March 13th, 2009: Dinner (Review of McCormick & Schmick’s)

Hi guys!  Sorry this didn’t get posted last night but we didn’t get home till going on 10pm and I was a bit on the passing out side.  Food coma and totally exhausted. :p

McCormick & Schmick's

McCormick & Schmick's

Last night we had reservations at McCormick&Schmick’s, which is a seafood restaurant located in the Easton shopping center.  Easton is a cute yet gigantic outdoor mall.  Lots of high end things there and it was created by Les Wexner, owner of Bath&Body Works and so on.  McCormick&Schmick’s boasts having fresh seafood and keeping nothing longer than 48 hours to maintain peak freshness.  We had not tried this restaurant before and decided that now would be a good time.  Scott made our reservations, via Opentable.com, for 6:45pm yesterday evening.

Main dining area

Main dining area

bar area

bar area

Upon entering, we were greeted with two things, one was the decor.  It was nice and cozy, seemed like a place where lawyers and upper rank business men would dine.  Lots of wood, and lead glass type of designs.  The second thing that we noticed was the noise level.  Wow but it was extremely loud in this place.  Perhaps it was because it was a Friday evening so there were lots of people hanging out at the bar?  Or maybe that’s the way it always is, regardless, it was a bit too noisy for us.  Scott and I like quiet dining experiences, not places with shouting and people trying to talk over others.

When we grabbed the manager’s attention and let them know we had a reservation, they seemed a little in a panic.  When Scott made the reservations, he specifically said that it was his wife’s birthday and he would prefer a booth or private table if possible.  I don’t think they realized this until they actually read the reservation.  Perhaps if he would have called the restaurant directly and spoke with someone it wouldn’t have been an issue?  They told us that they didn’t have any booths available and one would not be ready for about 1/2 an hour.

We decided to wait it out.  The booths he was referring to were these big deep wooden framed booths with green velvet curtains you could pull shut if you wanted.  They sort of reminded me of an old time train car.  It was in a different section of the restaurant and we decided that our eating experience would be more enjoyable in one of those booths.  So we waited even though both of us were very hungry.  The managers were extremely nice to us and did what they could to make the wait a little more enjoyable.  We let them know it honestly wasn’t a huge deal and we didn’t mind.  They offered to get us drinks but we both declined.  I was too hungry and a drink would have gone straight to my head.  We would have waited in the bar, but as I mentioned earlier, it was very very crowded and there was just no seating.  And also there was a woman in there whooping it up and she had one of the most annoying laughs ever.  I couldn’t go near that for fear of scratching my ears off.  Harsh?  I don’t know but I do know we’ve all come across someone with an annoying laugh, right?  It was clear she was trying to get some male attention.  I know guys love it when you laugh at their corny jokes but I’m not sure they dig on the whooping crane kind of laugh.  But I’m not a guy, so I could be wrong.

Finally a booth was ready for us!  We got seated and started pondering over the menu.

It's me

It's me

My dining companion

My dining companion

Then immediately our server was back bringing us a nice little snack plate.  She said it was from the managers thanking us for being so patient and pleasant.  Awesome!  Check out how pretty it is.

smoked salmon crustini

smoked salmon crustini

A very fru-fru smoked salmon with creme fraiche, capers, and dill on a piece of crostini.  After taking the picture, I laid the salmon across the crostini and dove in because I was starving.  It was so good!  And that was also a very generous piece of smoked salmon.

Tuscana

Tuscana

First up was the wine list because it’s my birthday and if I’m out at a nice restaurant I would like a glass of wine to help me feel sophisticated and like the class act that I am. ;)

classy

classy

I ordered the Tuscana and sprung for 8oz of the darling.  There was a wine listed that was $23 for 8oz.  Schnikie, that best be a darn good glass of wine and perhaps also help you with your taxes.

Scott's drink

Scott's drink

Scott ordered a mixed drink that was a twist on a whiskey sour.  Neither of us expected the martini type of glass it came in though.

