September 28, 2008

Supper at McCormick and Schmick's

The first night of reporting from West Coast Green, we capped off a hectic day with a healthy dose of brain food (fish) at McCormick and Schmick's in San Jose. We walked over from the Convention Center, waited without reservations for less than 10 minutes (not bad, on a Thursday night), and plunked our tired-but-wired selves down in a dim, quiet side room of the main dining area.

As seafood restaurants go, McCormick's does an excellent job of providing fresh choices, with a new menu each day. Wild catch are noted, as are choices approved by any of the safe seafood certifiers. But their interest in freshness and a sustainable catch are definitely driven more by consumer demand than by an environmental orientation. Some of the fish is flown express from far-off shores; so fresh in this case is not equated with local. And a fair number of the menu selections are caught or produced in ways harmful to marine ecology, or simply over-fished already. So I did feel a bit as I would visiting a steakhouse serving mainly feedlot beef, with a few grass-fed options.

The mixed wild seafood grill (salmon, crab and an MSC-certified Chilean sea bass ) was beautifully plated, and entirely delicious.

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