|From the moment you enter McCormick & Schmick's, the first thought is of a steakhouse with dark, wood paneled décor, white tablecloths and handcrafted light fixtures. Instead, this trendy new hot spot at the transformed Park Plaza Hotel brings some of the freshest seafood to its tables. The Pacific northwest fare includes Alaska King salmon, Oregon Petrale sole and Dungeness crab while its northeast selection offers Maine lobster and Chesapeake Bay blue crab.
The Portland-Oregon based chain, located in the refurbished Motor Mart Garage building, opened its 31st location in Boston, bringing some of the most flavorful samplings to the east coast. We ordered a variety of raw oysters, which included Massachusetts Wellfleet and Rhode Island Prudence Island oysters. They were fat and meaty, the way they should be. The fried calamari ($9.75) was excellent and the jumbo gulf shrimp ($2.95/each) were sweet and fresh. The crab claws ($13.80) were just what we were looking for when they arrived. Fresh, generous pieces of already cracked crab claws were served with drawn butter and cocktail sauce with spicy horseradish.
We ordered the 14-ounce New York strip ($23.85), a robust steak, cooked with expertise. The seafood newburg is a classic offering with tender chunks of shrimp and scallops. The mashed potatoes were equally as good, blended with just the right amount of cream, butter and a dash of pepper and salt.
Even though this is a chain restaurant, the menu does not reflect chain-style food. The restaurant offers more than 40 types of different seafood and the raw bar has each oyster perfectly labeled. The prices here are somewhat strange. For example, why did the crab claws cost $13.80?
"Shipments flown in daily from America's east and west coasts, as well as from such exotic locations as New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, Ecuador and Nova Scotia enable us to offer unmatched diversity without ever compromising our commitment to quality," said Mark Mavrantonis, executive chef for Boston's McCormick & Schmick's.
Desserts here are to commended. We sampled the decadent apple pie with walnut crust ($6.95), a large sampling topped with vanilla ice cream over a toffee-like crust.
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
34 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
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Kellie K. Speed is
a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been
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