The Mermaid Inn
The original downtown outpost of Danny Abrams and Jimmy Bradley’s lovely Mermaid remains one of the most consistent restaurants in New York’s East Village, calling to many devotees like a siren song. (The second Mermaid, at 568 Amsterdam Avenue, has provided a similarly sweet experience for hungry Upper West Siders since 2007.) High-minded and devoted to quality, yet essentially a roll-up-your-sleeves fish shack that melds perfectly into this casual neighborhood, it’s frequented by a handsome rotation of chic couples and clued-in gourmands who know they’re in for a fine show. As logic might dictate, this is a safe bet when those cravings kick up for chowder, oysters, or lobster sandwiches with Old Bay fries. At the same time, the pan roasted codfish with ham hock risotto and sautéed skate wing provide the kind of panache you won’t find at just any clam shack along the New England shore.