Restaurants & Bars

Blue Mermaid in Portsmouth NH (longish)

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Blue Mermaid in Portsmouth NH (longish)

chowcat | Sep 28, 2002 09:09 AM

Thanks to tips from this board, four of us braved the torrential rain last night to meet in Portsmouth for supper.

Blue Mermaid features "world grill" food, mostly seafood with Caribbean or Asian treatments. Entrees are about $15-19 and portions are good.

Among the outstanding items were the smoked scallop chowder, properly thin and milky or creamy with the most delicious smoked scallops, and the callaloo, a soup of crabmeat, a little spinach, in a coconut milk base (have no idea if this is authentic but it is delicious).

In addition to a bunch of set entrees, there's a mix & match section where you can pick the fish, choice of 6 or 8 sauces or toppings, and choice of two sides. The sides of braised greens were especially wonderful and very fresh, cooked with a little bourbon. I would never have thought to add bourbon but it worked. The side of fried plantains with coconut milk dipping sauce were too sweet and a bit soggy -- much better as a dessert.

The best entree was grouper encrusted with plantains, which was divine. Very succulent (not unlike red snapper) and the plantain added a crispy crunch that was almost nutlike. Grilled shrimp with a cilantro adobo sauce were also fine.

Great selection of beers on tap, especially a Moat Mountain stout (Conway NH) that we'd never heard of before.

Dessert was an espresso creme brulee which was good (the diner prefers traditional flavor though).

Service was excellent.

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