298 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 335-0446

A recent trip to Williamsburg found myself and a friend wandering into Maison Premiere for what was supposed to be a round of cocktails and which wound up being an entire evening filled with them, skipping dinner. Bedford Avenue is lined wall to wall with bistros, bars, restaurants and boutiques. Maison Premiere sits like an almost abandoned outpost on the block. Of course, it's not abandoned. Not by a long shot.

Inside, we leaned on the wall as we waited for a couple of seats at the bar to open up. There is an entire rear patio area which we didn't use and I can't report on. It's for the people who want food. And by food, I mean oysters. Maison Premiere is half speakeasy, half raw bar. One day, I'll return for some shucked deliciousness, but for now, it was drinks.

For round one, I had a Maison Spring Pimm's Cup. Pimm's, gin, strawberry fennel, lime, and mint. It was damn good. But really, Pimm's cups always are. She ordered the Saint Helena: Aquavit, cane syrup, lemon, champagne, angostura bitters. It was good, but not as good. The whole glass was filled to absolute bursting with ice and, as a result, the drink quickly became watered down.  For round two, we both decided that cocktails with egg whites were the way to go. I went for an Apollo Monk. Pisco, green chartreuse, yellow chartreuse, angostura bitters. She went for the Blind Lemon Jefferson. Del Maguey Vida, Aperol, grapefruit, lemon, egg white, soda. I liked my drink, she hated hers. We traded, and yes, hers was bad. The flavors combined to give it a burned taste. For $13, I forced it down.

The rest of the evening was filled with beer from their small but decent beer list and old fashioneds. We learned that while Maison Premiere looks very cool and is very fun, the best thing to do is to skip their cocktail menu and go with the oldies but the goodies. None of the drinks that we tried were amazing and all of them were expensive. So definitely go, but maybe bring your own recipes with you. As for the oysters, I'll have to come back for that menu.

Our night wound up costing, with tax and tip, somewhere around $150.

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