the tacos overall were low on the flavor scale and just underwhelming. The tres leches cake, hiding a ring of pineapple and served with excruciatingly sweet caramel, was no where near as good as that of La Esquina’s. If you go to Dumbo for your Mexican food, I’d say save it for a day where you can sip margaritas on Gran Electrica’s back porch and focus on the more interesting dishes as opposed to what might be your go-to taco.

outside

outside

my favorite, crab tostada

my favorite, crab tostada. the perfect light meal

carnitas

carnitas

yes, we ordered this. flavorless and insanely overwhelming

yes, we ordered this. flavorless and insanely overwhelming

awesome salad

awesome salad

fish tacos

fish tacos

Of the three, El Toro Blanco was the most underwhelming food and scene-wise. At 9:30pm on a Saturday, the place was almost empty, and despite their attempt at setting the scene with darkness and music, it just feels a little stale. The chips are served in white bowls, the energy dipped early – it strikes me as the Mexican restaurant for an older crowd. The menu has some interesting options. The tostada chopped salad was actually pretty delicious, filled with romaine, tomato, black beans, corn, avocado, cilantro, chips and lime vinaigrette, and the grilled swordfish tacos and shortrib empanadas were tasty (albeit sweet), but I didn’t finish the meal super excited about my experience. The Sonoran cheese crisp, which was an open faced quesadilla with tomato, tasted like the homemade pizzas I make at home with grocery-store tortillas. The chocolate cake with mini churros and ice cream I do remember being pretty addictive though. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed my meal here, I just wouldn’t come racing back when I know I can get an even more exciting Mexican experience at the $5 per taco Dos Toros.

inside

inside

quesadilla - crispy but nothing genius

quesadilla – crispy but nothing genius

My conclusion? Nothing has changed, I still love Mexican food and on most nights would prefer any of these restaurants over that serving any other food group. But against all Mexican / Latin American restaurants I’ve tried in this city (and around the states), I wouldn’t say these ones jump out at me. I’d love to give ABC Cocina another go-round when their “booked for 31 days straight” status simmers down.

ABC Cocina Grade: A-
Gran Electrica Grade: B+
El Toro Blanco Grade: B-

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Filed under Brooklyn, Chelsea, Drinks & Apps, Flatiron, Fun Group Dinner, Greenwich Village, Mexican, Noteworthy Noshes, West Village

Chez Sardine: pricey, carefully portioned Japanese

Picture 5

I did it. I finally did it. Last Sunday night, inspired by the lack of crowd outside the highly coveted Chez Sardine, I unexpectedly dove right in determined to check this place off my bucket list. I sat at the sushi bar, excited by all of the interesting combinations and the miso-maple salmon head, a dish that has been praised by my friends and fellow bloggers alike. Hipster waiters in high top converse were very attentive, bringing a complimentary pickeled daikon salad to start the meal. And while the maple-wooden space is pristine and beautiful, the food just didn’t impress. While the sushi arrived so beautifully plated and sounded so intriguing (as they should for $5-$7 a tiny piece) – hamachi with chicarron and ginger, mackerel with leek and potatoes, smoked arctic char with spicy rice – they oddly lacked flavor, and were no more exciting than the several pieces I can get for this price at my local sushi spot down the street. The spicy tuna hand roll was thin and skimpy – not what I wanted on an empty stomach. I waited for the salmon head to arrive to take my breath away, but after minutes of peeling away skin and fat to get to a microscopic piece of edible meat overdosed in miso paste, I gave up. I decided to stop my order right there and head home.

miso salmon

$70 later, I was disappointed that all that I had hoped and dreamed of regarding Chez Sardine (considering this group’s other restaurants I love – Montmartre, Joseph Leonard, Fedora….) was blown to pieces. I would come back to try the buttered caviar toast, but only on someone else’s dime. Coming here hungry and with hopes to spend conservatively was torture. I’d save your sushi cravings for Momoya in Chelsea.

Grade: C+
Location: 183 West 10th Street @ West 4th street
Website

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Montmartre: kicking off Chelsea’s fine food expansion

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When I pulled up to the busy thoroughfare of 8th Ave and 18th in Chelsea, I have to admit I was not excited to be there. To me, the few blocks north of my workplace represent quick service chain restaurants, pizza shops, and my cheap manicure salon -– not stand out cuisine. And while the Montmartre space itself is narrow, the bar is not very spacious (like all Joseph Leonard team restaurants), and it’s not a spot for those hard of hearing (I was yelling for most of the dinner), the food was some of the best I’ve had in a while at a new NYC restaurant.

