McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside on Lake Union

Written by on April 14, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Lake Union
How I heard of this place: Working at Alaska Airlines, I was introduced to McCormick & Schmick’s restaurants, through a promotion that gave all passengers a $20 gift certificate towards dinner at one of their many locations across the country.
Type of cuisine: Pacific Northwest cuisine, featuring seafood, as well as a handful of pasta options, a raw bar and steak. As can be read on their website: “McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside’s menu is printed twice each day and features an extensive array of Pacific Northwest seafood and other regional favorites, as well as fresh seafood selections from around the world. For the non-seafood diner, we have poultry and beef specialties, tempting pasta dishes and large dinner salads. And save room for one of our decadent desserts!”
Ambiance: Romantic and elegant with expansive views of Lake Union and downtown Seattle’s city lights. Enjoy booth seating or chairs and tables against the many floor to ceiling windows that allow you to partake of the view from anywhere in the dining room. Choose a cozy and intimate setting for two or an expanded table-scape for larger parties.
What I ordered: Seven of us were dining together this evening in celebration of a birthday. Four of us arrived early and ordered two appetizers: Portabella bruschetta with fresh mozzarella and tomato salad ($5), and the baked brie, served with dried cranberries and apricots, toasted walnuts and a port wine reduction ($6). I ordered the hazelnut crusted rockfish with caramelized Washington apples and onions ($18) and a side of green beans. This same dish was ordered by another in our party. The dining companion immediately to my left ordered the sliced sirloin steak, topped with blue cheese crumbles and a mushroom demi glace ($22), which was accompanied by green beans, as well as a side of mushroom risotto ($5). Continuing to my left, the birthday girl ordered a special dish – off the menu – which offered a Northwest salmon and halibut saute in a cream sauce, topped with fresh blackberries, offered with a mound of rice and green beans ($22). At the head of the table, one diner ordered the house smoked salmon with angel hair pasta with fresh dill, capers, field mushrooms, white wine and cream ($18). Our sole vegetarian ordered the vegetable orzo side dish as a main dish – which was doubled or tripled (side dish: $5). Our final diner, immediately to my right ordered the lobster and shrimp ravioli topped with blue crab swimming in a light white wine cream sauce with roasted tomatoes and spinach ($20). He also ordered the side of macaroni and cheese ($4). For dessert, our birthday girl was presented with a rich and decadent, dense chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and white chocolate chips. A side of whipped cream with fresh blueberries and strawberries were delicately placed on the side. Our vegetarian ordered two scoops of cinnamon ice cream. The friend to my right and I shared the dessert trifle: devil’s food chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, vanilla pudding, whipped cream and five fresh raspberries decoratively placed on top. I also ordered a raspberry virgin mojito; while sweet, it maintained the natural sour, puckered lip flavor of lime and bright hints of fresh mint leaves ($3.75).
What I loved: The macaroni and cheese was flavorful and baked to crisp and cheesy perfection. The green beans were blanched at the right time to give them a verdant green color, crisp texture and flavor that lingered to the last bite. The caramelized apples and onions blended together to offer sweet and sour flavors over the hazelnut crusted lightness of the rockfish. Our trifle was gorgeous, light and creamy without being overburdened by sweet raspberry syrup nor did it have too much of any ingredient. It was a seamless blend of vanilla, chocolate and raspberry.
Why I loved it: The service has always been consistent in all of my dining ventures at the Seattle McCormick & Schmick’s. (They even allowed us to combine two Entertainment Book coupons for our special evening of celebration.) I loved the view, the unobtrusive waitress and the fact that there was something on the menu for everyone in our party.
Cost: Average for a seafood dinner on the water ($18-$25)

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