The menus were the kind of menu where it is just one gigantic sheet of paper.  This is due to their menu changing every day, which I fully understand.  However, for me, those are the worst menus.  I feel like I’m bumbling around as I try to read the menu.  It’s so big, it covers the table and lays all over your glasses and silverware.  Yet you have to be mindful not to allow it to creep into your dining companion’s space while hoping they are doing the same.  We had trouble deciding on what to order for our main entrees, but we picked an appetizer right away.

coconut shrimp

coconut shrimp

Coconut shrimp with a dipping sauce described as a horseradish marmalade.  I had one whole shrimp and a bite of another piece.  The rest Scott ate.  He was starving and I was pacing myself for my meal.  Plus in full disclosure, I found the shrimp very greasy and heavy.  Fried things can be a gamble.  Either they come out light and delicate leaving you amazed they are fried.  Or they are like eating a brick, they are so heavy with grease.  These were little bricks.  The sauce was awesome though! Although I am solo in that opinion as Scott didn’t care for it.

my meal

my meal

Scott's choice

Scott's choice

I was confused by the menu because other than a salad section there were no vegetables listed.  Nothing mentioned with the main entrees and no a la carte or side menu at all.  I found that a bit odd.  Both of us flip-flopped for ages before deciding on what we wanted to get.

I picked the mahi-mahi and Scott ordered the wild mixed grill.  Our server then informed us that each dish comes with mashed potatoes and asparagus as the vegetable.  Whew, that’s something!  I also ordered a house salad for some extra greenage.  I assumed that came dressed because there was no dressing listed on the menu and the server didn’t ask what I wanted when I placed the order.

House salad

House salad

The salad was a basic mixed greens combo with blue cheese and candied walnuts.  Normally I try to avoid eating fungus and mold as much as possible, but I decided to give the blue cheese a try.  The salad only had three ingredients and as a good foodie, I gave it a try.  I was impressed!  It reminded me a lot of goat cheese in its texture and tartness.  There was a very light vinaigrette on the greens which was awesome.  I ate my salad up, leaving a few bites for Scott so he could try it.  Then our meals arrived!

my plate

my plate

Here is mine which looks pretty but disappointed me a lot.  I’ll get to that in a second.

Scott's meal

Scott's meal

Here’s Scott’s meal, all loaded up with stuff.  And his even comes with dessert afterwards!

As I started pulling the asparagus out from my fish, I realized it was a fake out and I did not actually have two pieces of asparagus.  I had one and a 1/4.  The first piece on the left is only the tip top of the asparagus.  Meanwhile Scott had four full stalks.  I also had no mashed potatoes, only a small scoop of plain white rice.  Meanwhile Scott had a huge mound of what seemed to be mushroom risotto.  Very not fair at all guys. We each had a tablespoon size scoop of spaghetti squash.

“I have to admit that I’m very bummed out that I did not get any mashed potatoes.”

“I know. You cannot dangle mashed potatoes in front of my baby and then not deliver. She gets cranky.”

Indeed.  I did not eat the rice but ate my 1 1/4 stalks of asparagus.  Good thing I ordered the salad!  Sheesh.  My fish?  Just okay but I was a bit disappointed in that as well.  I thought the bbq sauce would have more of a presence, but instead if was just a small dollop  which was very thin.  The description of the meal said “bbq glaze” so I assumed a nice thick layer of bbq sauce was to be had.  I had maybe 1/3 of it?  I know it wasn’t half, and gave the rest to Scott.  I picked at his salmon, probably 1/4 total, some of the sea bass, and some of the crab cake.  The crab cake was not good at all.  It tasted way too fishy, which crab should have a sweet taste to it and not taste like turned fish.  And it was too thick, causing the middle to be just a mushy gross mess.  I tasted his risotto but it had an off taste to me as well.  Oh but I did steal an asparagus stalk since I was robbed and he had loads of food. Seriously more squash would have been nice.  More veggies and no starch.  I am not looking to eat plain white rice when I go to a “fancy” dinner.

