Maison Premiere’s $1 happy hour oysters have drawn crowds since it opened just more than a year ago, but the brand-new menu now keeps diners lingering. The Brooklyn establishment has just taken on chef Jared Stafford-Hill, former chef at Gramercy Tavern, Craft, Hearth, Bobo, and Union Pacific (now closed), to create a dinner menu to accompany the much-loved oyster selection.
Chef Stafford-Hill composed a tasting menu of his favorite new dishes for The Daily Meal and gave us insight into the creative process. According to the mastermind behind the menu, he first sat down with a spreadsheet of all the seafood he could think of and from there, narrowed the list to 20. "I wanted to give people options," he said.
The menu changes seasonally, so dishes you may love in the summer might vanish next week. Chef Stafford-Hill pointed out an item on the menu. "Pig, peach, and summer truffle," it read. "Yesterday it was apricots, but when I went to the farmers market today, there were no more apricots," the chef told us. So peaches it became.
The menu is constantly tweaked based on what’s available at the market, so diners can be assured that each ingredient is as fresh as it gets. There are just three or four chefs working in the kitchen at any time, and Stafford-Hill is always one of them, ensuring that new ingredients are used properly and that each dish is up to par. When asked how he manages peak hour crowds, he said that every dish is simple and nothing takes longer than eight minutes to make.
The new menu is divided into three parts: small plates, crudo, and dishes chilled on ice. Chilled on ice is the upgraded oyster selection, with each type of seafood served in its shell, seasoned, garnished, and ready to eat. Both the crudo and dishes on ice are small, while the small plates are actually larger and many are cooked. Every dish is beautifully displayed with masterfully placed garnishes and sauce. To top it off, the service is immaculate and the waiters are all knowledgeable about the preparation, flavors, and composition of each dish.
Check out the slideshow to learn more about the chef’s favorite dishes on the menu. If you’re not in the neighborhood for a full meal, however, stake out a seat at the bar for happy hour oysters and creative absinthe cocktails.