I decided too treat myself last night, after all I AM on vacation and man cannot live on Park food alone. So I booked a table for one (it's all about me!) at McCormick & Schmick's in Garden Walk.
I understand that this is a chain restaurant, there's at least one more in Irvine. It is heading toward the higher end of dining, while still being not too pricey. There's lower priced items on the menu as well as the mains that hover around the $20 mark.
It has a nice warm ambience, even though it's a large restaurant, with a lot of people, it still felt comfortable. Almost romantic, with dim lights and artificial candles on each table. I was sat in a booth against the window, but there's also tables on the floor and I noticed an intimate private roomette with satin curtains for two. Not exactly a family restaurant, but there were kids there and they do cater a children's menu (I heard talk of mac&cheese as I walked in).
A nice selection of wines by the glass, I had a local pinot noir "la crema" I forget the label. Coming from a city that's soaked in wine -- imagine three Napa Valleys in a triange, my home town sits in the middle -- I was a little sticker shocked at the prices of wine. But the pinot was worth it.
The selection was large, it took me half a glass of wine before I made up my mind. I started with a half dozen oysters, and for the main I had the Atlantic salmon stuffed with crab and brie and a side of asparagus with bernaise. The salmon came with string beans, spinach and carrot julienne.
I also had a cachsa based cocktail of my own design, and a creme brule for desert. Also very good.
My server, Lauren, was very attentive, helpful friendly and most welcoming. (she got her 20% well earned) and I walked out of there very satisfied at less than $70 plus tip -- but like I said, I was treating myself.
Anyway, back to the bugers and fries...