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Report on McCormick and Schmick's

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Had dinner last night at this restaurant...They are known in Dallas for having fresh fish flown in daily, so I was eager to try them out...We started with a glass of Pinot, which was $12.50...thought that was a bit much...not even a large glass of wine...We had to ask for bread, which was somewhere between just white gooey bread and a sugarless Angel Food cake taste and consistency...Our apps were good, though, as we ordered the crab cakes and calamari...the calamari came with three very good sauces...We went with the waiter's suggestion of the sea bass that was topped with a gorgonzola mousse..We all love sea bass, and order it frequently at restaurants, and are usually quite pleased...This was a great disappointment, as it was topped with a very heavy dense mousse, which completely covered up the taste and delicacy of the seabass..One of my dining companions likened the dish to what tasted like just a piece of flounder that did not begin to resemble a delicate piece of sea bass...Told our waiter that we did not like the entree, and he did not offer to replace it with another dish...We chalked the main dish up to a chef that does not know how to prepare this wonderful fish, (should have a very light sauce on it), and a waiter that was not very experienced...Will not return....

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  1. I've been a handful of times and it has been very hit and miss. They often have butterfish and ono from hawaii which you don't see much here and both have been outstanding. Crab Louis salad has always been good and I agree with you on the calamari. However, I once ordered sea bass and it came out virtually raw. Not med rare but rare. Too rare for me. I prefer my fish (with the exception of ahi tuna) just barely cooked through. Anyway, I asked the server to take it back and we were sitting close enough to the kitchen for me to hear the chef say, "I'm not going to overcook the fish, I don't care what the customer said." I guess I'm confused my a chef that is supposedly a fish purist yet drowns delicate fish in big sauces. The waiter brought it back and it was fine though still not quite how I like it. Funny you mention the overpowering sauce b/c this came with a honey BBQ sauce that I assumed would be on the side. As I've said in other posts, restaurants often use overpowering sauce or blacken fish to hide their lack of freshness. I also had king crab legs there one time, which I understand come in frozen but these were WELL past their prime. The smell was fishy and the meat was mealy. I ate maybe 2 of the legs then told my waiter I couldn't eat them. He apologized but it stayed on the bill.

    Anyway, for my money Oceaniare has much fresher fish and a better selection. And if you're an oyster fan they literally put the shipping labels up on the chalkboard to show when they arrived. No reason for me to go back to McCormick & Schmicks again.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ieatdallas

      totally agree. for my money, i'm going to the oceanaire before heading to mckormick and schmicks.

    2. The restaurant here in L.A by the airport is horrid....I would never go there. Another example of a chain thinking it can do fine dining

      1. I have eaten at some good McCormick and Schmick's and some bad! Havent been to one in a few years though so maybe the quality has gone down quite a bit? I know my dad used to eat at a lot of them when he would travel and always enjoyed the meals there. You have to eat at the original, McCormick and Kuleto's in San Francisco to really get a quality meal!

        1. I've only eaten at the M&S here in uptown Charlotte three times (once for dinner and twice for lunch.) Dinner prices are a bit high but lunch is pretty reasonable. All three times the food was excellent. Although I think I'd be pretty appalled if I heard a chef refuse to make something the way I like it. That's just inexcusable.

          1. go for happy hour, then leave.