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.

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Manny’s Steakhouse

825 Marquette Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55402(612) 339-9900 mannyssteakhouse.com

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So, apparently the Morton’s Steakhouse in Minneapolis closed down, and that’s not even the bad news. The really bad news is that Manny’s is the consolation prize. A poor man’s Morton’s if ever there were one, not that Morton’s is the end all be all of steakness either, but it’s still better than Manny’s.

Manny’s isn’t exactly bad, however, there’s just nothing amazing about it. It’s your run-of-the-mill steakhouse food you’ve eaten at least a hundred times over, with nothing impressionable enough to make a memory. You’ve got your Caesar salad, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail and seafood towers. Your New York Strip, Rib Eye, Porterhouse and Filets. The same old sides like mac and cheese, creamed spinach and baked potato.

But, if an old school steakhouse is what you’re craving in the twin cities, then I recommend The Strip Club in St. Paul. If that’s still not an option for you, however, then best of luck with Manny’s. It’s nothing spectacular and nothing terrible, just smack dab in the middle of steakhouse mediocrity. Good for large parties and testing out the elasticity of your stomach’s lining.

2 teeth

Swine

531 Hudson St. New York, NY10014 • (212) 255-7675 • swinenyc.com

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I definitely think Swine is a solid 3.5 knives, but like I said, halvsies is an operational bitch so unfortunately I have to round down based on a few misses below.

But first let’s start with decor. Swine, as one might expect from the name, is a wonderful dive. And I mean that in the best, Guy Fieri sorta way.

As for service, it was excellent. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful with recommendations- plus, he gave us two free glasses of Muscat with dessert, because it was the wife’s b-day.

Now, as for the recos, he was mostly on point. For example, his reco on the Six Point Crisp beer was spot on. LOVED it. So was his call on both apps. First, the watermelon salad- yes, we got a salad, because we needed some form of escape from the rest of the fleshy gluttony that ensued. And besides, it was AWESOME. Best I’ve ever had. The parm is such a nice salty contrast with the melon. Plus, with the peppery arugula and cayenne spiced balsamic- it was WAY better than the feta versions you see everywhere else.

The other app was the nacho potato chips, smothered in three cheeses, jalapenos and pork belly. In a word, “heart-attack-inducing-yum.”

As for the burger, it’s definitely good, but I actually found that its accoutrements overpowered it. I liked it better clean (like Minetta Tavern). Otherwise it’s virtually impossible to taste the marrow- much less to discern that it’s brisket vs. ground beef. Also, the potatoes/fries that come with it are also awesome, not that I needed anymore after the “nachos”- but let’s not be judgey right now in the middle of my review.

As for Wifey, she didn’t fare as well. First, her Pinot Noir by the glass was a bit blah. And the pork porterhouse she ordered was a touch overcooked/dry. Still good however. Especially with its accompaniments.

And tlast but not least, dessert. Only one to choose from on the menu, but you only need one if it’s good, and this was killer! And by killer I mean I think my cholesterol was over 400 by the time we strolled out of there. -Oh, what was it, you ask? Basically french toast topped with Guinnesss ice cream and homemade cinnamon frosting. I think my arteries are pissed at me, but at least it was worth it.

Oh, and best of all, the value. We got a ton of food and drinks and barely broke a hundred. Hard to do in the NYC.

3 teeth