No place in Brooklyn has quite made a lasting impact in the dining and drinking scene as Maison Premiere, a perpetually packed cocktail den in Williamsburg inspired by New Orleans, serving a variety of creative cocktails and oyster-led seafood dishes. I’ve certainly had a pleasant time at the backyard garden one summer night there, and was excited to find that the team behind this now iconic place decided to open a second project in Greenpoint, led by the same chef (Lisa Giffen) that helms the original spot’s kitchen. Although it is somewhat of a pain to get to Greenpoint (even more so after I recently moved to downtown Manhattan), I still wanted to explore what the kitchen at Sauvage brings to the table but honestly I was expecting a solid but not particularly spectacular meal. After visiting on a Sunday evening after a Broadway show, my girlfriend and I were both very impressed with some of the dishes here.
Sauvage (meaning “wild” in French) serves ostensibly French cuisine, but really I would call it more like pan-European café without distinct culinary boundaries. I wasn’t going to complain so long as the food with this free-flowing style was good. The beginning of the meal started pleasantly, with fresh assortment of crudité vegetables that we both enjoyed on every bite after dipping on herbed yogurt aioli or olive tapenade. And then came queen crab that was one of the best I’ve had in a while with the fresh and silky smooth texture of crab meat that you can dip on crab brown butter for a magnificent appetizer. For main dishes, I had no complaint on the texture of lobster that came with crushed potatoes, but felt the temperature was slightly off.
On the other hand, the pork porterhouse with bok choy and pickled rhubarb was simply spectacular. I don’t typically eat pork chop style dishes because the texture can be quite uneven at times, but the porterhouse at Sauvage was cooked to perfection, and the flavor was kept at moderate level without a ton of seasoning to make sure it is the texture of the meat that truly shines. I would definitely rank this porterhouse as one of the best pork dishes that New York City has to offer and would be happy to come back just to try this again. The pleasant surprise at Sauvage didn’t end there. I’ve long been a sucker for panna cotta since I came to New York, and the honey panna cotta tart (accompanied by peaches) that the kitchen served for dessert was so delightful that I immediately told my girlfriend after a bite that I was really struggling for words to describe how good this dish was. I hope the restaurant keeps this dessert in the long run so next time I’m in Greenpoint, I can savor the awesome flavor of it again.
Getting the reservation at Sauvage wasn’t too difficult, and I saw the dining space was relatively quiet on a Sunday evening (although on weekends, I can see this place as more of a drinking spot full of Brooklynites having good time). The décor certainly looked pretty trendy, reminiscent of a chic French café somewhere. There is full bar at Sauvage, but I was slightly underwhelmed by their cocktail selection given the Maison Premiere pedigree. Oftentimes, I get a lot of joy out of visiting restaurants with modest expectations only to find a lot of pleasant surprises from the dishes there. Sauvage certainly is one of them and a welcome addition to the increasingly thriving Greenpoint dining scene.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
Address: 905 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Telephone: (718) 486-6816