Best Fish - 2013
In the months since Lisa Giffen took over the kitchen at Maison Premiere, the Adour vet has further expanded the menu to the point where this crowded Williamsburg spot is no longer just a top-notch oyster bar with solid share plates and an excellent cocktail program headed by Maxwell Britten—it's now a destination restaurant for devourers of marine life the city over. Giffen applies fastidious French technique to Italian crudo, yielding enticing pairings that find sepia sharing the plate with black radish and yogurt, or sea bream propped up with pops of earthiness and tang from tarragon and pickled gooseberries. On the menu since day one, the gumbo has gone through several variations and now contains chicken, oysters, and chunks of moist black bass in a heady sofrito base. Whereas her predecessor and former Ducasse colleague Jared Stafford-Hill got the ball rolling, Giffen is a whirlwind somersault of periwinkles and razor clams.