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Oct 04

At the Bar: McCormick & Schmick’s

Kevin and I are often downtown for shows and end up at different Happy Hours. So welcome to my new feature: At the Bar. Last night we had tickets to My Fair Lady at the Aronoff. We were in search of an affordable dinner and we ended up at McCormick & Schmick’s for their $1.95 Happy Hour.

Yes, you read that right. In the bar area only, McCormick & Schmick’s offers a $1.95 Happy Hour menu, available with the purchase of two drinks per person. Don’t roll your eyes – those drinks do not have to be alcoholic. Yes, for the purchase of a coke and an iced tea, you can have a giant $1.95 hamburger.

I absconded with a menu. The $1.95 munchies include a half pound cheeseburger with cajun fries (also available as a cajun burger), steamed mussels, beer battered fried mushrooms, fish tacos, and spinach & artichoke dip. There is also a $3.95 menu that includes crab & shrimp dip and fried calamari. I went with the gigantic 1/2-pound burger, cooked to order, and Kevin chose the fish tacos. We also chose the spinach & artichoke dip. The food is excellent, especially considering the price.

They have several drinks on the Happy Hour menu. I tried a peach apple sangria for $5.50, around the average price of their Happy Hour martinis. Draft beer includes Blue Moon, Stella, and Guinness for $5.75/glass. For those not as picky about their beer, Michelob Light is $2.75.

In addition to the Happy Hour drinks, M&S specializes in their
Cocktail History. There’s a comprehensive menu detailing the history of
the cocktail, drink by drink, at every table at the bar. Some of these
aren’t actually available, like the Pisco sour, which requires a
special type of brandy. Many of the drinks that are available are
listed on the back of the Happy Hour menu.

We’re always intrigued by cocktails – real mixed drinks as opposed to
just a bourbon and coke. I also feel better about them price-wise.
Sure, M&S has a great wine list. But I have trouble paying $14 for
a glass of Cloudline Oregon Pinot Noir when I’ve previously paid $19.99
for a bottle of it at the local store. Sometimes the markup is a little
too much for me to bear. I handle it better when I’ve never purchased a
bottle outside of the restaurant. But a true cocktail? I feel like I’m
really getting something for my $8-9.

Kevin started out with the Kentucky Speedbump. It looked like a girly
drink, but was quite tasty. Served in a martini glass with sugar around
the edges, the Speedbump is a shaken mixture of Makers Mark, navan
vanilla liquer, and fresh citrus. Yum.

I tried the Harry’s Bar Bellini. I’m a huge fan of the Bellini. I had
my first at the Wynn Las Vegas back in February, stuck with that
particular bar & drink the entire trip, and now compare every
Bellini to the Wynn. I do not know if the Bellini at the Wynn was
correct, but I know it used moderately priced champagne. The M&S
Bellini did not live up to my own Bellini standards. It’s a blend of
Absolut Peach, fresh white peach puree, and a touch of sparkling wine.
I thought the white peach made the drink too bitter. Kevin rather liked
it and finished it off for me.

I’d highly recommend the M&S Happy Hour. It happens twice a day,
same prices, from 4-6:30 pm and 9:30 – 11 pm. For the early session in
particular, I recommend getting there at 5 pm or earlier. We’ve often
tried this Happy Hour, but this is the first time we’ve been able to
get a seat.


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Posted by Michelle at 3:06 pm in Cincinnati, Cocktails, Dinner and Drinks | Permalink | Comments (1)

One Response to “At the Bar: McCormick & Schmick’s”

  1. Jen says:

    Sounds fantastic! John and I just started going to the Wednesday happy hour at Bar Louie – $2.50 drafts on ALL their beers from 5-7 and I think 10 p.m.-close, and on Wednesday nights they have $1 hamburgers, which you can top with anything you want for an additional fee per item – a quarter or fifty cents, depending on what it is. A $2 burger and two $2.50 hard ciders is enough to make me happy on a Wednesday!

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