Hot Dish: Dec. 24, 2008
McCormick & Schmick's
And talk about fresh—the menu changes twice a day as shipments arrive. There’s blackened snapper from Key West ($15), Idaho’s almond-encrusted mountain trout ($19), Prince Edward Island’s Malpeque oysters and prosciutto-wrapped sea scallops from Georges Bank, Mass. ($24). I flipped over Canada’s Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon, lusciously stuffed with blue crab, bay shrimp and brie cheese. A large portion is only $25.
My dining partners raved about the ample, tender Islamorada swordfish “casino,” filled with blue crab, bacon and bell peppers, served over spaetzle ($23). Sample the Caribbean-style grilled black grouper, served with coconut curry and Gulf shrimp ($27).
The bar is packed, serving only freshly made drinks, including large mojitos ($8), to accompany a bevy of $1.95 priced foods, from a bowl of steamed mussels, to 8-ounce hamburgers—yes, a tasty, half-pound burger under $2! The line forms behind me!
The generous portions of seafood are perfectly cooked by Executive Chef Domhnall Molly, and the entrées, priced from $11 to $30, offer great value. 9114 Strada Place, Suite 12110, Naples, in Mercato, 591-2299.
Lili Montes, Executive Chef Fabrizio Aielli, Ingrid Aielli
Check out the relaxed outdoor patio and bar, and the inside wooden floors and ceilings, 3-D limestone walls and a “chef’s table” properly placed in the gleaming kitchen. The floor-to-ceiling wine room houses more than 200 labels.
The seafood is so fresh! Chef Aielli’s beautiful appetizers range from steamed red curry coconut black mussels ($12) to pan-seared foie gras with Godiva chocolate consommé, Himalayan pink salt and kumquats ($18). I felt like royalty, savoring the thinly sliced sautéed calamari with Portobello mushroom cappuccino and the root vegetable fettuccine topped with a quail egg ($12). Try the large portion of oh-so-lightly battered crispy assortment of calamari, shrimp, oysters, scallops and salted lemon ($19).
The lobster risotto with shaved white truffle, roasted tomato and sweet basil is a perfect marriage of sweet lobster and earthy truffle. You can’t beat the roasted salmon, marinated in limoncello, with a green lentil-mustard sauce, Cipollini onions, and shaved poached red pear (28). Top it off with pistachio gelato or black salt sorbet ($3). Come casual, come dressy; it’s the place for a casually elegant lunch or dinner, just two blocks from a romantic stroll on the beach! 1186 Third St. S., Naples, 434-7258.