The wait is over.
As of today, Crab & Mermaid, the much-anticipated fish shop from Square One Concepts, opens its doors to the public at 4218 North Scottsdale Road. As we've told you, the restaurant comes from the same folks behind Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers and Wasted Grain, two other popular restaurants also located in Old Town Scottsdale.
Yesterday, we were invited to take a peek inside the space and to try a few of the menu items and cocktails. In addition to offering a wrap-around patio with views of Scottsdale Road, the restaurant includes a bar, raw bar, and both low- and high-top dining areas.
You can expect an eclectic, nautical vibe inside the space, with plastic fish, buoys, longboards, and anchors suspended from the ceiling. White subway tiles and large, rollaway windows give it a bright, clean look.
The bar, equipped with comfortable barstools and two flatscreen TVs, will make a perfect place to explore Crab & Mermaid's cocktail menu, which comes from well-respected local mixologist Richie Moe. Moe, who says he'll often be behind the bar himself, has crafted a list that's both thoughtful and approachable, with drinks including the simple but elegant Layered Sangria (red wine, fruit juices, and fruit liqueurs) and Tsunami Sake-Tini (gin, sake, yuzu-ade, and cucumber).
Moe says his personal favorite from the menu is the Elyx'n Vixen, which combines Absolut Elyx Vodka, watermelon, lime, bitter lemon soda, and mint for a refreshing summer drink that should pair well with the seafood-focused menu.
On the food side, diners should be well-off in the hands of Crab & Mermaid executive chef Isaac Carter. Carter, a self-described "Todd English disciple," comes to Arizona from the East Coast but has aimed to source as much seafood as he can from closer, Western waters. We tried the Inner Harbor Crab Cake, which features Maryland crab and a saltine crust but takes a somewhat unexpected turn with a Worcestershire glaze.
Overall, the menu seems ambitious and includes classic dishes from various regions, including New England clam chowder, gumbo, and West coast-style fish taco. One of the most interesting parts of the menu includes a section that lets diners select a fish, sauce or spice, and type of preparation to be served in anything from a salad to tacos or a sandwich.
Crab & Mermaid opens today, Thursday, March 24. For more information or to view the complete menu visit the Crab & Mermaid website.