The mysterious A has been to Boston many times with friends, including our dear Sensei. And after every trip, Diva #2 would hear them gush about their love for McCormick & Schmick’s. When Diva #2 headed to Boston, it only seemed fitting to try out the seafood restaurant that she heard so much about.
McCormick & Schmick’s has two locations, one in Faneuil Hall and the other in the Boston Park Plaza, where Diva #2 was staying. Since we had decided to walk the Freedom Trail and see as much of historical Boston as we could, we stopped for lunch at the Faneuil Hall location.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is actually made up of 4 places: Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market. Set along the cobblestone streets lined with stores and little shops, once inside, your senses are overwhelmed at the selection of foods. Countless stalls selling everything from Italian, Greek, Indian and Japanese delicacies, they also boast many vendors selling the staples associated with Boston including clam chowder, lobster rolls and pies, and seafood stews. Though we were tempted by all this, and Diva #2 considered having a little snack of deep fried clams, we had reservations waiting for us.
The restaurant is practically wall to wall wood paneling and is simply decorated. It caters to everyone, as it was filled with tourists and local businessmen alike. Seated on the second floor overlooking the street below, our waiter greeted us with a heavy Boston accent and handed us the regular lunch menu as well as the additional Fall Flavors menu.
The Polish Pearl started with chowder. She had the choice between the traditional clam chowder or the blue crab and corn chowder from their Fall menu, either in a cup or a bowl. When she hesitated at the waiter’s question as to which she would have, Diva #2 chimed in and said she would have the blue crab chowder. Lucky for Diva #2, the Polish Pearl trusts her judgment.
The crab chowder was thick and full of flavour. It had chunks of crab and the corn enhanced the sweetness of the crab. It was also served with the traditional oyster crackers perfect for floating on top of the soup.
She stuck to the Fall menu and chose the baked wild salmon. It was cooked perfectly; still a little pink in the center and the top was nice and crispy. It was served with a nice mix of beets, which you don’t often get in restaurants, as well as onions and asparagus. A hearty, satisfying dish.
Diva #2 and The Firm decided to split two main dishes, the crab burger and the lobster roll. The crab burger was just that, all crab and no filler. You could see the big chunks of crab that were held together with a minimal amount of bread crumbs. It was still fairly moist and came with the usual burger fare of lettuce and tomato. Just to note, when we say crab meat we don’t mean the synthetic bullshit you see at your local supermarket, but the real Boston McCoy. The poblano tartar sauce, served on the side, was not spicy at all, which was a little disappointing. The burger was served with fries dusted with OldBay seasoning which was a nice touch.
The lobster roll had a very generous portion of lobster that spilled out from the hot dog bun which was lined with iceberg lettuce. The lobster, which was tossed with enough mayo not to hide the lobster, was buttery and we ate most of it with our fork since we felt the bread simply got in the way of the lobster taste. Again, served with fries dusted with OldBay seasoning, a mayo based coleslaw and butter pickles, which are too sweet for Diva #2’s liking.
Cuz also chose from the Fall menu and had the shellfish stew. It was topped with a half lobster thermidor which was delicious; big clams, plump mussels, shrimp, which were a bit dry, potatoes, squash and fresh corn on the cob. It was also served with a toasted piece of bread to soak up the bouillabaisse style broth. Definitely the best dish that we tried.
The mysterious A had messaged Diva #2 to order the peanut butter pie for dessert but it was not on the menu and we were too full to order anything else, though we were tempted to have the Boston cream pie. When in Boston…
So Diva #2 now understands why the mysterious A and his friends would always talk about McCormick & Schmick’s. Overall, our lunch was great. There was nothing pretentious about it – simple food served in an unassuming manner. And it was satisfying and fueled us up for the remainder of our trek along the Freedom Trail.
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: Baked Wild Salmon, Blue Crab and Corn Chowder, Boston, Boston Cream Pie, Boston Park Plaza, Clam Chowder, Crab Cake Sandwich, Dessert, Downtown Boston, Fall menu, Faneuil Hall, Faneuil Hall Market Place, Freedom Trail, Halibut, Lobster Thermador, McCormick & Schmick’s, McCormick & Schmick’s Boston, New England Lobster Roll, Peanut Butter Pie, Quincy Market, Seafood, Shellfish Stew, Shrimp, Splendid, Swordfish, Tuna, USA