Chef Spotlight: Chef Michael Cressotti
-Corporate Executive Chef of THE MERMAID INN

Chef Michael Cressotti
-Corporate Executive Chef of THE MERMAID INN

By: Jan. 17, 2023
Chef Spotlight: Chef Michael Cressotti
-Corporate Executive Chef of THE MERMAID INN

Over 25 years into his successful culinary career, Michael Cressotti continues to showcase his expertise as a chef by combining both classic and creatively innovative dishes in the kitchen. From the simplistic pure beauty of the raw bar to more intricate and composed dishes, he brings flavor-forward preparations and beautiful presentation to every plate.

Part of The Mermaid team for nearly a decade, Chef Cressotti leads the culinary team at all Mermaid Inn locations across the city that include Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and their newest location in Times Square.

Chef Cressotti works alongside owners Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith in fostering the restaurant's reputation as an iconic and steadfast seafood favorite, with signature staples like the "Nearly Famous" Lobster Roll, Mermaid Fish Tacos, and Happy Hour oyster deals. Cressoti is also credited with dishes including their San Francisco Style Cioppino, Chatham Cod with butternut squash puree, rainbow chard, and caper brown butter, and Pan Roasted Free Range Chicken with broccoli rabe and lemon thyme jus.

Previously, Cressotti has helped open several acclaimed restaurants in New York City, including Patria, Sushi Samba, and The Red Cat.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Cressotti about his background and Mermaid Inn for our "Chef Spotlight" feature.

What was your earliest interest in cooking?

Spending summers in NJ with my grandmother and my great aunts tending to the garden and helping make ravioli.

Who were some of your career mentors?

Robbin Haas was "my chef", the first person who took me under his wing and showed me how to cook as a young culinary school graduate. Early in my culinary career I was memorized with Charlie Trotter style, I was lucky enough to meet him several times and dine at his restaurant in Chicago.

What culinary styles have influenced your career?

I have always been a big fan of seafood and Asian flavors, especially Japanese. I was afforded an introduction into this cuisine working for a decade at Sushi Samba with some great Japanese chefs, the simplicity and attention to detail is what attracted me.

What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?

As far as "distinguishing features" is concerned, it's all about organization and attention to detail. Once you achieve this and train your staff to think like you, you can accomplish any task big or small. I have a lot of employees who have been with me for more than a decade, we know how to communicate without words, we are one, and a cohesive unit. We share the same thought process and develop dishes together, which makes life easier.

What is your favorite meal or meals?

Korean BBQ, over "live" charcoal, not of the gas stuff......and good Mexican food would be a close second.

Tell me a little bit about your restaurant for our readers.

The Mermaid Inn is what you would find in a small coastal New England town. The Mermaid Inn is comforting, from décor to menu selections. The service is friendly and welcoming. The food is straightforward and memorable. My goal is to provide my guests with the feeling of having the complete dining experience and a memorable time, to slurp freshly shucked oysters and to for one minute close their eyes and imagine being in coastal New England in the heart of New York City.

The newest Mermaid location, Mermaid Oyster Bar in Midtown is located at 127 West 43rd Street in the former Heartland Brewery location. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday with lunch from 12 pm to 3:30 pm, happy hour from 4 pm to 5:30, and dinner until 10 pm. For more information, please visit or call 332-208-7713.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Mermaid Inn


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