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 Ultimate Pork Chop

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While Ted Allen claims this distinction should go to Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn, NY, he is flat out wrong. I’m sorry Ted, but perhaps you need to get your prescription checked because your “Queer Eye” isn’t seeing so clearly. In New York City alone there is better. The Little Owl quite handily tops Vinegar Hill with its chop.

Elizabeth on 37th – Savannah, GA

But as long as we’re talking serious chops, let’s get to the choppiest? Elizabeth on 37th in Savannah, Georgia. Now this restaurant is no stranger to praise, consistently ranked among the top three in town and winner of a James Beard. Well, that’s all nice to have, but now they can add an Ultimate from the Ferocious Foodie to their list! I know, they have probably been sitting on pins and needles awaiting my decree, but the wait is over.

What sets Elizabeth apart from the rest isn’t that it’s perfectly cooked, although that’s obviously table stakes, it’s that the accompaniments aren’t the usual suspects. No potatoes. No green vegetable. No apples or cinnamon. Not even sauce. Just creamy, dreamy five cheese mac and brilliant, refreshing red cabbage slaw that pulled your palate in so many directions per bite it was like tongue-yoga. Which sounds rather uncomfortable, but just think how good you feel after stretching. That’s how your mouth will be, sighing wistfully at your empty plate as it recalls what it just experienced.

The Fat Radish

17 Orchard St. New York, NY 10002 • (212) 300-4053 • thefatradishnyc.com
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I heard about this place from the same person who recommended Vinegar Hill House to me, and considering how much I LOVED VHH, I figured I had to try Fat Radish.

As you can see from the number of knives below, it is no VHH. There is quite unfortunately nothing on the menu that I would rave about and only two things on the menu I would consider “good.” Those two being the sweet pea pot pie and the Kale Caesar Salad. That’s it.

The amuse bouche was amuse blah. Basically some radishes with olive oil and herbs. The tomato and avocado squash salad was inventive, but unfortunately that didn’t translate into a yum.

The grilled cheese and pickles was okay, but nothing you couldn’t make at home in 5 minutes- so I’m not sure why you’d ever order it out at a restaurant. Also not sure why people raved about it. It’s just whatevs. The Vodka Lemonade was also just eh.

And the cookie plate was a joke. They could’ve just put a bag of Oreo Cookies on the table and it would’ve been better.

I did like the decor however. Very cool inside. Service was also good. But the neighborhood leaves something to be desired, making it definitely not worth the trip, out of your way, with so many other great places in more desirable areas of the city.

2 teeth

The Little Owl

90 Bedford St. New York, NY 10014(212) 741-4695thelittleowlnyc.com

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Just walking to the place already put a smile on our faces. Located on a charming corner in the village, Little Owl is equally charming with its modest size and friendly staff. And speaking of “friendly,” as a little pop culture trivia, it’s in the building from the famous TV show “Friends.”

As for the food, it was a touch hit and miss, with the hits winning soundly in the end. Here’s the breakdown:

The meatball sliders (pictured) live up to the hype and beyond. They are so damn good they could literally convert a vegan.

The gravlax, however, which was recommended by our server, was just okay. Nothing special. The pear salad, while better than the gravlax was also nothing special. In fact, my wife makes a similar one at home all the time. That said, in both of these dishes, the ingredients are very fresh, which is nice. But that only goes so far.

Now for the main event. The pork chop is up there with the best I’ve ever had. Blows away Vinegar Hill House– which I also love. But I gotta give it to the Owl. Perfectly seasoned. Perfectly cooked. As if it were grilled by God himself.

Unfortunately, the pork was my wife’s dish though. I went with the other Yelp reco, the crunchy lemon chicken, and what a disappointment. Not that it was dry or anything, but again, nothing special at all. If you want an amazing chicken, go to ABC Kitchen. Best fried chicken I’ve ever had.

Now for dessert. Both were very strong. We had the cinnamon bengiets with Nutella and the strawberry rhubarb crisp. Both disappeared in seconds. I recommend either or both.

And last but not least, the wine. Also recommended by our server, it was an appley Chenin Blanc, and I do have to say, it worked perfectly through the meal.

It’s a hard one to give less than 4 knives with such high highs (two Ultimates), but with so many misses, it’s also hard to give it more than 3. Guess I’ll have to go back to be certain I chose wisely. 😉

4 teeth

The Ultimate Short Ribs

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Daniel – New York, NY

I literally remember not a single detail about them other than the fact that post chewing, somehow it was etched in my mind that these where the end-all-be-all ribs of the short variety. Perhaps it’s because I suffered from such an intense foodgasm that I blacked out, lost in a blur of moist, beefy fractals. That or I was really drunk. Whatever it was, they left an indelible impression. Apparently.

Vinegar Hill House – Brooklyn, NY

Everybody comes here for the pork chop ever since Ted Allen went on Best Thing Ever and raved about it, but as much as I loves me a good pork chop, I actually think Little Owl beat them (take note Ted). But sadly, it’s what Ted overlooked that is truly remarkable. Their short rib stew with gorgonzola and roasted veggies is like nothing I’ve ever tasted in my life. Every bite is literally packed with so much flavor it’s enough to give your taste buds A.D.D. It’s not overdone though. It’s perfect. No, it’s beyond perfect. It’s my short rib soul mate.