We started with the chicken liver, which came generously spread atop a thick piece of country bread. The liver mousse was just the right texture – not too smooth, just enough roughness to make it interesting. The white asparagus salad totally reminded me of something that would come out of SPQR in SF, and came as one thick poached asparagus on top of a delicious puree topped with salty crispy ham. I’m usually skeptical to order raw fish when I’m trying to branch out, but the Hamachi here is unique in preparation and flavor – thick slices wrapped around a tartar topped with diced apple and a delicate vinaigrette.

hamachi (photo from SeriousEats.com)

hamachi (photo from SeriousEats.com)

There was a ton on the menu I would have loved to try for my main course, but I chose the smoked and roasted chicken because it sounded so intriguing with such a bare bones description. It may have been one of the most interesting chicken dishes I’ve had. And, the kitchen was even nice enough to plate a half order of the ricotta gnocchi with morels and hazelnuts that I just couldn’t resist, which ended up tasting like little clouds of heaven.

amazing ricotta gnocchi

amazing ricotta gnocchi

smoked and roasted chicken

smoked and roasted chicken

This place is very reminiscent of some of the inventive ingredient-focused restaurants that cover San Francisco (SPQR, Heirloom, Rich Table), and I absolutely love it. It could actually be one of my favorites for unique food in a familiar setting. So maybe middle of Chelsea isn’t so bad afterall. And maybe, since it’s not in the haven of wonder that is the West Village, it will be more amenable to walk-ins.

Grade: A
Location: 158 Eighth Ave., nr. W. 18th St
Website: (which I love)

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John Dory Oyster Bar: fish bowls & parker house rolls

oyster

I went to the original John Dory Oyster Bar when it opened right next to Del Posto for about a year. It was good, but I don’t recall it being mind-blowing. Unfortunately, I had a similar experience at the relatively new Gramercy location last week. The space is uniquely aquatic, bold with beautiful fish tanks high above the bar, an ornate oyster shucking station, black tiled walls, eclectic fish art and bright blue and green cushioned high stools. But while I usually love everything stamped with April Bloomfield’s approval, I was underwhelmed by the food and frustrated by the horribly inefficient service. And despite all the hype surrounding its opening, the space emptied out by 11pm – a shocker for any NYC restaurant on a Saturday night.

While our waiter was friendly, young, and passionate about his oysters, the wait time between placing our order and receiving the food was astoundingly long. Fortunately, early on in the meal I had devoured two warm, fluffy parker house rolls glistening with golden butter, which come 3 per $4 order.  The plates then came out at a snail’s pace, one at a time: oysters, razor clam ceviche (never again), an oddly textured semolina soup, chorizo stuffed squid, a lobster roll, and an odd dish called kedgeree, which is essentially a mixture of butter, rice and fish. While the chorizo stuffed squid, the shoestring fries and the oysters were expectingly tasty, everything else irked me for one reason or another. The lobster roll was smothered in mayonnaise, and I am still having nightmares about the razor clam ceviche. Slimy. Wet. Gross. Though, to be fair, I don’t think I would have enjoyed raw clams in any setting, so I don’t blame John Dory Oyster Bar for this.

JohnDory_Parkerhouse-Rolls

parker house rolls

chorizo stuffed squid

chorizo stuffed squid

nightmarish clams

nightmarish clams

mayo-roll

mayo-roll

So, given that the food wasn’t fabulous, I likely won’t head back uptown for my oyster fix – I’m quite content with Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village. But, if you’re in the market for the most delicious rolls you’ll ever taste, and want to be in a unique space away from the bustle of downtown, John Dory Oyster Bar has your name written all over it!

Grade: C+
Location: 1196 Broadway @ 29th
Website

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Filed under Business Meal, Drinks & Apps, Fun Group Dinner, Gramercy, Seafood

Buvette: tiny plates in a tiny space; grand experience

buvette

It make sense that the website URL of this French “gastrotheque” is “ilovebuvette.com,” because I’ve probably said that aloud a dozen times since it opened. In the last week, I was lucky to have two engagements that required no more than small plates and delicious wine, and I was reminded why Buvette is always the perfect place for this type of occasion. It’s not that the food is life-changing – there are definitely stand-outs, like the hot cast iron pot of Coq au Vin, or the thick country bread covered in heaps of stracchino cheese and plump sun-dried tomatoes – but its attentive, unparalleled design is all-consuming. Every detail works together to create a world of rustic French elegance, like the mini card-stock menus engraved like gorgeous wedding invitations, the limited cocktail list, the miniature forks, the delicate round water glasses, the silver trays adorning the ceiling, the wooden bar stools, the tin cans of oil, the tart tatin covered with aggressive scoops of whipped cream sliding down the side and the French servers bustling behind the bar. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, except I’ve been teleported to Paris in another era.

buvette

buvette

photo from ilovebuvette.com

photo from ilovebuvette.com

cassoulet

coq au vin

Things get hectic here,  but it’s worth the experience and the servers have their routine down. If you can manage tight quarters and miniaturized utensils (in other words, you’re not claustrophobic or particularly big and tall), then I highly recommend you visit Buvette for your next “sit-at-the-bar” meal.

