Forget about the excellent food (particularly the tuna crudo app), my evening at The Mermaid Inn was highlighted by a few special touches worth mentioning. First and foremost, our waiter (Guy) was great. Great energy, fun but not too cheesy or pushy, helpful with recommendations, and clearly knowledgeable (he weaved in a great story about how all the servers there have to give monthly presentations on a new wine’s history and taste notes). That and the quality of food were good enough for me. But three other experiential elements stood out:
- The menu included a promotional message for the restaurant’s app, Oysterpedia. I typically have reservations (pun!) with restaurant apps that are usually self-serving, but this one is entirely different. With minimal self-promotion, the app serves to spread basic, useful information about the sometimes confusing world of oysters.
- When the meal concluded, our server dropped two mini-mugs of chocolate pudding in front of us. I assumed it was an offering from the owner, as my girlfriend counts the restaurant among her wine-buying clients, but she corrected me. They provide this complimentary dessert to every diner, apparently. And even though it wasn’t exactly taste-buds-exploding delicious, it was the sentiment that resonated.
- To conclude the experience, we were given Fortune Teller Miracle Fish, a playful reason-to-talk interactive element that helped our conversation continue in a fun way.