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Mar 1, 2007 12:22 PM

Review: The Mermaid Inn

I've been once before and had a very pleasant dinner. Tonight, with the exception of the jackass sitting two stools down from me, was equally pleasant. As I was dining solo and had to get back in decent time, I sat at the bar and decided to try dishes I'd skipped last time...

Hurricane Harbor (Nova Scotia) - very salty and, though not thin, not the meatiest. Overall very good and remarkably fresh.
Malaspina (British Columbia) - nice, even color and full bodied flavor. Not that salty. Tasty and, like the others, very fresh. $14 for 1/2 dozen.

"Heart fish soup" is what they call it...and is served with pieces of cod, melted leeks, yukon gold and other vegetables. This was served really hot (which I like) but not too hot to not be able to eat it right away. Very flavorful and rich for a soup. For $10, I'd have liked to have seen a little more fish but it was good enough to order again or at least recommend it.

U-Peel Shrimp (Daily Special)
I knew about this Wednesday-only special from various sources and was excited to give it a shot. 1/2 a pound of really tasty, well-seasoned oven-roasted shrimp (I think it was oven roasted vs pan cooked, but could be wrong). Slightly messy, but fun, filling and overall satisfying. I'd guess that there were 8 or 9 shrimp served. $14

No dessert menu means complimentary chocolate pudding. Perfect. If you like fudgsicles, you'll be happy with this.

I had two bottles of the Whale's Tale Pale Ale. A solid beer, nice caramel color, served ice cold. Solid but $7 a pop is pushing it.

The bartender (Anna, I think) was great as were the hostesses. Attentive but not overbearing and not missing in action at any point.

The only thing is that after 2 visits, I've had nearly everything on the menu. Granted, the first time we went it was a group of 6 of us and shared a little, but some new daily specials other than the shrimp and oysters might be well suited for repeat visitors. But the place has a great vibe to it.

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  1. I've been meaning to try this place for a while, since I love lobster rolls (at POB) and I heard they have a good one. Looking for alternatives on those sad days the POB is closed or too packed.

    How many oysters do they feature daily? Would you say that the wait for a table is long there?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JoLi

      They only had two types of oysters both times I've visited.

      not to discourage you...but I didn't like their lobster roll the one time I tried it.

    2. Great review, thanks! I dont know why but the last time I was there I ordered the skate and it was raw! But the first time I went (which was so long ago), I had the salmon which was served with a variation of succotash -- beets with cubed potatoes and bacon, it must've been cooked in the bacon fat b/c it had sort of a bacony flavor. It was outrageous and I wish they would reintroduce it to the menu.

      1. I went last night. I've been to Mermaid several times in the past and it occupies a special place in my heart, as someone who lives in the East Village and loves food. But this was strange. Something different, like the restaurant just wasn't getting the love from the staff that it once was.

        First of all, we were a walk in, on a Thursday night at 8:30. By 9pm, we were one of about 5 tables...all in the front. The back was empty. All in all, the place was pretty quiet.

        The food was solid - I had the Lobster sandwich which was really great. Others i was with had a whitefish (I forget whether it was Seabass or Cod), and the Pork Chop. The Pork Chop was a bit dry and didn't inspire rave reviews.

        The food wasn't what gave us the weird vibes, it was really just the felt like it was the poor neglected stepchild in the family. The petals on the flowers in the bathroom we falling off. The place just looked...tired. I really hope they pull it back together. Maybe it was just a bad night.

        1 Reply
        1. re: randymac88

          We tried this place once. The food, ambience and service were all good. Nothing memorable.