I spent the first twenty-six years of my life thinking I hated oysters—and then I found out Oyster Happy Hour is a thing. The day of my sister’s graduate school commencement back in 2012, I met my family at the Mermaid Inn for drinks and an assortment of appetizers: clams, oysters, calamari, mini fish tacos, and more.

I’m not sure what made me more open-minded, but I’m sure glad I tried some of everything. This place has since become a favorite—I’d totally be a regular here if I was a regular at any restaurants. Maybe one day. For now, I’m more or less content with that favorite coffee shop, even if I always seem to run into ex-gentleman friends there.

But right, Mermaid Inn. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried on their menu, whether I’ve gone for Happy Hour or Dinner. I have as yet to try their brunch, but it sounds awesome. If I wasn’t going to be out of town this weekend, maybe I’d put it on my agenda.

On a recent mother-daughter dinner date, we shared an octopus appetizer special. It was octopus a la plancha with veggies and crispy roasted potatoes. It was so delicious, I momentarily forgot about the couple at the next table talking loudly about diabetes and the merits of Fire Island.

The grilled dorade was also out of this world. It’s similar in texture and taste to a sea bass. This came with broccolini in a spicy tomato sauce.

Mermaid Inn Grilled Dorade

The potato chips on top were a little odd, but easily scraped off. Once I got that distraction out of the way, I was able to concentrate on the rest of the dish. Why doesn’t that read like a metaphor?

Anyway, one of the other things that I find really cute about the Mermaid Inn is the mini pot de creme and fish-shaped fortune tellers they give you at the end of the meal. It’s a sweet (no pun intended) touch that’s also good for a few laughs. Supposedly, the way the fish moves tells you something about yourself.

fish fortune teller

I think mine is paging Dr. Freud.


Do you like oysters? 

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