Recently, McCormicks & Schmick's Restaurant in Beverly Hills hosted a blogger dinner. Unfortunately, I missed the dinner as I was in New York attending the BlogHer Conference. However, I sent two special tasters to the event and later interviewed the chef about what is going on at McCormick & Schmick's. With this exquisite and tasty research, I feel I am uniquely qualified to tell you what the best values are for customers dining there. Here are some things that I think savvy foodies need to know.
First, although these are "chain restaurants," their selection of seafood is fresh. You'll find a fresh selection of the day printed on the menu.
Second, they have specials, my raison d'etre. I've long been a fan of their happy hour with the cheap and cheerful burgers and appetizers. I get the biggest kick out of asking the parking lot guys in Beverly Hills where the deals are (they have the scoop on a lot of things). The attendants always mention that they like the happy hour at McCormick& Schmick's for the food.
Finally, it's not all about seafood. The restaurants feature steaks, salads, pastas and soups. Vegetarians and those who don't like seafood can still enjoy a delicious meal.
If you fancy dinner and a movie, then you will want to check out McCormick & Schmick's Reel to Reel promotion. The Reel to Reel program offers guests a three-course weekend dinner for $29.95 and you can add a movie ticket for only $5. Be sure to check out all the promotions that are running right now:
My spies tell me that more deals are on the way. Watch the restaurant's Facebook group and website for details.
Now, back to the blogger dinner and what my taster (Maggie Read Photography) tried. Clearly, it was a very tough night for them. The food received rave reviews. (Click here to see what fellow blogger Greg from SipptySup thought of the feast.) Each dish was fresh and well-seasoned. Now, don't try this at home, because this is way more food than anyone should consume in one sitting!
Dungeness Crab Salad on Ciabatta, Foie Gras Torchon with Fig Jam, Sushi, and Sea Scallop with Blood Orange Gastrique.
Following the dinner, Regional Chef Rene Van Brockhuizen answered these questions for me.
What fresh sea food is regularly found on the Beverly Hills McCormick & Schmick's menu?
"Halibut, Yellowtail, Hamachi and are all fresh today. With changing seasons come changing selections of fresh fish."
What food is not on the regular menu?
"Everything being served at the blogger dinner is on the regular menu either as an appetizer, a main course, or dessert"
What do you think is the best fresh fish for the price?
"Anything that is local is the best for each different location. In Beverly Hills, the local yellowtail is wild, not farm raised and very good."
What specials do you have?
"We have a happy hour offered during regular hours that offers very good portions of some of our customers favorite foods at reduced prices."
Bottom line, McCormick & Schmick's has a great menu, with a wide variety of food choices. You can dine in a very upscale way and order off the menu, or you can choose a bargain and check out one of their current promotions or prix fixe menus.
Of course, the Beverly Hills store offers an additional benefit: the large outdoor patio/terrace on Via Rodeo. I've spent many happy hours there sipping wine on that patio. If you are someone who loves to shop, even if it's just window shopping, you'll want to check out the McCormick & Schmick's in Beverly Hills for outdoor dinning, drinks and shopping breaks. After all, Fashion's Night Out is coming to Rodeo on Sept. 10th. McCormick & Schmick's will be a great place to relax between all the store hopping.