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Maison Premiere

Bars, Cocktail bars Williamsburg
4 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Maison Premiere
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
Photograph: Lizz KuehlMaison Premiere
Maison Premiere
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Maison Premiere
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Will S.

Inspired by the elegance and allure of New Orleans, this gorgeous salon—its green walls fogged with a faux patina that suggests decades of Gauloises smoke—is devoted to the twin pleasures of oysters and absinthe: two French Quarter staples with plenty of appeal in Brooklyn.

Absinthe, that mythical anise-flavored liqueur, is the obvious choice to start. There are 19 international varieties of the stuff, best enjoyed as an opalescent brew made by slow-dripping ice water over a sugar cube. But there's even greater sorcery to be found on the trim list of cerebral cocktails, employing lesser known liquors like herbal Aquavit and rich Venezuelan rum. The Carondolet, meanwhile, deploys gin, orange-flower water, citrus and Maldon salt—the salinity draws out the drink's vanilla and honey notes, and makes it a fine match for briny oysters.

It's dangerously easy to be seduced sitting round the oval, marble-topped bar, emptying beau soleil and belon shells—even if the sensuous atmosphere occasionally borders on parody (see: pull-chain toilets in the loo). Though any kitsch is quelled by the truly romantic 1,000-square-foot garden, kitted with iron tables, an outdoor oyster bar, creeping vines, and lush greenery sprouting dreamy wormwood and hyssop. 


Venue name: Maison Premiere
Address: 298 Bedford Ave
Cross street: between Grand and South 1st Sts
Opening hours: Daily 4pm–4am
Transport: Subway: L to Bedford Ave; J,M,Z to Marcy Ave
Price: Average drink: $9. AmEx, MC, V
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

I absolutely love the design, fashion and flavour of this gem! The Cocktail program is out of the world. A well deserved 5 star, James Beard Award winner for best cocktail program in America 2017. The food is also top shelf! Sip it @siptips 


Is the vibe a little pretentious? Yes. Are the bartenders dressed like pompous assholes? Yes. Would I recommend going here? Absolutely.

Even with all of its frills and gimmicks, there's a reason Maison Premiere is one of the best bars in the city. If you're looking for a spot to grab happy hour with your finance bros, keep looking. If you're looking to pull up a stool with a good friend/S.O. and try a drink you've never had before and will probably not see elsewhere, you're in the right place.

The aforementioned bartenders, despite their suspenders and bowties, are god damn surgeons with a cocktail. "Bespoke" is probably the biggest buzzword for cocktail bars these days, but few places actually live up to the label. I won't bother recommending anything, because a) you like what you like, and b) you really can't go wrong here.

No surprise it's usually packed to the gills. But they only let you in if you can be seated, so it keeps the place from becoming a mob scene (also, drinks this good take time, and it's probably not ideal for the bartenders if there are a dozen people waving money in their face). So put your name down, grab a starter drink around the corner at Iona while you wait, and enjoy your night. 


Great bar experience. Formal and intimate atmosphere with knowledgeable staff. Traditional absinthe service, and fresh seafood specials. Best to reserve in advance.

I have only been here for drinks, not even to try the oysters. My friend and I went around 8 on a Friday night and were seated immediately. The place is beautiful and really romantic: low lighting, staff dressed in Prohibition-period clothes, a wooden horseshoe bar in the front room...Unless you're eating, too, I wouldn't wait too long to have drinks here. I ordered two cocktails, and while they were both delicious and elaborately decorated, they were so sweet that I could feel the impending hangover. And you sort of have to put up with the pomp that comes with being there, so it's not exactly a bar where you can sit with drinks for hours.

I had an evening here I would describe as the most Williamsburg evening of my life. We put our name in for a table and they quoted us an hour wait, which turned into a two-and-a-half hour wait without communication from the hostesses about this extreme underestimation. Once we finally got in the drinks were delicious, the food was okay, and the waiters were pretty rude. BUT I went there another evening with my mother and we had a long extravagant meal with a million smart details told to us by our lovely waiter who knew absolutely everything about the menu and was happy to talk about it. My mom and I both got very drunk and were very happy. That being said, I think twice was enough for me here. There's a lot of places to go with a lot less hassle. 

Love freshly shucked oysters and expertly made drinks? Duck out of work a little early to snag happy hour prices during the week. There’s an oyster shucking station in back, a rounded, beautiful bar in front, and plenty of nooks to settle in for awhile. Absinthe is the drink of choice here, but if you prefer not to drink the Green Fairy straight, there’s a refreshing, summery absinthe colada to try. Prefer to skip absinthe altogether? A Pimm’s Cup variation gets a strong backbone from Aperol and Campari-laced sugarcane, while a house sherry cobbler combines five styles of the wine with lemon and blueberry jam.

Did not had a chance to try food or wine at this venue. Yesterday in this half emty restorant full off waiters and half of an hour time waiting for a bottle of wine my romantic brunch had become a comedy. Best place for divorce scene!!! Yee.. to dont mention very williamsburgsien!

Long wait, only to increase the hype, they write your name down (on an iPad) and later let 'others' bypass you since 'their look' are more of hipster then yours? Really? We found 2 far better bars with no pretentiousness a few blocks without all this fake marketing strategy!