Scalloped

And oystered, too. With the best of people-watching. We all headed for McCormick & Schmick’s. The secret is to be seated in the bar area, where passers-by on the Avenue may be viewed at close-up range, as may those passing through the building’s plaza on their way to the dining-room proper.

The dining-room was jammed with those who had made reservations, mostly for a turkey or ham dinner. We were a party including those who wanted to take advantage of the oyster sampler. Today’s varieties were six: two from Nova Scotia, three from Prince Edward Island, and one from Long Island. Our table thought, and the waitstaff concurred unanimously, that today’s winner was the “north shore gold oyster” billed as being from Karabo Island, Nova Scotia.

The executive chef came out in his clogs to converse with friends of his family, there on the bar side, a party of five. At mid-afternoon, the bar was lively with conversation. The music was pretty much Sinatra, with a different football game showing silently at each end of the lounge.

The only disappointment was the butternut squash soup, which was topped with sour cream or perhaps whipped cream. The soup was fresh and with a beautiful texture, but was sweet and not the preferred savory. The scallops and fish came piping hot to the table, even though we were borrowing wait-service from the dining-room side of the house. My own black drum with chipotle butter was topped with excellent fresh lump crabmeat and accompanied by very tasty mashed potatoes of a good homemade texture, along with some green beans and carrots of the freshest.

We’re tempted to return, all of us, again tomorrow, lured by the prospect of additional oysters and perhaps scallops. There’ll be a wedding party of one hundred or so, but all will be open continuously from eleven in the morning, as I understand it. There was valet parking service, but on a weekend like this, there’s parking to be found within a half-block everywhere.

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