Back in the beginning of March, I saw on Grub Street that Millesime restaurant was offering a $1 oyster happy hour every night until 8 for all “R” months aka oyster season. Millesime opened a couple of years ago in the awkward space in the Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue. Its Chef has quite the seafood pedigree, but unfortunately hasn’t gotten much press and is somewhat hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for. CT’s parents have eaten a full meal there before and enjoyed it a lot, but it hasn’t been our list. Maybe a successful happy hour would entice us to return for dinner?
The restaurant is spread out on different levels and has a couple different bars. The HH is only available at the oyster bar upstairs. It was a small bar with only a couple seats, but fortunately it never got that busy.
Our friendly bartender informed us that only Bluepoint oysters were on offer at happy hour prices. No trying a variety of oysters like at Mermaid. I was also happy to see that the few beers they had on offer were a reasonable $6 each. I would have been annoyed if the money I was “saving” on oysters, just went to the jacked up drink prices. They also had a couple wines by the glass on special.
Here is the first ten we order. They were served with cocktail sauce, shallot mignonette, lemon and a tiny bottle of Tabasco. They did a pretty good job, not great of shucking the oysters as you can see. I have shucked some oysters in the past and it isn’t easy. Especially when trying to keep as much liquor in the shell as possible. They were super fresh and delicious! Quite easy to polish off.
They surprised us by serving some crusty multigrain bread with a red wine shallot butter along with the oysters. We both appreciated the compound butter and bread to cleanse our palates.
We ended up getting another ten to share. They were the same in size and presentation.
Our friend, KR joined us later on and had a couple of oysters herself. However, we felt we needed something a little more substantial than just oysters for dinner. Since it was an especially nice March evening, we walked a couple blocks south to Shake Shack.
We weren’t super hungry, so we only got some burgers. CT had the standard single Shack burger (left), while I had their special burger called the Smoke Shack (right). It was a cheeseburger topped w/crisp apple-wood smoked bacon, cherry pepper relish & Shack Sauce.
I enjoyed the Smoke Shack a lot. It had a fair amount of tasty bacon, almost too much. However the vinegary cherry pepper relish helped to cut through the richness of the bacon. The relish also left a nice lingering heat in the back of my throat. It was a nice change of pace from my go-to order of a double Shack burger. If you see it as a special, I would definitely recommend trying it.
Surprising everyone, I decided I actually wanted dessert. I needed something sweet to counteract the oysters and burger and the special custard of the day was S’mores. Who doesn’t love s’mores? Ah fond childhood memories… Anyway, it was super creamy with plenty of marshmallow swirled in with some crushed graham crackers.
All in all, the oyster happy hour at Millesime was pretty good. I still don’t think I will ever eat a full dinner there however. It is a little too expensive and doesn’t have any dishes listed that intrigue me. The space and location of the restaurant is quite difficult, so I wish them the best but don’t have high hopes for the long term existence.