An Inside Look: Maison Premiere
The garden in the back is a beautiful place to enjoy Maison Premiere's new seafood dishes. It's green, airy, quiet, and if you're lucky, you get to see the chefs plating food.
The garden is the perfect place to relax after a long day and catch up with friends.
The geoduck clam is hard to find on most seafood menus, but Stafford-Hill knew it would quickly become a guest favorite, and he was right. The geoduck is on the chilled on ice section and is cool, light, and refreshing. It has a unique chewy texture and is evenly flavored with white soy, avocado, and green onions.
Black Sea Bass
The black sea bass crudo is another perfectly balanced dish, served with fennel pollen and tart gooseberries. The fish melts with every bite and hints of sea salt and olive oil linger on the tongue.
The fluke, also on the crudo menu, is a testament to the chef’s insistence on using seasonal vegetables. The summer fluke was served with bits of corn and tomato three times (a sauce, diced pieces, and in gelatin form). It is a simple, elegant, and fresh.
The leek soup is a warm, delightful change of pace. The creamy broth, which is made from leeks and oyster juice, is poured over a bed of mushrooms, potatoes, and shaved truffle at the table and each bite is truly an explosion of flavor. Though the soup is creamy, like every other dish at the restaurant, it is still light, refreshing, and not heavy like most cream-based soups.
The langoustine dish is the chef’s personal favorite, and it is clear why. Langoustines are small lobsters that taste like a cross between a prawn and crayfish. The chef serves Maison Premiere’s langoustines with warm, tender veal sweetbreads in a sweet onion puree and rich langoustine jus, topped with roasted zucchini bits. The dish is packed with flavor and well balanced with the warm, fresh zucchini to pare down the sauces.
A closer look at the langoustine dish reveals how it is meticulously garnished and seasoned so every bite has the perfect combination of flavors.
Absinthe Panna Cotta
Chef Stafford-Hill’s light seafood menu will leave you with plenty room for drinks and dessert. This press dinner was finished off with a boozy treat: absinthe panna cotta. The panna cotta is topped with fresh red strawberries and intensely aromatic wild white strawberries (I could smell the sweet berries as the dessert was brought to the table). The berries sit atop the creamy flavorful panna cotta and a very sweet sauce of strawberry juice and absinthe. Each component balances perfectly with the next: the super sweet sauce punches up the milky panna cotta and the fresh strawberries add a refreshing, textural element to the dessert.
As the night went on, the garden area became more populated. Tables were filled with friends eating and chatting over cocktails, couples sharing oysters, and families enjoying a peaceful early dinner (although pushing the stroller through the pebbles on the ground looked like a struggle).
The bar at the front of the restaurant is a stark contrast to the mellow garden in the back. The bar is bustling and loud, and patrons can be found throwing back oysters, washed down with absinthe drinks.