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McCormick & Schmick's (Gold Coast)

View Map41 E. Chestnut St., Chicago
Tel: (312) 397-9500
View Website
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Editorial Review of McCormick & Schmick's (Gold Coast)

Like an oversize lounge, this restaurant is covered in wood, wood, and more wood, bathed in soft light and set atop a "country club green" carpet. The high ceilings and store-front windows create a spacious feeling throughout the tremendous restaurant, while the soft colors and attentive wait staff keep the place from seeming impersonal. Thankfully, the service is well versed on all 812 seafood items on the menu and can help explain the subtle differences between many of the various, exotic fishes.

For instance, looking for a nice piece of white fish? Try the dense, sweetish grilled wahoo (ono), the mild, meaty, seasame-coated opah (with the consistency of salmon), pecan-crusted mahi mahi, or the trouty-salmony steelhead with artichokes and bacon. Don't know what I'm talking about? No problem, the other 1,374 items on the changed-twice-daily menu are no less delicious but do have more familiar names, like "lobster," "snapper," and "Alaskan crab."

Steaks and other what-not are offered, but I assume those are there for the non-seafood eaters who make their way through the revolving door. It would really be a shame to come here and not try one of the 1,987 fishes that they prepare so well.

Start the meal right with Louisiana lump crab cakes, and end it with the upside down apple pie (desserts, explained from a tray, didn't make the cut on the 2,374 item, one-page menu). Late Friday night the service drifts toward friendly but flighty, which, although slow to get accustomed to, is actually the perfect service for a late, 3-scotch meal. Prices are remarkably reasonable, especially considering the location. One complaint: the sourdough bread wasn't fresh.

Average cost: $31+

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11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11:30-11 p.m. Saturday; 11:30-9 p.m. Sunday

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