Tonight was the opening night of the Mermaid Inn on the UWS.. Having never been there before and having some pretty decent feedback, we were excited to welcome the place to the neighborhood..
We arrived this evening at 630 to a fairly empty space.. We figured we would have an early dinner so I can get to bed for an early appointment I have tomorrow in RHode Island.. But since I am up with a stomach ache, I figure, I should write the place up.. 0The space itself is pretty.. Very nice open windows in the front of the place, pretty white wood cielings and walls that half way down turn into a darker color.. There is a full bar up front with some tables and a very pretty back room that seats about 40..
We started off with a seafood platter and a shrimp cocktail.. The seafood platter consisted of four boiled or steamed razor clams, a few mussles, some grilled squid, tiny grilled bay scallops, lobster pieces, served with some lemon and a container of homemade "aioli".. Besides a few nicely flavored tiny pieces of squid and scallops from the grill, the rest of the offerings were bland and tasteless.. Not cooked in an herb stock, not flavored afterwards, it was really a pretty boring dish.. Not to mention an aioli that was nothing more then a thick gloppy mayo with a little hint of garlic.. The mayo added nothing to the chew clams or bland mussles..
The shrimp cocktail was neither bad or good..
We then moved onto a fish soup and grilled oysters with sausage.. I am a firm believer that one should not mess with an oyster unless what you do tastes better then just serving it raw.. The oysters arrived oily, tasteless, with a pretty bad little nuggets of pork.. The fish soup was the worst I have had.. It was a thick red mess that tasted of water.. Only after applying all the salt that they had provided us for the bread course did it begin to take on a flavor..
At this point we began to wait.. There is nothing worse then having to wait for expensive food you know is going to be bad.. I was hoping it would go passed the 1/2 hour mark so we can at least leave with out having to try the mains.. I ordered the monkfish with brussle sprouts.. A grilled monkfish arrived completely void of flavor again.. Char marks were ok but, the fish tasted of tap water.. No salt, no seasonings besides a streak of some blackened seasoning.. The brussle sprouts were shredded and piled with butter..
Miss A ordered the 24 dollar lobster roll and it was pretty gross.. I am assuming its not the best time for Lobster because some of the lobsters I have been getting myself have not been the best quality.. The meat was soggy, fishy, and not too plentiful.. Served on a brioche bun, Miss A with my help only finished half her sandwich.. Its a rare thing that one would leave a half eaten lobster sandwich on the plate.. Neither of us had a desire to even pick the meat out of the leftover half..
Service was ok if not nervous and over bearing.. The first drink took 15 minutes to arrive but they would then refill our butter for the bread while we were using it and it was half full..
Granted its there first night but, this is not there first location in Manhattan.. You think the cooks would at least have experience with the menu.. The menu by the way, is not something too extensive or tricky where it would require getting use to..
Dinner was like 138 bucks before tip.. I was shocked out how bad the place was considering the price and its reputation in Manhattan.. I know its opening night but, this place is the second restaurant by the Mermaid Inn.. You would think that with the simple offerings they would be paying extra attention to detail and giving their A game to make an impression.. Its not like these are babes in the woods with no concept of what its going to be like..
Docks, Neptune Room, hell most likely I could have eaten at Ouest for those prices..
Being the UWS, I am sure it will flourish.. I might go back in a few months if someone is paying.. Unitl then, I can replicate any of those dishes at home with a lot more care and success..