The Mermaid Inn

13. August 2008 American, Upper West Side 0

568 Amsterdam Avenue between 87th and 88th Streets
about $70 for two, with two beers, with tip

I’ve never been big on moderation and that’s why a lot of the time, I find myself eating and drinking too much and paying way more than I can afford. At The Mermaid Inn, the Dr. pushed on the brakes and ordered for both of us while I went to the restroom. He ordered just enough food to keep me happy and full. The half a dozen oysters were from Washington: briny and just delicious. He’s a bigger fan of littleneck clams than I am so I let him finish five out of the other half dozen.

If I called the shots, I would have ordered a whole roasted fish after the oysters and the littleneck clams that we started with. Instead, we split a bowl of steamed mussels. It hit the spot and our waiter accommodated our request for some extra toasted bread to sop up the leftover aromatic broth.

Sometimes, you just want a no-frills dinner in the city. At the new branch of the Mermaid Inn, we got just that.