Houston food, restaurants and dining review. Urban living, travel, thoughts and other randomness.

Friday, April 29, 2005

McCormick & Schmick Seafood Restaurant !!

One of a handful of restaurants where I can order any seafood item on the menu without worrying too much about whether that item is in season or not is McCormick & Schmick. They print the menu daily and so can add and remove items according to freshness. The restaurant is "old school" with tables set into dark wood enclaves. They have a huge bar that sees its share of the happy hour crew and they have a staff intent to please. All-in-all, not a bad way to serve seafood.

This time, Rekha and I ordered the Little Chill that is not on the menu. Essentially, it's half of the Big Chill, an appetizer that can feed four to six people. Our Little Chill came with smoked salmon, trout (?), mussels, and scallops. It also came with two huge shrimps with cocktail sauce, rock shrimp, three oysters, and crab meat. In other words, perfect for two or three people to share as an appetizer. Since Rekha doesn't do raw oyster, I got to taste all three. Two were the same and tasted mildly of the West Coast; whereas, one was definately from the Gulf Coast.

I followed the Little Chill with their special seafood corn chowder soup. There were bite-size pieces of scallop, fish and other seafood in the small cup. Although the soup was entertaining, it didn't taste nearly as good as the lobster bisque we had last time.

For our main course, we had the steamed dungeness crab. These crab taste like a combination of the Gulf Coast's blue crab and the Alaskan king crab. The meat is salty like the king crab, but has the flakiness of blue crab. I generally don't like a lot of dressing on my crab, so the dungeness steamed in garlic infused broth was perfect. The meat tasted perfect.

I do, however, recommend that you you concoct your own dipping sauce. The melted butter just doesn't add much flavor to the crab. Combine generous portions of pepper, a quarter as much salt and make the mixture swim in lime--or lemon if lime is not available. Dip all your crab meat into the sauce. Yummy!

As for dessert... It's always a bad sign when the waiter says, that they had to dig around the freezer to find the last helping of three berry cobbler--a dish that wasn't even on the menu. We ordered it only because of how spectacular it tasted last time. This time, the berry part was the same (minus the ice crystals still in the berries), but the crust was some sad piece of crust from some savory dish. It wasn't the cinamon infused crust we had in our last meal. That said, I'm going to have to blame myself for this dessert. It wasn't on the menu for a reason.

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