After our meal, (Scott’s leftovers were boxed up), our server brought out the dessert tray.  She informed me that she “was required” to bring me out a slice of their chocolate torte which was a flourless cake but she thought we might want something else instead.  I think she forgot that Scott’s meal came with creme brulee.  She listed off the other desserts and honestly it was hard to hear what she was saying.  The place was so loud and she was such a light talker, I only caught bits and pieces.  And I also was only half listening.  I’m not a sweets person guys, so dessert honestly holds no interest for me.  I said the torte was fine and Scott was supposed to get the creme brulee, “Oh! Right of course, yes.”  Ah ha! She did forget! :p

She brought out our desserts and check out how huge they are!

dessert time

dessert time

Crikey!  That’s a lot of sweets.  Scott loves creme brulee and I honestly do not.  It’s creamy and smooth yet not super thick so to me it comes across like it should be a sort of filling for something.  Not something you sit down and eat a whole bowl of.  My chocolate torte was very good.  I had two small bites and then asked for it to be wrapped up.  While I may not be big into sweets, I’m also not passing up free food.  That huge torte is $8!

We paid our bill and plunked down a generous tip.  I wish we could tip the managers because they were so nice.  We passed them on the way out and thanked them for their hospitality.  Then we headed home.  I didn’t feel like I overate but when I got home I realized that I totally had.  I tried drinking some water which left me feeling bloated and over full.  If water has that effect, I totally over did it.  Oh well, it was my birthday, it happens.  It was about 10pm when we got home and after I changed into my jammies, I got in bed. I laid chatting with Scott and snuggled with Rocky for a bit, then I kicked them out so I could get some sleep. :D

Our experience was a nice one but it’s not a place we would patronize again.  The atmosphere was too loud and the food was just not as good as it could have been.  I would also rather have a menu listing every aspect about a dish (like if the salad comes with dressing and where the vegetables live), because I don’t want to feel like I’m interrogating the server asking 50 million questions.  Also if the meal isn’t going to have the vegetables you told me about, please let me know ahead of time.  I know fish is the focus here but, in my opinion, they need to take a look at their vegetable offerings and bump those up more.

8 thoughts on “March 13th, 2009: Dinner (Review of McCormick & Schmick’s)

  1. Glad your experience was nice, minus the few things that weren’t so nice.

    I’ve been to a McCormick & Schmick’s twice in my area and the first time I went, I loved everything about it and the second time was more of an experience like you had. They messed up on my veggies (that weren’t supposed to have any butter on them) TWICE, so I gave up on that, aaand it was very busy and loud and our waiter was forgetful (I think he was waiting too many tables).

    I’m not sure if I want to go back … I’ve sort of forgetten about the first time after the second time, haha.

  2. This was hilarious. I love your recap. That restaurant is so fancy, they really shouldn’t have faked you out with the asparagus. You are both gorgeous people btw.

  3. Aw, I’m sorry McCormick & Schmick’s wasn’t all you wanted it to be. Funny story, though – my mom and I went there last night and got the coconut shrimp to start…and I had the house salad! Twins! ;) I also enjoyed your story about the lady with the whooping laugh. I’m not sure that guys appreciate it, haha! Thanks for your thoughtful review – and happy birthday once again!!

  4. Well, some guys may like it, but I’m not one of them. That whooping crane thing just doesn’t do it for me.

    It’s sad, but I’m almost always at least a little disappointed when/if I happen to get a meal out at a restaurant, because my Pops can usually do a better job.

    T.

  5. Sorry your birthday outing was a little disappointing. We have a few of those here and I’ve been fortunate to have had better meals than bad, though I agree that the portion size is somewhat small (esp. compared to the dessert). I’ve really eaten there for work, but we go there often on our own for happy hour b/c they have some really cheap food options :)

    I hope you had a nice birthday!

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