298 Bedford Avenue
Monday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. (kitchen closes at midnight, oysters available to 1 a.m., bar to 2 a.m., except Thursday — oysters to 2 a.m. and bar to 4 a.m.), Friday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 1 a.m., oysters available to 2 a.m., bar open to 4 a.m.), Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 1 a.m., oysters available to 2 a.m., bar open to 4 a.m.), and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. (kitchen closes at midnight, oysters available to 1 a.m.)
Photo by Nicole Franzen
Boasting the largest and finest selection of oysters is no mean feat in any borough, but Maison Premiere makes it look effortless. On any given day the bivalve selection here can run north of twenty different specimens from both coasts, including connoisseur fare such as Belon oysters from rivers in Maine. But that’s not the reason this restaurant is perpetually packed. As compelling as the shellfish are bartender Maxwell Britten’s cocktails, dapper concoctions served in antique glassware. Then there's the absinthe list — order a pour and enjoy the theatrical ceremony that comes with it. Owners Joshua Boissy (a former model) and Krystof Zizka opened Maison Premiere in 2011, and they created a space that looks like a disregarded soundstage from Boardwalk Empire. Servers sport thin suspenders and heavy tweed pants and wear their hair slicked back, as if they got ready for work in 1920s New Orleans. While Maison's dining room is usually filled with daters sharing seafood, the most lively spot to sit is at the bar, and one of the best times to commandeer a stool is during happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. That's when you'll find $1 oysters, served by the dozen (or several dozen). Be prepared for a wait: The locals know this is one of the best happy-hour deals in Brooklyn, and they line up for it.
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