Brooklyn by the Half Shell
Brooklyn by the Half ShellSeptember 17, 2012
In honor of oyster season, we’re spotlighting Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, Brooklyn—a belle époch-styled cocktail den with a New Orleans feeling that’s arguably one of the best places for fresh-shucked in all five boroughs.
The day’s fresh catch are listed thin sheets of sepia paper and the bivalves are global, flown in from Vancouver, the coast of New England, London, and beyond. You can order per shell by simply marking your selections with the provided pencil, taking your time and an occasional sip off a perfectly made Death in the Afternoon cocktail. It’s okay to daydream that Ernest Hemingway might stroll through the door at any moment. Everyone else is likely doing the same.
To achieve the bar’s authentic-looking appearance, the owners took countless trips to New Orleans and poured over hundreds of old bar photographs from the 1850s for inspiration.
If you can make it before the weather turns chilly, opt for a seat in the back garden. The open-air patio is a carefully curated experience, where Boston ferns, Mandevilla vines, and trailing hibiscus create natural walls along wrought iron trellises. The lively conversation of vested waitstaff and the sound of shells cracking open against rough knives is truly music to live by.
The kind gentlemen behind this amazing oyster house and absinthe bar were generous enough to share their secret for straightforward oyster mignonette. Bottoms Up!
Classic Mignonette Recipe
Courtesy of Maison Premiere, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
½ cup of red wine vinegar
⅛ cup of shallots, chopped
2 tbsp. of crushed black pepper
¼ tsp. of sugar
Mix all ingredients in a glass or plastic container and let sit for at least 30 min. The longer you let the shallots sit in the vinegar, they will absorb more of the flavors of the red wine vinegar and black pepper.
Note: Do not chop the shallots too finely. You want the dice large enough to offer a bite and crunch to the liquid.