Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jul 25, 2007 09:38 AM

Mermaid Inn vs Black Pearl vs Sea Salt

for a midweek, low-key, not exhorbitant dinner. Any feelings, dogs?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like Mermaid Inn. Haven't been to the others

    1 Reply
    1. The lobster roll at The Black Pearl was awesome. They have great homemade lemonade, as well. Not sure about their other items.

      1. I love Mermaid Inn and they give everyone a little chocolate pudding for dessert.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hbeeman

          free pudding? are there any other restaurants that give out complimentary desserts/dishes?

          1. re: hbeeman

            oh, that was the best part! after a bottle of wine, it's such a pleasant surprise!

          2. I am not a fan at all of Black Pearl other than for take out lobster rolls. There's something about the room, the staff and the food that just doesn't sit well with me.

            Mermaid Inn's lobster rolls are good but not fantastic. I like the restaurant a lot though.

            However, why not go early to Pearl and have the ultimate with a glass of crisp white wine?

            1. Thank you all! I'll probably go with Mermaid --

              3 Replies
              1. re: sea97horse

                Just went to Sea Salt last night and have to say, wanted to like it a lot but they are still "feeling their way".

                Room is all tiled (floor to walls) with no carpet or curtains to absord the sound. Makes for very loud noise reverberation, especially when the doors are open onto 2nd Ave and trucks are going by as they were throughout dinner. I'm not opposed to loud or buzzing rooms -- a lot of time the vibe can be great but this was just plain loud.

                My date and I had two apps and two entrees along with a $40 bottle of Riesling. No dessert or coffee. Total bill came to $125 + $25 tip (service was good) = $150. Which seemed steep for what we were served both quantity or quality-wise.

                Food-wise, scallop appetizer was EXCELLENT, although three per serving at $14 cost seemed expensive. Grilled octopus tasted a few days old (not what you want grilled octopus to taste like).

                Entrees we chose were the whole dorade (nicely done and quite fresh) and red snapper fillet which tasted less than fresh as well. Disappointing given the premise that they serve pristine, fresh fish.

                Overall, I'd give this place another shot but with some degree of hesitation. My date and I both agreed they won't be running the Mermaid Inn out of business anytime soon.

                1. re: Vinoguy

                  I got a main course of three scallops at Mermaid Inn once for $18. I mentioned it to the manager (only after he asked how everything was) and they credited us $5 which i thought was nice of them. They said that normally there are four but the scallops are done by weight and I must have received three large scallops. My response : I understand that but when I order scallops for $18, and three come out, doesn't make a good impression regardless of the fact that they may have been marginally bigger than ones they usually serve (they were by no means huge).

                  But I enjoyed my dish, appreciated the way they handled the situation and enjoy the chocolate pudding they serve after the meal so I have returned.

                  Basically, whenever I dine at a seafood restaurant in NY regardless of how casual, I expect to pay a more than I would at a casual restaurant of any other style/type. It hurts and keeps us from doing it every night but it's something i've grown accustomed to.

                  1. re: Vinoguy

                    I believe Mary's Fish Camp and Pearl Oyster Bar both serve 3 scallops to a serving and prices are close to $20. $14 doesn't seem steep at all.