Mermaid Inn; Photo - CitysearchThe torrential rain almost put a damper on plans to go to the East Village's best new restaurant, The Mermaid Inn, last night, but luckily the rain subsided. We put our names on the list at 7PM and only waited 30 minutes for a table (they said 45 minutes, but ended up calling 15 later to offer a table in the garden, but with the weather so crazy, we decided to wait for an inside table). The "give your cellphone number and we'll call when a table is ready" system works well.

We shared the fried oysters - it comes with a delicious, light slaw that was a perfect counterpoint - as a starter, and for the main course, we had the pan seared diver scallops with braised cabbage in a creamy horseradish bacon suace and grilled salmon with leeks and asparagus. All of it was excellent. We hadn't remembered what Adam Platt suggested in his review in New York, but as it turns out, we ended up getting things he wrote about. And yes, we had the chocolate pudding in demitasse cups. Upon leaving, there looked to be more of a 1-1.5 hour wait for a table, with lots of people crowding near the bar and hanging out in front of the restaurant.

Mermaid Inn FishFor the record, the Fortune Teller Fish says that I'm "passionate."

- More on the Fortune Telling Fish at Bluejake.
- Below 14th and Gothamist on the Mermaid Inn.
- Bio of Mermaid Inn chef, Jimmy Bradley (the bio references the Red Cat, one of his restaurants; the other is the Harrison).