Out on the Rue de Bedford…Williamsburg circa 1920 (I mean 2011), there’s a place where the maitre’d still wears a suit, where every detail, even the smallest, is attended to with upmost alacrity. The place? Maison Premiere. Its raison d’être? Oysters and Absinthe.
Dizzy Gillespie blasts quietly in the background and the lights are carefully dimmed, our host ensures that the room is not too bright, nor music too loud. Just right. Drinks are served, mine they call “Eastern Promises,” a tall glass of iced Coffee & Cardamom Bourbon, Palo Cortado Sherry, Condensed Milk, Demerara. Our oysters arrive in rapid succession, we’ve chosen to go bicoastal, half east and half west. The crustaceans are impeccably fresh - clean, briny and bright. All very good, the East Ends are my favorite of today’s offerings.
The maitre’d checks in to make sure we’re comfortable and content. We are. He tells us a little about the oysters and mentions that all of the bar’s windows are constructed out of refitted glass from the Flatiron building, repurposed to reflect Brooklyn’s evening light upon our crystal bivalves.
Our absinthe drinks arrive and things begin to get hazy, servers hustle as the room begins to swell with patrons. Buckets of chopped ice are shuffled into the bar, the ballet reaches fever pitch and we have front row seats.
Our waitress asks if we’d like another round of oysters, and drawn in by the sultry atmosphere of this place, we are happy to oblige…