Friday, March 28, 2014

Sign of the Mermaid

Located on Anna Maria Island on Gulf drive, the Sign of the Mermaid restaurant is located in a house renovated to accommodate dining guests. The home was built in 1912 and offers all the wonderful treasures an older home provides. Creaking floors, artwork, and fabulous antiques are just a few of the items that define the decor.  Meals are typically larger portioned and on the “heavier” side. They offer seafood, pasta, chicken, lamb, steaks, and award-winning desserts. Reservations are recommended.

We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table to open for us, as there were many large parties of mostly seniors and families with children.  The 'hostess' stand is not really friendly, as servers were buzzing behind and ignored most of the people waiting to check in.  I found this very annoying and unorganized.  When we were seated, our server approached us right away and asked for our orders.  My butt had barely touched the seat when he approached, so we asked for a few minutes to look over the menu.  He scoffed and turned around, but later returned more pleasant and was very accommodating the rest of the evening.

There were no special wines that stood out to me, so I skipped on a beverage and decided I'd save the extra calories for dessert later.  For a starter, I chose the Spring Salad of lettuce, fresh and roasted green peppers, and red onions topped with goat cheese wrapped in phyllo, sprinkled with almond slivers and a balsamic vinaigrette.  The salad was fresh and the goat cheese was a nice portion.  All in all I enjoyed the salad, except for the large pieces of red onion.  Keith started with the Sushi Tuna.  The fish was seared and cut roughly, served with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger and a sweet & sour pickled salad.  This dish was lacking and very disappointing.  Clearly the fish was not high grade, nor sushi quality and the presentation was very throw-back 80s and frankly, looked messy.

For my main course, I chose the Pan-Seared Scallops served with a garlic cream.  Only 3 jumbo size scallops arrived on my plate, with a side plate of a small roasted potato and three skinny asparagus.  A little on the skimpy side for $27.  However, the scallops were very sweet and fresh and the garlic cream sauce very decadent.  I even dipped the potato in the cream sauce to soak up all the extra flavor.  Keith ordered 12 oz of Blackened Swordfish.  Rather than one large piece, he received 3 smaller pieces of fish, though all were cooked perfectly and seasoned nicely.  He also received the same small side of potato and asparagus.  To end our meal, we chose their award-winning Key Lime Pie.  A large piece arrived that was clearly homemade with a large mountain of meringue on top and a dollop of whipped cream on the side.  The lime flavor was tangy and sweet, and the crust was super thick and buttery.  We had no problem finishing the whole piece.

All in all, service is slow and the atmosphere is a little dated.  The entree fish dishes are the main stars, yet nothing is particularly unique or must-try.  Desserts are stellar and should not be overlooked.

Total Rating: 3.7
Food: 4, Price: 3.5, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 3

What I ate:
Spring Salad
goat cheese wrapped in phyllo, placed on top of greens, with roasted peppers

Pan-Seared Scallops
in a garlic cream, served with a small side of vegetables

Key Lime Pie

Plus Keith ate:
Sushi Tuna
seared & served with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger and sweet & sour salad

Blackened Swordfish
served with a small side of vegetables

Sign of The Mermaid on Urbanspoon

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