This is a tale of two cities, if cities were restaurants. One bad, one good. But at least you know upfront there is a happy ending to this story. I’ll start with the bad: The Mermaid Inn. This classic NYC establishment gets a Bite-Sized Thumbs down. If only my thumbs were bigger.
I was so excited to have a feast of oysters at The Mermaid Inn in the East Village. I even tweeted about it. Not that that says too much; I tweet about everything food related. But still, the excitement was there. We got to the restaurant, and we were seated in the garden on a gorgeous night. I saw an iPhone app for oysters on the menu and since I am in love with my iPhone, I was thoroughly impressed. I thought to myself, we are off to a good start. Little did I know the good ended there.
We ordered the Grilled Romaine Salad, half a dozen West Coast Oysters, and the Bay Scallops to start. The salad was so underdressed, it could have gotten a ticket for public nudity. There was a miniscule amount of lemon dressing on the lettuce, which was then covered in Parmesan cheese. I took 3 bites before waiving the white flag. If I want to eat plain lettuce, I’ll go back to camp where is the food is inedible. It’s hard to comment on the Bay Scallops because there were so few of them on the plate. Seriously, there were 4 of them, and since Bay Scallops are the size of nickels, you can understand how this is unacceptable. There was, however, an overwhelming amount of the mediocre Summer Corn Succotash. Lucky me. The oysters were tasty, but since there is no prep work in oysters, other than shucking, it wasn’t enough to save the meal.
After the poor showing of appetizers, we didn’t want to stick around to be inevitably even more disappointed with the entrees. So, we told the waitress we were unhappy with our appetizers and asked if the entrees had been fired. She said no, and asked us if we wanted the check. Did she apologize and send the manager over? Nope, she just brought us the check, in its entirety. Well, ain’t that a swift kick in the pants. This is a true testament to service, or lack thereof. If the waitress had tried to recover the meal, I assure you we would have stayed. *Disclaimer: This is not something I have ever done before or advocate doing.
Is this a reflection of all The Mermaid Inn restaurants? I am not sure. But I am certainly not going to find out! As another one BITES the dust…an OBG saves the day.
OBG. What’s that you asked? An OBG is an “oldie but goodie.” And Lil’ Frankies is an OBG. Located just a few short blocks from the mediocrity that is The Mermaid Inn, we knew that Lil’ Frankies was going to be the chocolate to our heartbreak. Since we didn’t need appetizers, we skipped right to the entrees: Mezzi Rigatoni Polpettini Ragu and Spinach Gnocchi Pomodoro. The Rigatoni was perfectly al dente and the polpettini, which are mini meatballs, were out of this world. They were tenders little pearls of meat. The Spinach Gnocchi tasted like a garden pure deliciousness, and you know how I love my Gnocchi.
So, thank you Lil’ Frankies for being an OBG, not to be confused with ODB. That would just be weird.
The Mermaid Inn
96 Second Ave
New York, NY
19 First Ave
New York, NY