Williamsburg is quiet. Lights are dim, crowds are minimal, I can hear my own bicycle wheels whir in the night air. Yet the intersection of Lorimer and Bedford has a murmur of weekday energy, even at 10:00pm. Five Leaves and Nights and Weekends usually host the small essence of nightlife on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border. Added to the duo is Sauvage, newly opened from the crew at Maison Premiere.
We find its bar clearly full, so we grab a table. The waitress is like bubble gum with a showy greeting slightly artificially flavored; she bounds to us as if in a musical. Cocktails are the first order of business. The list is short, making choice an easy task.
I opt for the Pastis Cobbler (argala pastis, cherry, quina, and chamomile) for the sole reason of its relatively unfamiliar contents. The pastis is an herbal aperitif I will need to research later; the answer I receive is vague and muddled, but enough to let me know what vein of cocktail to expect. I will later learn of its Mediterranean history and spice profile. Quina, another lesser-known aparitif is an answer to cherry herring with the background of quinine. It tastes of sugared cherry and dark herbs.
The other drink at the table is the Sloe Moon’s Rose (Reisetbauer sloe, framboise, lime, Edinburgh gin, bitter). It tastes relatively the same as my own, despite containing different ingredients. Both sit on crushed ice – perhaps that breeds similarity.
The space holds a bit of the Brooklyn meets New Orleans style found at its sibling restaurant. It is shiny, well-designed, and teaming with staff establishing territory. Sauvage has less focus on oysters than Maison Premiere, but does offer a small raw bar. The menu includes sea urchin, which is the one item I state is a staple to our order. It arrives in two small ramekins with a simultaneous foamy and spongy texture and exudes the most delicate citrus flavors. I can already imagine mid-summer sidewalk seating with sea urchin and tiki-style cocktails. Here’s to a new neighborhood staple.