568 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.788813 -73.974594
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Upper West Side
Maine in the city? – I'II have to put it out there: I drive to Maine just for lobster rolls. Yes, the state is quaint and the small towns are a refreshing change to the city but that's all moot as soon as I can have one of those beautiful crustaceous meat in a lobster roll bun. There is no other way to eat one . . . . until I had the Mermaid Inn lobster roll. Old Bay fries. Toasted and buttered brioche bun. Chunks of lobster so much so that it just squeezes out of the sides. I'll need a new excuse to head up to Maine now.
A great ENcore of the original! – Only recently discovered the original Mermaid Inn downtown and was hoping to return to it soon. The opportunity to eat out at the last minute presented itself this past Friday, worked on the upper west side that day and was running late so my wife trekked uptown to meet me and we decided to waste more time before heading out of the city for the day in all the Friday night traffic. So we walked into the Inn and were greeted with a friendly staff and told it would be 15 minutes for inside and up to an hour for outside. We chose inside and waited at the bar. It was more like 30 minutes but we enjoyed the respite and the great bartender. Food was outrageously good, service was efficient a little rushed as the restaurant was obviously slammed, but always friendly and helpful. We never felt rushed and always got the right amount of attention when we needed it. Will try to arrivet earlier next time, as I've a feeling there'll be a few more summery Friday night visits waiting for traffic to subside!
EXPENSIVE. – Was really excited that a place like this was coming into my neighborhood as I really enjoy the one downtown. Nice, cute place...looks a lot like the one. Had the lobster roll and it was decent but not nearly as good as other known places in the city and at 25 bucks also quite pricey considering it has by far some of the worst fries I have ever tasted(easy on the seasoning guys!). Spent close to 200 bucks for 3 of us and I left hungry. Nice staff, good looking place but sorta hard to be local regular place at those prices.
The Mermaid Inn spawns on the Upper West Side, bringing sophisticated fish-shack fare to a grateful crowd of instant regulars. – The Scene
With its airy front room, narrow center kitchen and handsomely wainscoted back dining room, the new uptown Mermaid Inn is spookily similar to the East Village original. It's also packed to the gills with Upper West Siders who've longed for a local spot so simple and satisfying.
The seafood menu has made the journey uptown, too. To start, a crisp wedge of iceberg balances under crumbled blue cheese and a light, tart dressing, while fried calamari could use less of its heavy batter. Whole fish change regularly: Supple Atlantic salmon is served with surprisingly bland white beans, although arctic char is more often available. The bone thrown to non-pescetarians: a tender flatiron steak that's full of flavor and topped with lots of butter. An old Mermaid standby, the spaghetti with salad, comes loaded with clams and mussels in a spicy tomato sauce, made all the better with a peppery arugula crown.
Hits: The simple fish dishes, pleasant space and helpful staff have all been netted for this second location.
Misses: Tables and even bar seats can be hard to come by, and waiting in the cramped entry means inevitably being in the way.
Good seafood in the upperwest! – The first thing that struck us was the room itself. It wasn't too tightly packed. There is ample space between tables and we never felt as though we were intruding on someone else's dinner. It was quite romantic. The food was very well executed. We started with oysters which were fresh and served with a delicious mignonette; a rarity in the upperwest side. (One of us got a few too many shell pieces in his oysters but it didn't ruin his experience) We had the arctic char, monkfish, gnocchi, and cod fritter. All the dishes were well balanced and appropriately portioned. Although, one of us could have used "more acid" in most of his plates, but that may just be nit-picking. The wine list was small, and reasonably priced so we were able to choose a good wine appropriate to what we ordered. Overall, we had a great meal and will definitely be back.
It's about time! – Finally--a nice, casual but classy neighborhood seafood place is just what the neighborhood needed. Sure there's Ocean Grill (too crowded), Docks (overpriced) and Neptune (too yuppy), but this is the place for everyone from grandmothers to dates. You can dress for a night out on the town or come in wearing a t-shirt and jeans, it doesn't matter. The seafood aoli was amazing, the raw oysters divine, the fish dishes are great. Interestingly enough, I thought the gnocchi was my favorite even though it was non-seafood. I hope it lasts for while, it's a shame how many great businesses have gone under in the area because of greedy landlords. It's been crowded since the day it opened to I would make a reservation, otherwise expect to wait 30-45 minutes.
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