Don't go to Maison Premiere at 4p, because they close for an hour and a half, and only offer you alcohol at the bar to drink away your hungry sorrows. (Also let's not worry about why I was trying to eat at 4p.)
Come at night where a small live jazz band plays in the corner of the dining room. The waitress will try to seat you at the table right next to the drums, but you can politely decline by letting her know you see right through her ploy.
You can order the burger and have the waiter ask you the most important question of life:
"Did you want an egg on that?"
Yes. Always. Who knew that was an option, but thank God you did most of all, since you will be inputting the food order into the system.
Have you ever seen a more beautiful sunny-side up egg?
Is that cheese melted on both sides of the buttery toasted bun? How do you know what my dreams are made of, Maison Harlem?? And that burger was spot on. Juice. Meat. Seasoned. Yeah.
Order the mac and cheese for a beautiful broiled top of golden, crispy cheese.
What is the seafood croustillant? A fancy version of the taco salad bowl.
Inside the thin pastry shell (which isn't tasty by itself, despite its most attractive appearance) is a motley crew of seafood - mussels, shrimp and thick succulent scallops that soak up all of that heavenly saffron cream sauce at the bottom. You know your man is perfect for you when he lets you eat the last scallop. That's romance.
Also grab a little tray of that cauliflower gratin on the side. It's basically mashed cauliflower - quite delicious!
After, walk off a bit of that burg by moseying over to Sylvia's. Though I still haven't had her fried chicken, I was happy to meet her acquaintance by downing this thick slab of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. It was moist. It was dense. It was delightful.
Han's Nonsensical Rating: Maison Harlem is a charming little French bistro in West Harlem, good for dinner, dates and egg-topped burgers. And just YES to the Sylvia's red velv. You want it. Just eat it.
341 St Nicholas
New York, NY