Grade: A-
Location: 42 Grove Street btwn Bleecker and Bedford 
Website

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Filed under Affordable Date, Drinks & Apps, Erin's Favorites, French, Romantic Date, West Village

Morandi: the consummate bustling brasserie-style Italian meal

2532849192_b14a7f234c

Keith McNally has his formula down right. No matter what the cuisine, his restaurants are jam-packed, lively, loud, wide open and all operated like well-oiled machines. His reservation line is centralized, his hosts are professionals at gauging wait times, and menus, drinks, bread baskets, and food comes out like clockwork. If you’re working here, there’s no room for friendly chit chat. It’s “here are the specials, I’ll be back, okay what would you like, is everything okay, here are the dessert menus, would you like anything else, here is the check,” and “thank you for dining with us.”

So, it may not be the most personal or intimate experience – his places are not for the volume sensitive – but damn his food is always straight forward and spot on. Last night at Morandi, after copious amounts of bread and olive oil, I enjoyed every (over-priced) dish that I tasted. The crispy fried artichokes, mozzarella with speck and figs, apple fennel salad with sheep’s milk cheese, broccoli rabe bruschetta, fettucine with shrimp, kale and squash, apple crepes with ice cream and the cookie plate were all hits. The standout however, was something sent out by the chef – hot, utterly crisp wedges of fried polenta with a ceramic dish of baccala covered in black truffles. Now, baccala never sounds good to me – salt cod mushed together with oil and a few other things – but this had huge flakes of fish and tasted like heaven atop the sensually smooth triangles of polenta. Buttery, salty, divine.

inside view (from Timeout NY)

inside view (from Timeout NY)

IMG_2031

fried artichokes

perfectly soft mozzarella with figues and speck

perfectly soft mozzarella with figues and speck

IMG_2035

bruscetta, salad, and wine in a basket (my favorite)

broccoli rabe close up

IMG_2037

decadent fried polenta with chunky baccala and truffles
IMG_2036

fettuccine – slightly overcooked noodles but subtly buttery and delicious

apple crepes with mascarpone ice cream

apple crepes with mascarpone ice cream

IMG_2038

absolutely unnecessary cookie plate, but dainty and tasty nonetheless

Prices are high for an Italian restaurant ($30+ entrees), but come for the energy, the unquestionably solid food, the variety, and the feeling of being alive (unless you ate as much as I did and have to hail a cab for a 3 block walk).

Grade: A
Location: 211 Waverly Place
Website

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The Marrow: Herold’s take on elevated Eastern European

marrow

For some reason I’m turned off by words like “bratwurst” and “pickled herring” when I’m perusing a menu. It’s not that I don’t love German food (though never in my life will I eat herring again), I’m just a sucker for the standard mozzarella or crostini options that make my eyes light up when I find them. Fortunately, Herold Dieterle’s new restaurant in the West Village does a great job of marrying the best of both worlds – a little pasta or vitello tonato here, a little cold sausage and pretzel dumpling soup there. In fact, the menu is so diverse that some might interpret it as a restaurant identity crisis.  But if it’s ever difficult to understand the dominant cuisine of a place, just analyze the bread, and here, mini pretzel rolls with mustard make it clear that while there are a number of italian touches, German food reigns supreme.

IMG_2021

pretzel roll – could have been slightly softer.

Marrow 75

Marrow 75 (photo from SeriousEats)

For such a new restaurant, the service was noticeably remarkable throughout – I couldn’t believe I was permitted to sit at the table before my boyfriend arrived and that I was able to taste so many wines before selecting.  I started out by sipping a stiff Marrow 75 cocktail with gin, sage, lemon, and sparkling wine, and was soon tipsy enough to order with absolutely no inhibitions – meaning, we got a lot of food. We started with an amazingly fresh, lightly acidic dungeness crab salad, baccala gnudi with pine nuts and raisins, and a skillet braised cuttlefish with guanciale and white wine. The refreshing crab salad balanced out the hearty buttery-ness of the cuttle fish and gnudi, but all three dishes were beautifully plated and well-seasoned. The soft, melt in your moth fish-ricotta dumplings were my favorite – and while I generally don’t like fruit in my savory food, the plump sweet raisins totally complemented the subtle seafood flavors in the dish.

