Though the wine list features a good balance of red and white selections, always important for a seafood restaurant, there are few values to be had. Most bottles range between $50 and $100. The by-the-glass selection is broader than at most restaurants, with both five- and eight-ounce pours available.

In resolute old-school fashion, desserts are presented on a tray. The signature dessert is a "bag": a thin, dark-chocolate shell filled with white-chocolate mousse and fresh berries. This is best shared among three or four others. A crumble featuring local rhubarb was nicely tart, while the chocolate gooey-butter cake had the unctuous sweetness of the local favorite.

As the gooey-butter cake and toasted ravioli suggest, the kitchen has some leeway from the corporate template. There is a token effort to showcase local produce: Besides the rhubarb dessert, there is an appetizer with goat cheese from Baetje Farms in Bloomsdale and a fish dish that comes with "local wild mushrooms."

Crab is front and center in several of McCormick & Schmick's dishes.
Jennifer Silverberg
Crab is front and center in several of McCormick & Schmick's dishes.

Location Info


McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant

17 West County Center
Des Peres, MO 63131

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Des Peres


Back of the House

Go into the kitchen.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
Fried calamari...$10.95
Lobster ravioli...$19.95
17 West County Center, Des Peres; 314-835-1300.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. (Bar open till midnight Mon.-Sat.)

In the end, though, this is a seafood-intensive restaurant in the Midwest. McCormick & Schmick's most important vendor is its overnight-shipping firm. For a restaurant writer concerned about sustainability, it can raise troubling questions. There's the carbon footprint of the import-dominated menu and the twice-daily deliveries, and the fact that a couple of the current "Fresh List" species are deemed questionable by sustainability advocates. One of those, Atlantic salmon, is frowned upon for environmentally unfriendly farming practices. The other is the previously mentioned — and, yes, ordered and eaten — shark. For the record the jury's out on mako shark. While many shark species unquestionably are overfished, the National Marine Fisheries Service says mako likely remain at sustainable levels in U.S.-fished Pacific waters. (Another good resource concerned seafood lovers can consult is the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Seafood Watch," accessible online at

Even setting aside 21st-century concerns like sustainability, McCormick & Schmick's overarching essence feels anachronistic: tried-and-true preparations (including not one but two tilapia dishes), unimaginative side dishes — tired of mashed potatoes? the crab cakes come with wild rice! — overpriced wine. Come to think of it, Jake the Crab may have been the perfect harbinger of McCormick & Schmick's: a relic of a time when fantastical creatures roamed the Earth.

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