2 Steps forward, 1 step back. You know how there are certain restaurants that go the extra mile and seem like this business is their lifelong calling? Well, unfortunately this is not the 1. In fact, ironically, those places often go out of business, but I digress. This is not 1 of those places. It has potential. The thin, tall sundress woman who greeted us seemed like she was up for the challenge. The menu is rather thin and my dinner guest said that their steak was only okay and certainly not worth the inflated price. I asked for a taste of avocado with my dish. The big boys typically give this to you as a courtesy or an obligatory $1. Benjamin's whopping $4 took my meal up to the next price bracket. I liked the diversity of the 2 light skinned minority waitresses. When I complimented the Manager on her kimono, she practically lectured me on how it was not. When I asked the waitress for an orange slice, in addition to not having any she got too familiar asking me what I needed it for. What ever happen to the customer is always right, even if my fashion jeopardy was slightly off. I actually wanted to like this place more for the several 2 steps forward, but I would be disingenuous to not warn people of the several 1 steps back. I read both the favorable and unfavorable reviews of the restaurant on this site. I figured I’d pay them the solid of letting them know of the site so one of them could perhaps write a response to any unfavorable reviews that were just miscommunications. The male manager who answered said he would get the female manager that I described only to return as if screening her calls. He was otherwise very polite cordial and professional. When I suggested that someone in his camp might want to write retorts to negative messages posted about the restaurant, he was not interested. Oh well.
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Mermaid Inn is a welcomed addition to the average slate of restaurants on the Upper West Side. If you're a fish fan, you'll love this place. A lively fish-themed atmosphere greets you right when you walk in. In the summertime, the garage-style doors are opened up to the sidewalk cafe, creating a comfortable space with cross ventilation. In the winter, you'll feel warm and cozy with the hues of black and brown on the wall. The menu is anything but boring. There's always fresh fish selection and yummy sides like French Fries w/Old Bay or grilled asparagus w/parmesan. Look out for the seasonal specials too. Hailing from Maryland, I opted for the summer special Maryland Crab Boil, complete with 5 steamed crabs, corn bread and corn on the cob. While it was a bit strange to be cracking the crabs open on a table other than a picnic table covered with newspapers, the crabs were still perfectly cooked and seasoned. The staff is very attentive and you even get your own (free) cup of Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream for dessert. While there's always a lively scene, I wouldn't take my kids here, unless, of course, they're fish lovers.
Everything about Luke's Lobster is appealing. Even though the UWS location is very small, they've managed to decorate the space so that you literally feel like you're eating in one of those lobster shack on a pier off the coast of Maine. The menu is limited in that the main dishes are simply fresh Lobster Rolls, Crab Rolls and Shrimp Rolls. You can get simple sides like chowder, crab claws and kettle chips and bottles of Maine-brewed beer too. The rolls are the real deal - buttered and toasted New England-style split top bun w/ a swipe of mayo. The Lobster Roll is ALL FRESH LOBSTER MEAT. There's no imitation meat in this restaurant and nd, that's why you'll feel like you're paying a lot of money for something that takes only 4-5 bites to finish. But, I have eaten rolls that cost $32 dollars or more so, these are bargains. This spot is perfect for a quick, a la carte sandwich for lunch or for a bite on your way out to a concert. There's minimal seating so, plan accordingly.