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District of Columbia County, District of Columbia
February 28, 2005
Normally when on vacation, I will not eat at chain restaurants. However, McCormick & Schmick’s is one chain I have no problem breaking this rule for. Each location features a unique menu that changes twice daily, depending on what fresh seafood is available on that day to the chef at that location. As a result, no two visits to the restaurant are exactly the same, and while some menu items are available at most locations, the majority of the menu is unique to the location and day that you visit.
We chose to eat at McCormick & Schmick’s in part because I had a $20 gift certificate I received as a loyalty gift from Alaska Airlines that was expiring March 1. We took a chance by visiting the busy Faneuil Hall location on a Saturday night without a reservation; fortunately, the wait for a table was less than 10 minutes. After being seated at a nice upstairs corner table with a window and view of the marketplace below, we began to look over the day’s menu. It was hard to choose among the many excellent choices, but I finally settled on the sautéed Rhode Island scallops, while my friend ordered a broiled seafood combo platter that featured salmon, shrimp, scallops, and oysters. Both of us also chose to start our meal with a cup of New England clam chowder, which was absolutely delicious and filled with chunks of fresh clam meat. My entrée, the sautéed Rhode Island scallops, was equally as good, featuring about a half dozen large scallops sautéed in a wine sauce with bacon, onions, garlic, and other ingredients. The scallops were perfectly cooked to a tender, yet not tough, consistency, and the flavor of the sauce and seasonings complemented the mild flavor of the seafood perfectly. Accompanying the entrée were sides of rice and grilled asparagus, both of which were very good. Following our entrées, we completed the meal with desserts. I chose the caramel apple pie, a delicious apple pie with a walnut crust served with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream and topped with caramel sauce. My friend chose a huge ice cream sundae.
The food on this trip to McCormick & Schmick’s was up to the company’s high standards. However, our waiter left a lot to be desired. We were seated for nearly 10 minutes before he greeted us and took our drink orders. It was another 10 minutes before he returned with our drinks to take the food order. After our food arrived, he was very slow to refill drinks, and when we ordered dessert, he forgot to bring my coffee. Most of the time he was nowhere to be found, while my wine and water glasses both sat empty for most of the meal. It’s a shame that the service was so poor, as it definitely detracted from what was an otherwise outstanding dining experience. Fortunately, I know from previous visits that this is not usually the case at McCormick & Schmick’s.
From journal Winter Weekend in Boston
June 3, 2004
The menu offers a great assortment of fresh seafood from around the world: Chilean sea bass, Prince Edward Island mussels, seafood from Australia, etc. I opted for the Nova Scotian steelhead fish with white bean sauce. It was tender and perfectly cooked in a nice sauce. If you just want a bowl of chowder, you've come to the right place. It has a delicate smoky flavor with sweet Vidalia onions.
Earlier in the day, we had asked the locals where the best restaurant in Boston was. McCormick and Schmicks received that awarded response by more than 60% of those we asked. I can see why. Enjoy!
From journal Boppin' in Beantown