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“Mermaid Inn”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Seafood East Village Moderate Great

Jimmy Bradley, the chef, owner and creative culinary force behind The Red Cat, and The Harrison has opened another easy love restaurant with The Mermaid Inn, located in the East Village. The restaurant will take you away to the bluffs of a windswept seashore, with its dark wainscoting, hurricane lamps, vintage nautical maps, and a big icy raw bar. Indeed this place makes you feel like the ocean (not the traffic on 2nd Avenue) should be right outside the door. The menu here is all seafood all the time. Oysters are briny, sweet, and slip down the throat with cool, delicious ease. The Lobster Sandwich – a sort of lobster roll gone burger – is a mess of sweet, fat, juicy lobster meat, held together by just the right bit of mayo, is served on a wide, puffy, golden brioche bun, with a mountain of skinny, crispy fried dusted with old bay seasoning. More adventurous fish dishes take cues from around the globe. A nod to Spain shows up with a flaky, moist, skate, sautéed until golden, and set in a nutty puddle of white gazpacho sauce (it’s made from almonds), cucumbers and grapes. Dessert is the same for everyone – an espresso cup filled with a rich dense pudding, topped with a flowerette of whipped cream that appears to have been sprayed from a Redi-Whip can. It is simple, delicious, and the perfect amount of sweetness to end an evening. This is the sort of place that makes you want to eat out. It's just easy and fun. It's perfect for a first date, a last date, dinner with girls, guys, parents, even enemies. You will all get along fine here. Jimmy Bradley is just that sort of guy.


The Mermaid Inn, 96 Second Avenue b/w 5th and 6th Streets, 212-674-5870


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