All Reader Reviews of...
96 Second Ave., New York, NY, 10003
nr. 5th St.
New menu + New chef = awful
By doak on 8/31/2011
Without a doubt, this used to be a great restaurant & a real neighborhood gem. They changed chefs & their menu sometime in 2011 (or maybe late 2010) and it is now terrible where it used to excel. I really can't say anything good about the last time I went there. Definitely avoid.
A Faint Shadow of its Former Self
By choosyeater41 on 11/20/2009
We have been frequenting the Mermaid Inn since it opened. Sadly, the past six months or so have been a straight shot downhill. Menu items now include fried calamari (sports bar grub, anyone?), fried clam strips (reminiscent of what Hojos used to serve), and downmarket substitutes to formerly top-notch ingredients (fluke ceviche, hake, etc.). Moreover, former standouts like the grilled sardines, crispy skate wing, spicy spaghetti w/seafood are nowhere to be seen. Ordinary food rules the roost now, and the wine list has become overpriced. No wonder the place is filled up with clueless twenty-somethings rather than the formerly mostly adult clientele.
saddened to see standby go downhill
By sdgwanderlust on 7/27/2009
I did not hesitate to suggest The-Mermaid-Inn when a friend had a hankering for lobster, as I've been at least 5-6 times, and their food has been consistently good. What followed was a little horrific (excuse the melodrama but given the excellent track record, it was quite dismaying to witness this)... We waited 25mins (had a rez, arrived on time). We had drinks at the bar to quell our annoyance- no offer of comping drinks. The lobster sandwich was comprised of teensy teensy lobster...bits... there's really no other way to describe it. Bits that were mashed in with a lot of filler unlike anything IÂ’ve been served before. Service continued to be abysmal: empty water glasses, and an a/c unit that dripped water down my back. This was a celebratory dinner, and I regret recommending this place over Mary's-Fish-Camp, Pearl-Oyster-Bar, Ed's-Lobster-Bar, and BLT-Fish. I would throw in Urban Lobster Shack and Black Pearl, but I've not been to either, and the latter is now closed. A non-existent Black-Pearl lobster roll would have been better than the one I paid for.
By anonymousgirl on 6/11/2008
I never write these kinds of reviews, but I was so shocked by the review below mine that talks about the poor service, that I felt like I had to set the record straight. The service here was amazing. I had a large group and though they were totally packed, they went out of their way to try to find us a table. We had a great time, loved the food, loved the decor, and couldn't have asked for better service. I may not be as *important* as the person who wrote the below review, but I will certainly recommend this place to my friends and hope that this review will help others to find this gem in the city.
By MissMadd on 10/17/2007
My husband and I stopped in the other night for the first time, wow. Everything was great and the service was spot on. My husband is a fisherman and was impressed by how fresh the fish was. This place will definitely be on our places to go list.
Only if your not very hungry and specifically want the mussels
By Amelia_Ali on 8/19/2007
I took my grandmother and mother to this restaurant as a celebration for my first job after graduation. I was thoroughly dissapointed. First off, it's too noisy, practically screaming. The place is also very packed, and the waitress was prissy. Also, we ordered the tomato and avocado salad. and the menu doesn't lie. It is what it says but don't go if your very hungry. Mom ordered the Mahi Mahi, which was bitter, and so small a portion for $24, we wondered if the waiter had eaten half her fish, the same happened with the salmon. Grandma had the famed lobster sandwich, which could have well just been a tuna salad. There was nothing distinct about the flavor besides the mayonnaise. Basically if you judge a restuarant by whether you could recreate it better in your own kitchen...I GURANTEE, your better off buying fresh fish at the market and cooking up some steamed asparagus. This place wasn't worth the hype.
By ctiger14 on 10/24/2005
To say that this place is cozy is accurate if you are a real estate agent. To me, I'd say it's cramped or too small. I would have liked to see a larger variety on the menu. It's as if they are more interested in keeping a well stocked raw bar then they are with a full menu. That's fine if that is the intent, but that's not what I was after. I had a $22 Lobster Sandwich, which was good, but not $22 good. The selection of wines was nice though and the food that the rest of my party ordered was good, but not up to what one might expect for the price. A thimble of chocolate pudding at the end of the meal did not overcome the disappointment. The wait staff was attentive and knowledgable about the menu though.
By kitten on 10/21/2005
I loved the Mermaid Inn! The food was wonderful, the space is beautiful and cozy, and the prices are right.
By big_pickle on 10/18/2005
The menu fits entirely on one page. We had the crispy trout and the grilled red snapper both of which were surprisingly quite good. The complimentary chocolate pudding dessert was a nice surprise but I would have rather had something else. Also the crab appetizer portion is embarrassingly small. Only one sore point: our waitress was obviously peevish that we didn't order wine (which I assume probably has a high profit margin).
Escape from New York
By pumkin237nyc on 5/9/2004
I loved this restaurant. I took two of my friends from Seattle and we all agreed that the service, food and ambience was fantastic. I felt like I was experiencing a retreat from NYC. Definitely try the smoked mussels. It was a first for me and they were delicious.
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