Summer is technically over, but if you’ve stepped outside at any point this week, you will find that Mother Nature is still pushing the boundaries of what is an acceptable temperature for pre-fall. It’s hot, the sun still stays up past 7, and this summer just doesn’t feel ready to end! In fact, it might be just beginning, if we can all accept the ugly inevitability of global warming and the new world order. If you’re fairly confident that that is indeed what’s happening, no better way to wash away your worries of the world’s inevitable end than with dollar oysters and some fancy drinks. Here are six choice places to toast to the end of the world.
Maison Premiere – 298 Bedford Avenue
This Williamsburg staple has one of the most exhaustive oyster menus around and one of the loveliest cocktail menus. Their oyster happy-hour is the stuff of legend, with lines forming down the block before they open their doors at 4. Once you’re in, it’s like you’re not even in Brooklyn anymore. Sip on one of their delightful bespoke cocktails, and order as many oysters as you can cram into your gullet. Most oysters on their menu are $1 each, with a few special West Coast imports at a very reasonable $1.25.
Best oyster: You can’t go wrong with the classic Kumamoto, a tiny little jewel from the West Coast, sweet and lightly briny, but not too aggressive — the perfect thing for an oyster lover, or a first-timer.
Best drink: Push the boundaries of summer and sip on a Mai Tai that’s miles away from anything served out of a pineapple.
The Narrows – 1037 Flushing Avenue
So, there’s a lot of stuff over by the Morgan L stop, but unless you live in the neighborhood, you’ve probably never been to the Narrows. Remedy that, stat, and get over there. It’s a beautiful space, with a really lovely cocktail menu, and $1 oysters until 7pm. If you’re still hungry after stuffing yourself silly with as many oysters you can stand, order something a little more substantial from their menu. Tip: Savor the last bit of summer and take your oysters to the back garden, which is a tiny oasis of peace.
Best oyster side piece: The pickle plate is a tart arrangement of fennel, cauliflower and carrot which goes nicely with the oysters you’re slurpin’ down.
Best drink: The Que Bonita mixes jalapeño infused tequila with lime, cucumber and a dash of simple syrup, which makes it both dangerous and delicious. Bottoms up.
Miller’s Tavern — 2 Hope Street
I’m aware that nothing in Williamsburg is really a secret anymore. No stone has been left unturned in the search for a restaurant, bar or patch of sidewalk that isn’t crawling with German tourists in those little ankle socks with their faces buried in the map. But, I’d wager that Miller’s Tavern is a place that flies a little under the radar, but for no reason! It’s delicious! The brunch is awesome, and I don’t like brunch, and it’s got a nice little outdoor patio area and it looks especially cozy when lit up at night. Really, it’s a treasure, the perfect place to go when you sneak out of work a little early and want to eat as many oysters as you can in one sitting. If you’re inclined, head over there from 5-7pm and enjoy half off on beer and wine, too. Everyone wins.
Best oyster accoutrement: Miller’s sticks to the classics, which is awesome, Just Bluepoints and a nice, well-made mignonette.
Best drink: Their signature cocktail is elegant in its simplicity — gin, lemon, rosemary — and also really good.
Grand Ferry offers a nice little twist on the oyster happy hour, with a selection of half-priced raw oysters, $2 Clams Casino and $2 grilled oysters, which are an overlooked preparation, in our opinion. The bar itself is a nice little place way out by the water, which fits nicely with its vaguely nautical theme. Take your oysters and your fancy drink out to their landscaped and beautiful backyard, and enjoy the fleeting rays of the sun.
Best menu option that is not an oyster: Welsh Rarebit! You never see this on a menu anywhere! Get it immediately.
Best cocktail: A French 76 — lemon juice, cognac, sparkling wine — is your best bet.
Lobster Joint — 1073 Manhattan Ave
This beloved Rockaway concession stand now has a storefront in Greenpoint, so you can savor the memories of eating a lobster roll in your bathing suit year round. The menu at this location is a little more robust, but the star of the show(aside from the lobster rolls, which are awesome), is the happy hour deal, which not only includes oysters, but $4 lobster, crab cake or fried oyster sliders.
Best drink that involves oysters: They do a nice oyster shooter with vodka and Tabasco.
Best drink that does not involve oysters: I have never thought that a liquor made of rhubarb would be something I would willingly order, but the Rhubarb spritz does not disappoint.
OTB – 141 Broadway
Sometimes, you don’t want to start the night off with oysters, but you’d rather stumble into some lace dark and speakeasy-ish, with a new friend, and end the night right. OTB flips the happy hour on its head, offering dollar oysters all Monday night, from 11pm-1am Sunday through Thursday and from 12am- 2am on Friday and Saturday. It’s just far enough from the hustle and bustle of regular Williamsburg to be your new go-to for second Tinder dates or that dude you see every few months when he’s in town.
Best named drink: The Staycation is a heady mix of mezcal, rye and fruit syrups, with a dash of bitters, making it not only a vacation, but a party in a glass.
Best french fry addition: You can add Blue Ranch dressing, which is just as delicious as it sounds.