I read the review posted by Warren405 and others on urbanspoon and concluded the Bubbly Mermaid had the potential to be a new favorite place to dine. And how can one go wrong serving oysters and champagne? I now have the answer to my question.
You will most certainly feel comfortable and part of the family when entering the restaurant: close quarters, boat hull shaped bar, warm and artsy decor. The idea of enjoying fine gems from the sea and bubbly in a relaxing environment made me feel like I had found the dimond in the rough type establishment. Menu is small (oysters made everyway, crab cakes, chowder, variable pate with toast points) as it should be. They boast a wide variety of champagne and the bartender is a very helpful guide for those that do not know what type of bubbly they would enjoy. I ordered natural oysters and toast points with salmon pate which came quickly and plated simply.
I LOVE oysters. I've eaten them here in Alaska whenever they are offered, in Ireland fresh off the boat and shucked them myself. These were the worst! Of my four oysters, two must have taken steriods and the other two were obviously the runts of the litter. I'm not a big fan of overly large oysters; person preference for the sweet medium sized ones. No points deducted for preference, but the little ones? Did you really just serve that to me? The oyster seemed dried to its shell and if it were not for the fork, I would have thought it was empty. Look - you claim you are an oyster bar. Each oyster you serve is a reflection of your oyster bar. Each oyster you serve to your customer should be the best of your oyster bar. If it looks like a shriveled dried layer of mucus, you do not serve it. Toss it and open another. And there was grit in the larger oysters. As to the salmon pate and toast points - decent enough spread but I couldn't really eat it because the toast was browned to mirror a store bought crouton. I noticed another plate served to customer and her toast was as it should be: lightly toasted and still pliable. It's toast. If you over toast the bread, throw it out and make another batch. Simple.
While the restaurant has great potential and a small enough menu to enable each dish to shine, the cook obviously has no respect for what s/he is plating for customers. Take pride in what is served. Make the customer feel good.
Maybe it was just a bad day in the kitchen but I will never return to find out.
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