Yes, yes this is a chain…but that doesn’t take away from the quality drinking experiences I’ve had at the various McCormick and Schmick’s in the DC-metro area. The locations that I will speak to and the frequency to which I’ve attended each include– Farragut Square (twice), Metro Center (once), and Crystal City (once). McCormick & Schmick’s is a very reliable chain. The food and drink quality amongst the different chains is high. Do not write off this place just because you want a “unique” bar experience. Each location does have a slightly different feel. The two locations in DC in particular have more of a classical bar atmosphere. The Crystal City location feels slightly more open and modern in the bar area.
The first location I attended was Farragut Square. Both times was for happy hour in which they had AMAZING food deals. The best deal is the $4 cheeseburger (with fries). This is a regular size portion. All you have to do is abide by the $3.50 minimum beverage purchase per person. I’ve also tried the chicken wings ($5), which are tasty, but for the portion size I would say just go for the burger. As usual, I alternated between my regular screwdrivers and vodka tonics ($5 each for Smirnoff drinks). While the drinks specials aren’t the best in town, when you can get quality food along with the pleasant bar atmosphere it is hard to pass up this place. The clientele can be slightly on the older side, but you certainly won’t be scoffed at for going in there with a group of friends and being under 30.
Two of the three places I’ve encountered extremely engaging bartenders/servers. In particular, at the Metro Center location, there was one bartender who my friend insisted on calling Bob. Bob, as we will call him because I have since forgotten his real name, was honest, patient, and very good with drink recommendations as the best bartenders should be. He made me a delicious cucumber gimlet ($11 – off happy hours price), which I have since incorporated into my regular drink orders and ordered again the other night at the Crystal City location. The consistency amongst the different locations is certainly something you can trust. In terms of rating the locations, Crystal City wins the prize for most convenient to my current location, but the Metro Center location has the best atmosphere. While the bar itself is on the smaller side, it feels cozier and still inviting despite being right in the middle of DC.