McCormick & Schmick (Bridgewater NJ + others)
Went for a last-minute meal at the new McCormick & Schmick seafood restaurant (in Bridgewater Mall).
Its nice enough and earnest in its endeavor, but
I AM NOT IMPRESSED
The restaurant is nicely decorated for the seafood equivalent of a hunt-club, if you fancy that sort of austere faux-warm environment. They have special booths with curtains for privacy if you are able to snag one, or else regular booths and nice tables. Chairs are comfy so thats nice. All the wait staff looked pretty snazzy in white dress shirt with black tie and white apron and they outfit their bartenders in the old-style white coats and bowties.
In fact, you get the feeling they are trying so hard to make everything snazzy and upscale, that it feels false.
The menu (and their major selling point) changes twice daily and touts their entire arsenal of fresh seafood.
The top portion of the menu is a 4-column list of all the different seafood that they receive fresh daily, fed-exed on ice from all over the world. This is nice and showy, but what the actual point of this section is, is beyond me.
The next section features "Entree Salads" which seems to cover both salad compositions and things like a lobster roll with fries. They have a large selection of oysters on the half shell, by the each or half dozen or dozen.
They have the obligatory appetizers like fried oysters, baked clams, steamed clams, fried calamari, popcorn shrimp, etc.
They also feature soups and salads, including an amusing iceberg wedge with bleu cheese (how old fashioned can we get?).
The main features of the menu are the fish selections. each a different type of fish prepared with a special sauce or accompaniment guaranteed to wow. Salmon sauteed with asparagus, mushrooms... raspberries and hazelnuts?? Yech.
Unfortunately, every dish comes with the SAME side item no matter what (undercooked asparagus and tasteless shredded carrots) and mashed potatos (lumpy but very tasty). Portion was small and prices were slightly high.
Service was friendly.
However as I mentioned, I AM NOT IMPRESSED. To me it seems like dining in a hotel - lots of fluff and woo-woo but little substance. Impersonal, somehow.
If someone is treating me to dinner I might go back but I wont be upset if I dont make it back anytime soon.