Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Inn Between

.....This is sort of where I am right now with all things piscine.

The sad, horrible, miserable, unfortunate, life-shattering truth is that I am allergic to shellfish (although I've recently tried a little bit of shellfish here and there, and nothing happened....here's to hoping). As a way to remedy the situation, one would assume I befriend the next best thing; the next of kin: regular fish. Unfortunately, I do not LIKE fish. For some curious reason, I love the fishiness of shellfish but I sk-hate the fishiness of regular fish. Regardless, a few months ago, for the sake of the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids everywhere, I decided to take the plunge and try fish every few meals I went out.

One such meal was my sister's birthday dinner at The Mermaid Inn.

Located in the E Vill, on 2nd Avenue at 5th St., The Mermaid Inn is sort of like an upscale fish shack, save for the outdoor, street-side dining (although they do have a lovely outdoor back patio that really gets you in the Maine-mood during those hot summer days). A long rectangular room, white painted wooden walls, rickety wooden chairs around wooden tables, and a long bar on one side.

They really try to drive the whole mermaid theme, as is evident by the mermaid "stamp" atop the butter that's the accompaniment to the crackers....

I ordered the michelada, a classic Mexican drink (very appropriate??), composed of beer, hot sauce, and rimmed with salt and pepper.

I'm forgetting what this beer-based drink was, but check it out! -- it's got a skewer of shrimp on it! It's makin me thirsty AND hungry!

To begin our aqua adventure, we collectively ordered the jonah crabcake ($12), shrimp cocktail (a must - $11), and the crispy rhode island calamari ($10). Everything was great (well, the calamari was -- that's the only one I tried; I was just told the same about the other two). Nothing that made them stand out, just high quality and delish.

This here is the roasted Chatham cod everybody! Complete with fingerling potatoes, creamed leeks, and a black truffle vinaigrette.

I ordered the pan-sauteed skate wing with a cauliflower puree, braised swiss chard, and caper brown butter.

Here is where fish-o-philes everywhere have me stumped: white fish does not TASTE like anything. It is my belief that white, flakey fish takes on the taste of whatever sauce it is accompanied with. And I do not think I'll ever be one of those people that will ever enjoy a simple white fish with fresh dill and lemon juice -- ever. Keeping that in mind, I thought the skate was actually quite delicious. It was light and flaky, a perfect compliment to the creamy cauliflower puree. Normally I don't like swiss chard to be that soft and mushy, but it worked with the puree.

Onto the MAIN EVENT...the lobster sandwich with old bay fries ($26).....

...on a toasted bun, not too much mayo, and large chunks of lobster all make for how a classic lobster roll SHOULD taste.

I see you hiding, mr. lobster roll.

Lobster roll remnants....

The other entree ordered was the gulf shrimp and avocado sandwich with chiptole aioli (LOVE chiptole and LOVE aioli) and old bay fries ($17).

The french fries were delicious, crunchy, and with a little bit of seasoning. Just your standard high quality fries.

After we all finished our meals, the waiter gave each of us a mini packet with a red piece of plastic in the shape of a fish. You're supposed to hold the fish in the palm of your hand and see what shape the fish becomes....on the back of the packet are images of the fish in different positions and what those position say about your personality. I think mine was twisted at both ends, which apparently meant that I was jealous, and if anybody reading this knows me then they'll know that this was obviously a sham ;)

Survey says? All in all I was surprisingly delighted by the experience; really great service, good food, and a laid back, relaxed ambience. Now, I don't think I will ever crave fish, but it's good to know that there are potential alternatives to red meat, red meat, and red meat. I have The Little Mermaid to thank for that!

My only gripe? The HUGE cockroach in the restroom. EW.

Be happy and Carpe Diem!

No comments: