McCormick & Schmick’s
110 North Illinois St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
It’s difficult to review chain restaurants because one specific chain can differ greatly from one city to the next. The only McCormick and Schmick’s we’d been to was in DC, so we were interested to see how this one compared. We went in with a friend and shared our selections between the three of us since we weren’t very hungry.
We started with the Calamari “Fritto Misto” ($12.99). It was your standard calamari dish with a roasted tomato sauce as well as a lemon aioli. The calamari themselves were very tender, but the breading could have used a few more seconds in the frier make them crispier. If you like the tentacles (as Sean does), then you would be disappointed in the fact that there was only one tentacle. We found that to be a little odd for an entire plate of calamari. There were also other vegetables that were fried—artichokes, carrots, jalapeños and banana peppers— which made for an unexpected, yet welcome addition. We also would have liked for it to come with more than only one small lemon wedge.
Recommendation: It was decent, but hopefully there are better appetizers to choose from on their menu.
One of Sean’s favorite dishes is lobster bisque, so it was hard for him to turn down their Maine Lobster Bisque ($12.99). It comes with a few pieces of lightly cooked, buttered bread with lobster pieces (even a claw!) on top and it’s poured tableside. The bisque itself was very rich and had a moderate sherry aftertaste, and it was topped with a decent amount of lobster meat. The buttered bread pieces came through the bisque and actually provided a subtle texture.
Recommendation: It was delicious, but $13 is still a bit pricey for the dish.
I ordered the Clam Chowder ($ 5.99 Cup/$6.99 Bowl). It had a great flavor and wasn’t ‘fishy’ which I very much appreciated. It was creamy, filling and decadent.
Recommendation: I would definitely order this again. It’s delicious even for those who aren’t seafood lovers.
We also ordered the The Iceberg Wedge ($6.99) with diced tomatoes, bacon and ranch (because I hate blue cheese). Since there’s not much to this salad, there’s not too much to say. The lettuce itself could have been much more crisp. Ruth’s Chris has a delicious salad wedge.
Recommendation: I was in the mood for a salad, so it did satisfy my craving, however I probably wouldn’t order it again.
For the entree, we shared the McCormick’s Seafood Trio ($27.99). It came with three grilled shrimp, two stuffed shrimp and a small portion of grilled salmon. It also came with a side of their red pepper white cheddar mash and some green beans. The grilled shrimp certainly picked up the grill flavor, but in the process of doing so, the shrimp became slightly overcooked and chewy. The serving of stuffed shrimp was the best of the three. There was a generous amount of crab atop the shrimp and the crab was very tender. The grilled salmon was about a four-ounce portion and we weren’t asked how we would have liked it cooked, so we figure they cook them all medium well. The salmon was not overly fishy and was fork-tender, but it did lack any substantial flavor. The mash was okay and the sweetness of the pepper really came through, but there wasn’t much cheddar flavor at all. The side of green beans was just cold and boring.
Recommendation: A great way to sample multiple seafood options from this place, but the sides were below average.
I was (and always am) craving baked potatoes, so I was slightly disappointed when a basic baked potato couldn’t be found on their menu. I even asked the server as restaurants sometimes have them, but don’t list them on the menu. He suggested the Baked Gruyere Potatoes ($8.99) instead. There were plenty of mashed red potatoes (sans the skin) packed into this ramekin. The potatoes were topped with scallions, bacon and a layer of Gruyere cheese. The small bits of bacon, and chopped scallions certainly came through, but the Gruyere lacked the nuttiness we were used to–it kind of just provided a layer of melted gooeyness. But who wouldn’t love that?
Recommendation: If you are looking for something on the lighter side, this is not it. It’s rich, delicious and it reheated well the next day.
We all shared the Crème Brûlée ($6.99) which was topped with berries. The the vanilla beans in the crème gave it a rich and fresh flavor. The brûlée was perfect—a thin layer of sugar evenly burned, providing great texture and a slight sweet/smoky flavor. The sberries were very sweet and delicious. If done properly, creme brulee can easily be a 10, and this was.
Recommendation: We might go back just for the chowder and creme brulee.
Aside from the two soups, potatoes and creme brulee, most dishes were just average (or below average). And although they are obviously a seafood restaurant, they had almost zero options that weren’t fish, especially entrees. When compared to the selection at other seafood restaurants like Mitchell’s Fish Market, we were a little disappointed by the lack of variety. A good restaurant is more than capable of specializing in one type of food while offering a couple of alternative options to diners who don’t want multiple fish courses. The aforementioned dishes were enough to get us to go back for seconds, but we’d select a different appetizer and entree and it’s always worth mentioning that the service was excellent, which we very much appreciate.
Location: Downtown (Wholesale District)
Dress Code: Casual