Matthew Schaefer Brings Fried Chicken to the Mermaid Inn

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Matthew Schaefer, the new chef at the Mermaid Inns downtown location, tells us that after a couple of weeks in the kitchen, he has already added a crab cake and clam chowder to the menu, and that by summer itll be fully his. (Of course, a few of the places signature dishes will remain like the lobster roll thats available along with a beer for $20 every day before 7 p.m.) Schaefer is now pairing the Inns cod fish with a take on red-wine risotto that incorporates ham hocks, plus a sauce made from the red wine he braises them in. And tonight hell add a fried chicken dish similar to the one he served at Bussaco a quartered young chicken brined, soaked in buttermilk, and deep-fried, then paired with collard greens and cornbread. As for his previous gig, Schaefer shrugs off the owners claims that he wasnt catering to the needs of the nabe. I had a pizza, fried chicken, and a burger on the menu at Bussaco. To me, those are comforting foods. I guess the owner saw it differently. His plan at the Mermaid: Cooking American food and keeping it simple.