Monday, November 8, 2010

McCormick and Schmick's Review

A photograph of Fried calamari (squid).Image via Wikipedia
My wife and I went out to McCormick and Schmick's Saturday night in celebration of our 20th Wedding Anniversary.  It was my second visit to McCormick and Schmick's.  Neither the service nor the food disappointed.  McCormick and Schmick's is a little more upscale than we usually go for.  The closest one is about 20 miles from our house.  However, it was our anniversary and we had a gift card (as we had had for the first visit a couple of years ago).

I am a big fan of using available technology.  We were going to call for reservations at 8 o'clock.  When we visited the website,  we found we could make the reservations ourselves on-line.  Nice!  When we arrived at 8 o'clock, we were seated within five minutes of our arrival.  Our menu had "Happy 20th Anniversary" printed on it.  What a coincidence I thought, it's their 20th Anniversary, too.  The waitress informed me that they had printed that on our menus based on information my wife had put on the website.  That was another pleasant touch.

Our waitress was well informed, bubbly and maybe just a bit too talkative.  My wife and I love a bargain. So, we were happy to hear that several of the wines were half off the night we were there.  We chose the Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc which was wonderful and a bargain at $19.  BAs I went to look up the name of the wine on their menu, I see that two days before we visited, it was $29.  On the night we were there, it was listed at $38.  A couple of the other wines that were 50% off were also marked up a few dollars between the Thursday menu that's still on the internet and the Saturday menu we were handed.  Disappointing that they would do that. But, the wine was great and it was still a very good price.

Our waitress insisted that we have the calamari.  She said it would be the best we had ever had or we'd get our money back.  Well, she was right.  I don't know what they do to their calamari.  I've had calamari several times in many different places.  But, this is the most tender calamari I've ever had.  It's lightly breaded and fried and served with a fire roasted tomato sauce and banana peppers so mild even my wife can eat them.  She said if all banana peppers tasted like that, she'd eat them more often.

For our main course, my wife chose "The Perfect Combination" which was a selection of 3 entrees from five.  The choices were Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, Seared Parmesan Tilapia, Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Seared Lump Crab Cake and Grilled Swordfish.  She had the crabcake, tilapia and shrimp.  Her meal came with orzo and "Chef's Fresh Vegetables" which turned out to be asparagus.  The combination was $26.95.  She definitely made the best choice.  The shrimp were done to perfection and there were four large shrimp.  The tilapia was wonderful- nice and crusty on the outside and flaky on the inside.  The crab cake was also very good.  I chose the Stuffed Filet of Sole for $23.95.   The sole was rolled and stuffed with artichokes, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and lemon tarragon butter.  It was serve on a bed of orzo.  I was a little disappointed with my choice.  My first instinct was to go with the "Wild" Sea Scallops. But, I make scallops at home all the time and wanted something I couldn't get at home.  There were very few sundried tomatoes in the sole and the artichokes didn't provide much flavor.  So, the creaminess of the goat cheese wasn't really balanced by any other flavors.  With no vegetables on the side, the dish just kind of fell flat. It was good. But, not great.

For dessert, our waitress recommended a cobbler of strawberries, rhubarb and cherries.  My wife asked about something chocolate and they were out of their one chocolate dessert.  That was surprising and very disappointing.  But, we decided to go with the waitresses' recommendation.  The cobbler was covered with a walnut crust and served ala mode with Graeter's Vanilla Bean ice cream.  The dessert was  the perfect ending to an excellent meal.

Overall, I'd give McCormick and Schmick's a 9 out of 10 stars.  Great service, very good food and not too bad a price.  Our bill came to $89 before the tip.

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