American

Mermaid Oyster Bar

Immediately walking into the Mermaid Oyster Bar, I was distracted by the lively bar, and dimly lit setting with high chairs and booths (my favorite type of furniture). The busboys made up for the busy, though accommodating waitresses. This restaurant is a good dinner place. Though I couldn’t bring myself to order any of the seafood plates (small or big) because while I was not necessarily craving lobster rolls or crudo, the items did not seem to be interesting enough to justify their prices either. The crackers provided as a starter came with chilled butter and tasted nice topped with its poppy and sesame seeds. Though this restaurant is rather pricey, the experience ended with fun involving gimmicks like Fortune Teller Miracle fish and freebies like its free dessert. I don’t know if the dessert changes weekly, but the free desert they gave was a fantastic chocolate pudding that can literally be lifted from its little espresso cup, topped with a light and beautiful piece of whipped cream. Sadly, I also have to say that the desert is my favorite part. The oysters were not the best I’ve ever seen, mainly because I satisfied my oyster cravings with the cheap Happy Hour Chef’s choice and some of the specials. The oysters came out on metal plates mostly for plate fulls more than 6 and less than 5. The plating was not symmetrical but was aesthetically appealing with seaweed on the ice and the two sauces, notably for me the cocktail with finely grinded garlic in the center. The specials were fantastic with tuna tartar and wasabi sauce, but at the price of $4.50 a piece. Meanwhile, the Happy Hour offers some worthy East/West coast oysters and little-neck clams for a good price. Though the West Coast oysters were more expensive, the East Coast ones were actually more delectable this time. This is a tougher place to enjoy on a budget, as are many oyster restaurants.

Mermaid Oyster Bar: 79 MacDougal Street, New York, NY 10012

+ (212) 260-0100