This French and American joint just opened up about three weeks ago in the Williamsburg / Greenpoint area. A preview write-up that I saw recently showed some very promising menu items (I’ll get to those soon), and it just so happened that a friend of ours secured a reservation for us to give it a try.
The first thing my wife and I did was try cocktails at the bar. Both of these were pretty damn good.
Since these are the same folks behind Maison Premiere, the starter menu is here raw bar -forward, with offerings like uni, oysters and crab. We went with the uni and “queen crab” items.
The uni was very nice, but one of our four pieces was a bit lame in size and lacked flavor – it even had a funky smell to it. In the photo below, that one is on the upper right, slightly out of focus. When we asked about it, the waitress pretty much said that this is how it came out of the shell, and not much they could do about it. Bummer.
The bigger disappointment was the “queen crab,” which was essentially just a few very overpriced, chilled snow crab legs. Bummer II: The Return of Bummer. Skip this item, as you’re probably better off getting snow crab legs as some kind of cheap-ass, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
We were excited to see sunchokes on the menu, as these are some of my favorite root veggies around. They weren’t as great as I’d hoped, but I was happy to chow down on some anyway. Son of Bummer: The Vendetta Begins.
Okay so now that the negative bummers are out of the way, let’s get to the outstanding and overwhelming positives. First, this squid ink garganelli pasta dish:
This shit was expertly crafted and cooked perfectly. It was dressed deftly with a light, slightly chunky tomato and squid sauce and garnished with celery leaves. Absolutely delicious.
But as a meat fanatic, these next two dishes will have me pining for an inconvenient journey on both the M and G trains back into parts of Brooklyn that I barely knew existed and to which I have no real desire to ever go.
First, this pig’s head confit.
There are only a handful of places doing this here in the city (one of which is Marc Forgione). This version was completely de-boned, so you can just fork and knife the shit out of this and eat everything you see on the plate. Let no part of the face go to waste! It’s super crispy all over, and underneath the crackly pig skin face lies a soft, tender meat that’s abundantly entwined with a savory and succulent fatty pig jelly. Fuck yeah, you should order this when you come here. It comes with grilled peach and sweet beans.
Just when I thought I couldn’t be happier about the meat product offerings here, out comes the tomahawk rib eye for two.
This fucker hails from Niman Ranch and is processed and aged by DeBragga on the east coast. It’s a 52-day dry aged and 32+ ounce hunk of tender, juicy and beefily flavorful steak, the likes of which are nearly unrivaled in all of Brooklyn.
Now, I do think it is a bit small, being listed on the menu “for two” at $135, however the quality here is definitely worth at least some kinf of upcharge (unlike the steak at Pasquale Jones). For that reason, and for the reason that this is grilled rather than seared in a pan for a better crust, I have to take one point away and give it a 9/10.
We almost had a massive disappointment, however. When the steak first came out it was overcooked. I almost never do this, but as a group we decided to send it back, considering how much we were about to drop on this meal. We were happy to be met with a very understanding staff who agreed with our assessment and went above and beyond to make it right. What came back to us was perfect rare plus or medium rare. I very special thanks to the GM, Julian, for taking care of us on this. He was a fantastic host.
I didn’t take pics of the overcooked steak, so all the shit you see here is from the actual steak that we ate. I hope the staff got to eat our overcooked steak, or a homeless bum or something. It would suck if it got thrown out. They offered it to us for free, but we didn’t want to taint the experience with a mistakenly overdone steak.
The shameful part was that the table next to us ordered their tomahawk well done on purpose. WELL DONE! What a colossal waste of good, expertly raised and brilliantly aged beef. Too bad we couldn’t have coordinated with them ahead of time. They could have taken our overcooked steak and ruined it a little more so it was to the other table’s liking.
Anyway, the steak comes with a fire roasted onion and some nice woods mushrooms on the side.
They also gave us a little asparagus salad on the house when the corrected steak came out to the table:
For dessert, we tried this kind of small “floating island” traditional French dessert. It was very flavorful – just small. Luckily we were pretty full at that point. The best were the little crunchy bits of French toast flavored croutons in there. I want a bag of those to go!
All in this meal came to $100 a head. My recommendations for you at this joint is to skip the shellfish, get a pasta, and pick a shared entree like the pig face or steak. I did notice some other nice items on the solo entree menu, like a pork porterhouse and a strip steak. Maybe next time.
905 Lorimer St
Brooklyn, NY 11222