Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America. A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks. This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.
Review by Dustin Heller (@eatindywatchindie on Instagram)
The recent release of the new Star Wars movie, "The Rise of Skywalker", has got me to thinking about expectations. Whether a lifelong fan of the series or a casual movie fan that just wants to be a part of the fun, we all go into it with a certain set of preconceived notions. I think the same can be said about our dining experiences. When we’re dining at a nice restaurant, we typically have high expectations that the food will not only be delicious, but that our entire experience will be top notch. One such place that consistently meets these expectations is McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant located at 110 North Illinois Street in downtown Indy.
McCormick & Schmick's is upscale dining in a traditional setting. It is a great place to take the family for dinner or to host a business meeting. The interior of the restaurant is adorned with a calming, classic decor which features excellent views of the city through the windows. They also have a spectacular bar area with perhaps the best happy hour in all of Indy.
If fresh seafood is your game, then McCormick & Schmick's is just the place for you! The menu is chock-full of all sorts of oceanic goodies along with an excellent selection of appetizers, salads, aged steaks, pasta, and desserts. The dishes are seasonally inspired and made with the freshest ingredients available. With expectations high, here are my four “can’t miss” choices from the McCormick & Schmick’s menu:
Oysterology: I know what you’re thinking - "That’s not even a food!” You would be correct. It’s not a food, but rather an entire menu dedicated to the exquisite shelled sea creatures. Let me get this out of the way: throw all of your preconceptions about oysters (especially raw) out the window before dining at McCormick & Schmick's. Go in with an open mind and you’ll be a better person for it. So many fun and exciting ways to experience oysters on this menu; if you like them hot, try the Parmesan Pesto or the Cajun Fried. My suggestion is to order a platter of raw oysters and dive in head-first. The oysters are super fresh and tasty, just like being oceanside. The best part (and most fun) are the tasty toppings they offer for their raw oysters. They have little pearls (like the ones you find in bubble tea) with crazy flavors such as horseradish and Tabasco along with a jalapeno-infused shaved ice that is truly amazing. Trust me, these aren’t your grandma’s oysters!
Crab & Shrimp Stuffed Salmon: This menu item is not only on my “can’t miss” list, it is a genuine Chef’s Choice. They start with a generous piece of moist and flaky salmon and then stuff it full of all sorts of goodies. The stuffing is comprised of a blend of crab meat, shrimp, bleu cheese, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and arugula. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Trust me, you could stuff an old shoe with all of that and it would still be delicious. The salmon is served with a side of mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies to round it out.
Tableside Tartare: My loyal readers know how much I love and appreciate table-side service. I feel that it makes a dish more personal and adds just that special touch. Tartare is simply a meat that is served raw and appropriately seasoned. In this case, the tartare is a beautiful ahi tuna that is seasoned with Dijon, capers, onions, and chopped egg. All of that is combined right there at the table and served with crispy cracker chips for dipping. The freshness and bold flavor of the ahi literally jumps off the plate. If loving raw fish is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.
Seared Sea Scallops: I love scallops when they are prepared properly, but they are a disaster when they’re not. They can get rubbery and mushy all at the same time - FOX59 webyuck! Let me just say that the scallops I had at M&S were perfection. They were seared to a golden brown on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. They are served on a bed of crab potato hash (out-of-this-world) and sautéed spinach and garnished with tomato pesto. Talk about a complete dish…
Every fine meal should end with something sweet! Which is why the Chocolate Bag is the perfect finale at McCormick & Schmick's. Happy New Year!