I’m a seafood fanatic. So much so, that my friends often make fun of how much shrimp and lobster I like to eat when we go out. Therefore, when I happened upon a new medium-sized and unpretentious seafood restaurant in Manhattan's Greenwich Village recently (suprisingly, New York City isn't really swimming in affordable yet refined seafood eateries), I wanted to tell everyone about it.
Opened November of last year, the Mermaid Oyster Bar is an excellent downtown choice and well worth a visit if you love oysters, lobster, fluke, tuna, and the like. All menu items are as fresh as can be, service is excellent, and the pleasant decor -- white wood and maritime accents -- is meant to evoke a beachside, seafood cafe. All that was missing was sand underfoot.
After trying a mix of oysters (and there are over 15 to choose from daily, all for around $2 each), I opted for the tasty brioche lobster roll and fries (at $26, it’s the most expensive item on the menu, but a must for any lobster connoisseur). I later learned that a "blue bird" special is available from 5:30-7p.m. daily for just $20 and includes a lobster roll, Old Bay french fries, and a pint of beer (oysters also go for $1 a pop during this time, so get there early!). I was there around 9 so I missed the special but even so, the quality meal with two glasses of wine and tip came to $60. Not bad for a New York evening. The very good quality food makes for a solid value – and it came as no surprise when I learned later that the Bar won a City Search 2009 award for Best Seafood in NYC.
Some other personal NY favorites of mine for seafood include Mary's Fish Camp (also in the Village but on W. 4th Street; small number of tables), Blue Water Grill (great for a holiday; large and elegant), Lure Fishbar (in Soho; loud but good food), and Le Bernadin (in mid-town; classy, old world, French seafood).