The Food: Seafood is the main event at this upscale dining room, which is part of a national chain. Consult the “fresh list” at the top of each menu for a listing of the 30-or-so fresh catches available on a particular day. You’ll usually find six to 12 varieties of oysters, which might include Oregon Kumamotos and Canadian Island Golds, depending on the season. The rest of the menu riffs on whatever’s fresh. Starters might include pan-seared shrimp with barbecue butter over spicy polenta; oyster stew with garlic bread; or crab dip with pita chips. On the larger side, there might be fried oysters with cole slaw; lemon-maple-basted trout; or blue crab crepes with lobster cream. Besides seafood, there’s a selection of steaks plus chicken and pork dishes.
The Scene: Caramel-colored wood paneling and pistachio-hued paint give this branch of McCormick & Schmick’s a much more modern feel than the good-old-boys decor at the K Street location. Framed art of fish and oysters remind customers of the predominantly seafood menu, but don’t expect to see a mounted catch on the wall.
What’s Nearby: In Penn Quarter, McCormick & Schmick’s is across from the Courtyard Marriott on 9th and F streets and close to the Spy Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Verizon Center, DC Convention Center and the Chinatown/ Gallery Place Metro stop (yellow, green and red lines) and Metro Center (orange, blue and red lines).
Insider Tips: McCormick & Schmick’s is known for their happy hour food menu, with selections (buffalo wings; cheeseburgers) between $1.95 and $3.95. The deals are available at the bar weekdays between 3:30 and 7 PM, and Monday through Thursday between 9:30 and 11:30 PM. There’s always a catch: these discounted plates come with a two drink minimum per person, and drinks are full price.