I needed a place to have a late dinner after a movie in the east village last night. so I did some research on this board and on Menupages. Mermaid has lots of positive reviews and no serious negatives, so we gave it a try. Judging by the seemingly happy mob of customers, I can only assume that no one cooks at home or has a clue how to do it. Is it too much to expect that a restaurant should be able to provide an experience that I would have difficulty duplicating at home? The food was not bad but was totally ordinary and lacking in creativity. I can buy a beautiful piece of fish from Citarella and with a simple preparation make a much more interesting and tasty meal than I had here. We started with fried oysters (tasty batter but tasteless oysters) and sardines (well-seasoned but in a bland broth with white beans and carrot bits), for main course skate with a blood orange emulsion (this sounded promising but was bland compared to the skate dish I make with lime, basil, capers and parsley) and the lobster sandwich ($24 for a small amount of lobster on a roll with fries) that was perfectly edible but also rather bland. The freebie chocolate pudding had little chocolate flavor. Overall a totally underwhelming dinner.