The sultry, Paris- and New Orleans-inspired saloon reads like a checklist of spectacularly sexy things. Seaweed strewn tiers of succulent oysters, priced to support ordering in obscene amounts — their silken bodies and mineral juices begging to be tipped down the throat in a single, exquisite swallow. Crystal goblets of herbaceous, intoxicating absinthe — anise-scented sworls intermingling with icy drips of water dispensed from a marble and brass fountain. An attractive stable of industrious yet unassuming wait staff — always on the lookout for missing silverware, stray, dirty napkins, or water glasses in need of filling.
And now, there’s even greater reason to linger at one of the elegantly appointed tables, in the verdant, ivy-ringed garden or at the gracefully curved, candlelit bar: the addition of alluring seafood small plates. Artfully curated by former Adour Alain Ducasse chef, Jared Stafford-Hill, each is seemingly designed to trigger the maximum number of pleasure points at all times.
A selection of shimmering, ice-chilled items is the definition of under-the-sea exoticism — geoduck with white soy and avocado, razor clams with chorizo and coco beans, sea urchin with melon. Perfect for sharing with a paramour, each barely-cooked bite encourages a lusty pas de deux of mini shellfish forks — playfully wrestling for the last taste of sea bass crudo with fennel pollen like a culinary version of footsie.
Equally enthralling are the dramatic delivery systems in place for each course — lozenges of meltingly tender fois gras and langoustine are bathed tableside with teeny pitchers of velvet shellfish stock. Lids are lifted on porcelain domes to reveal luxurious pillows of giant scallop — balanced atop smoked cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves; swathed in their heady perfume. Quivering blocks of panna cotta are layered with fiery licks of absinthe, which pools with the reserve juices of a smattering of pure white, pinky-nail sized strawberries.
Needless to say, an evening following a meal at Maison Premiere is best spent in the arms of one you love — or, at the very least, safely within walking distance of a cold shower.
298 Bedford Ave, (347) 335-0446