Maison Premiere, a classy, New Orleans–style oyster house and cocktail bar in Williamsburg, serves up one of the best happy hour deals in all of Brooklyn: Fresh oysters from around the country at only a dollar apiece. CHOW.com Contributing Editor Liza de Guia filed the following report.
Walking in to Maison Premiere, you feel like you’re entering a movie scene: dark antique lighting, tarnished mirrors, worn-in wood floors and stools. Even the staff looks casted: perfect hair, perfect red lipstick, perfectly-styled wardrobes: All working to the beat of old school jazz. For me, it’s one of the best places to explore oysters in New York City, especially during Oyster Happy Hour.
From 4-7 p.m., Monday through Friday, 20 of the 33 oysters on their full daily menu make it to happy hour for nothing more than a buck. You squeeze into a seat, casually peruse and pencil in your choices, and while you catch-up over well-crafted cocktails, their shuckers get to work on building your dollar oyster tower.
According to co-owners Josh Boissy and Krystof Zizka they shuck up to 14,000 oysters for customers per week. And the variety is outstanding, featuring a wide selection of East Coast, West Coast and Canadian Oysters from the 30 oyster farms they source from directly. I loved the briny but sweet Cotuits from Massachusetts, the creamy, cucumber-y Malaspinas from British Columbia and the Cape May Salt oysters from New Jersey that had a beautiful bright finish and bite. And from the amount of liquor in each oyster you can tell just how fresh they are.
If you come for cocktails, just note, happy hour prices don’t apply but they’re worth it. I recommend trying their Carondelet with your oysters. It’s an elegant, well-balanced cocktail with crushed lemon juice, lime juice, a special honey syrup and gin. And if you like absinthe, their premium collection from around the world is worth a closer look too.
Just be warned, Oyster Happy Hour is no secret in the neighborhood and it can get pretty crowded, so get there between 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. to guarantee a seat.
Maison Premiere is located at 298 Bedford Avenue between South 1st and Grand Street in Brooklyn.
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