The original concept of Maison Premiere was to create a classy space that channeled old school New Orleans and Paris by serving an array of oysters, wine, and absinthe cocktails. The Williamsburg restaurant succeeded in all these things, yet something was missing. Enter, chef Jared Stafford-Hill, formerly of Adour Alain Ducasse, Bobo, Hearth, Craft, and Gramercy Tavern.
“I was approached about this place as a place that has been successful in all-oyster format,” said Stafford-Hill. “We started talking about doing more small plates and the idea that I got immediately was to make a seafood list, since there are already extensive oyster, wine, and absinthe lists.”
Now, when you pull up to a quaint iron table in their lush backyard, you cannot only fill your gullet with Golden Mantle and Moonshoal oysters but also with king salmon crudo topped in beets and caviar, sea scallops coated in foie gras, and lobster swimming a sweet corn custard. Stafford-Hillhas also added a non-fish dish to the menu: pig, done three ways and coated with a summery apricot sauce and laced with slivers of truffles.
“The pork was our concession; I thought, if we are going to have a meat dish, let’s have a great meat dish,” said Stafford-Hill. As for the seafood part, the chef added that he got a hold of as much ocean life as he could and decided to showcase their natural flavors. “I put it more in a traditional context, nothing cutting edge, but things that work well and that I wanted to present it in a contemporary, pretty way.”
Maison Premiere still offers the 4 to 7pm $1 oyster happy hour that helped make them famous, but now they have even more on the plate.