Alright, so for my first blog, before I continue with my food reviews, you should know…
I LOVE OYSTERS!
I think they’re amazing! It totally helps that they’re one of the most effective aphrodisiacs and they look like vaginas. So when I started craving oysters one day, my boyfriend and I yelped it and found a place called The Mermaid Inn (96 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003) in East Village. This was on the pricier side but good for a much-needed date night.
Upon entering the restaurant, I noticed that it definitely had an East Village vibe. You know what I’m talking about right? Dim lighting, earthy furniture… Luckily, I dig that sort of thing.
When you sit down and take a look at the menu, there is a little note about a phone app the restaurant created. You can download this app to rate and check off the oysters you’ve eaten. Genius! It’s called Oysterpedia. I think this is so great because many people don’t know what type of oysters they like. As a result, they get an oyster that really doesn’t suit their taste palette. At another restaurant, they’re likely to eat something similar again without knowing how to pick one from a large collection of funny names and locations. With this app, you can keep track of all the oysters you’re eating and fill in its information wherever you go. (By the way, I usually stick to oysters with low or medium salinity because they’re not too strong or fishy.)
But first, Cocktails! I ordered the Bloody Mary and it was really good too. I always like it when its a little briny because it adds a nice texture to the drink. Also, you get a little shrimp cocktail with it, no complaints there!
So first up was, obviously, the oysters. Absolutely lovely and fresh! The Naked Cowboy and Barcat oysters were definitely the best with its clean, crisp flavor. The only thing is I wish they cleaned the oysters a little better. While downing those suckers, I got really small pieces of shell in my mouth on two occasions and that’s never a pleasant feeling. If this was Chopped, Chris Santos totally would have gotten those bits on his plate and taken off marks for Presentation.
Now the octopus dish, that was Divine (notice the capital D?). They served these small pieces of octopus with chickpeas and a hot sauce with just enough heat to please both people who like hot food and those who don’t.The octopus was unlike any I had ever tried before. It was so smooth because it didn’t have that rubbery feel that you usually get with tentacles poking out. They also charred the octopus in order to inject an extra layer of flavor into the dish. The Dubai side of me was definitely jumping for joy at the sight of chickpeas! The chickpeas weren’t too mushy but soft enough to melt a little in your mouth. All this was topped off with a little watercress salad. I don’t think this dish could have gotten any better even if I tried. I’d want Marcus Samuelson to try this because the hot sauce is similar to one he serves in his restaurant Red Rooster and also because he appreciates layers of textures and flavors like no other.
Overall, the original manner in which this dish was composed resulted in some seriously high Creativity points for The Mermaid Inn.
For a side dish, we had kale. I had never eaten kale before because I presumed it was a flavorless health fad (which it kinda is). But I tasted the kale and it was surprisingly delicious! This restaurant cooked it in a little olive oil and garlic and it worked! Mad Taste points, yo.
I wish I took a picture of more than just the octopus because the Presentation renders a lot of tummy-grumbling. Except for the slight hiccup with the poor cleaning of the oysters, my time at The Mermaid Inn was a pretty fabulous experience and HELL YES I would go there again!