Maison Premiere

298 Bedford AveBrooklyn, NY 11249 • (347) 335-0446 • maisonpremiere.com

 

More like Maison Meh. And to think this place was actually considered for a James Beard! It’s not even worthy of a James Buchanan. Sure, the setting is nice in the back garden and the oysters are money, especially with that marvelous mignonette, but just because the serve absinthe doesn’t make them 4 stars (unless you got really drunk on the absinthe and meant to actually click 2 stars). This over inflation of culinary prowess makes Brooklynites look desperate, trying to keep claiming that all the really good restaurants are now in Brooklyn and not Manhattan. They aren’t. I’m sorry to break it to you. Okay, so you’ve got Vinegar Hill House, Blanca, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Peter Pan Donuts, Peter Luger– Okay, fuck it. So you have a lot of good restaurants. That still doesn’t change the fact that Maison isn’t one of them.

The crudos are crapo. The cod brandade is blandade. The sardines and olive starters are passable at best. And even the octopus is a rubbery mess. And I wish I could say things got better but apart from the Atlantic Cod served over Tarbais beans and the pork porterhouse with mashed potatoes and shrooms, they got so much worse. The lobster roll would be considered a crime in the state of Maine. And the duck au poivre is so inedible it could almost start a war again with France.

But the atrocities against our mouths weren’t quite done yet as the monster rose back up from the dead for one final blow, in the form of empty calories. Both the cheesecake and the absinthe pana cotta were bunk, sealing the fate of MP with a firm two knives.

The Inn at Pound Ridge

258 Westchester Ave. Pound Ridge, NY10576 (914) 764-1400 • theinnatpoundridge.com

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Having been to a number of Jean Georges restaurants, I know they can be hit and miss. Fortunately my experiences have been more on the hit end of the spectrum, so my expectations were moderately high. And while many of the criticisms of this place thus far would be fair, I still have to say my expectations were met.

First, the décor. It is everything everyone says it to be. Just beautiful and warm and literally transporting, meaning you no longer feel like you are in Westchester, but rather in a remote cabin up in the mountains someplace, where the faint drones of work and screaming kids can no longer be heard. From the lighting to the beams to the wood-burning fireplace you just want to curl up and stay forever.

Which brings me to the first nit… You may very well feel like you’re there forever, because the service, as others have pointed out, is slow. So not the place to come for a quick bite.

But now for the main event, the food. First, the Russian River Pinot Noir by Mara is incredible. Went so well with everything we had. Fish. Meat. Spicy. Sweet. So props on the wine list.

For appetizers, we had the ricotta with mashed cranberries as our “bread” which was dangerously good. Dangerous, because you have to summon a good deal of self control not to fill up on it.

After that, the wife had the Hamachi with dusted pecans. The fish was incredibly fresh and the layer of pecan was a nice touch. That said, it needed a little something else to bring it to that next level. More acidity perhaps? But certainly not bad.

And last- and least, I had the angel hair pasta app with Brussels sprouts and pesto. Sounds much better than it is. I would skip it. It’s not bad. But just not worthy of its surroundings.

As for the entrees, here’s where The Inn shined. Both the Hake and the Tenderloin rocked. But in all fairness, the Tenderloin is simply on an entirely different level. A strong recommend from our server, for which I am eternally grateful. If you like heat and meat, you must get this. The scotch bonnet sauce is so divine I had to ask for more of it to sop up the rest of the buttered spinach.

But then our server led us astray on dessert. Should’ve gone with my gut on the apple streusel, but nooooo, I had to listen to her and get the lack-luster almond cake.

Regardless, I will most certainly be back. And the beauty of the place is that during the week it’s much easier to get in. Plus, you can always just sit in the equally stunning bar area and just grab the burger (which looked very good) and a beer. Oh, and of course I’d get the streusel.

4 teeth