Then came round 2. The stone bass “vitello tonato” was beautifully cooked – tender white fish, crisp white skin, and a luscious veal-tuna sauce on the base of the plate. We also made an adventurous choice of the $30 roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, which essentially looked like a massive shrub with a bounty of other vegetables, but tasted as good as a mass of hearty, crispy and juicy mushroom could. I think if I ate the entire thing I would have exploded – who knew mushrooms could be so rich? The cotechino with lentils
was meaty, salty and dense – an interesting take on sausage and lentils but apparently an italian tradition. We ended the meal with a decadent portion of chocolate budino, which was served with whipped mascarpone cream and a salty hazelnut brittle that I took it upon myself to use as a spoon.

baccala gnudi

baccala gnudi

cuttlefish

cuttlefish

cotechino - photo from SeriousEats

cotechino – photo from SeriousEats

The food had a few things in common: all very savory and flavorful (only 1 or 2 of the dishes were a tad too salty), never before seen (in my life time), and all very delicious. But while food is generally why we go out to restaurants, ambience is a huge factor in my love for a place as well. The space here fits the food – daring wall paper, bold colors, warm lighting – but let’s just say I wouldn’t be happy to be seated in the long narrow expanse that leads to the bathroom. Unfortunately the massive windows look onto a deserted street and add a coldness to an otherwise charming, intimate space. Either way, the food is enough to bring me back, but it’s easy to rack up a bill here so it’ll likely be for a special occasion.

Grade: A-
Location: 99 Bank Street @ Greenwich Street
Website 

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Filed under Business Meal, Drinks & Apps, German, Italian, West Village

Maison Premiere: dainty seafood in New Orleans’ fashion

My favorite thing about Maison Premiere in Williamsburg is not necessarily its food or its cocktails, but its ability to transcend time and create a feeling truly reflective of an 19th century New Orleans’ absinthe house mixed with a classic Paris-cafe. An unassuming storefront with french country doors, wooden stools, leather booths, a gorgeous marble bar, waiters with curly moustaches, gold-leaf monogrammed white china, and a pull-flush toilet show the owners’ incredible attention to detail in creating a fully-orchestrated experience for their customers. The restaurant was formerly known for its cocktails, but with a new chef and a robust seafood-stocked menu, there’s much more to be found than a long list of absinthe drinks.

dining room bar

seafood (photo from website gallery)

Bar it may be, but Maison Premiere’s food is nothing short of refined. My seafood plateau included an oyster with caviar, sea urchin with gaspacho, scallop with pear and horseradish, razor clam with celery root and apple, bay scallops with lemon grass and thai basil, and geoduck with white soy and avocado. My perfectly coiled raw Alaskan King Salmon with caviar and creme fraiche tasted like the most sophisticated version possible of my dad’s favorite lox and bagel breakfast.  The Lobster with sunchoke, chestnut, and custard was absolutely divine – a large white pot with creamy, soothing lobster broth and hearty chunks of lobster was the perfect thing to finish off my $3 order of home-baked bread and seaweed butter. Don’t expect anything but the raw oysters to be served traditionally here – my autumn salad, which was written sans description on the menu, arrived as a beautifully composed dome of fruit and lettuces, unlike any salad I’ve seen before. Dessert was just as eclectic – the rum-soaked cake and the absinthe panna cotta tasted shockingly more alcoholic than my wine, but the coffee pot de creme balanced out the oddities. And with dirty martinis and wine throughout, I left the restaurant feeling like I had quite a trip to the old bayou where alcohol induced artists and writers were the quintessential product of the times.

Smoked Alaskan King Salmon (photo c/o SeriousEats.com)

sea urchin close up (photo c/o seriouseats.com)

lobster with custard

oyster platter

Everything about Maison Premiere is intricately thought out, from the menu’s vintage font to each plate’s well-incorporated flavors. This is not a place for greasy food and brew. Come here only if you’re craving an experience – not a meal – of perfectly measured cocktails and delicate food in a hipster meets 19th century enclave. I commend this place not only for the inventive seafood, but for also staying true to the perfectly measured Maison Premiere brand. I’ll definitely be back for next season’s menu.

Grade: A
Location: 298 Bedford Ave between South 1st and Grand Street

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Filed under Brooklyn, Drinks & Apps, Romantic Date, Seafood, Southern