In 2010 I made my first trip to New Orleans and fell in love, with the food, music, culture… the feel of the City.  Yes (to those of you detractors), it did also have its gritty and shabby moments, but that is also part of what made New Orleans such a memorable experience for me. I’ve been plotting a return visit to Louisiana ever our short 3 day stint ended. I mention this only because it’s much of the reason I swooned while visiting Maison Premiere in Williamsburg last month. It’s got that confident air of Parisian cafe meets French Quarter speakeasy, but in Brooklyn, New York.

Maison Premiere’s focus is narrow (absinthe, spirits & oysters), but all are done in style.

We tried five different West Coast oysters (and in a concession to D, one from East Coast).

We arrived ahead of the crowd on Saturday afternoon. Come before 1 pm and you’ll likely have the entire horseshoe-shaped bar to yourself.

Details, details. They’re everywhere, like this toothpick holder.

Scallop crudo

At Maison Premiere the meticulous interior details are plentiful and pleasurable – from the quiet soundtrack to ceiling fan circling lazily overhead. With just a short L train ride, I felt as though I had dropped into a different place and time, escaping the Big Apple for the Big Easy. While I’m sure hardly any of my regular readers would be surprised that I’ve fallen for yet another oyster and cocktail joint, what really captured my attention is the entire experience inside Maison Premiere. It was such a pleasurable stop, any question of authenticity seems incidental.