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Drinks and Snacks on the Deck at McCormick & Schmick’s

This entry is part of a series, Austin Scene»

Deck Dining

Evenings this time of year are very often pleasant here in central Texas. Temperature at mid-afternoon is steady in the low eighties, so by the time rush hour arrives the air takes on a silky, cooling feel. Breezes are usually light too. Perfect for dining al fresco, or simply sitting on a deck somewhere and enjoying a drink or two and watching the sunset.

PJ had this coupon from McCormick & Schmick’s that was due to expire. We’ve had dinner with family there in the past, and the seafood was excellent. We’d never considered happy hour, though; so off we went to see how the casual, outside area would play out.

The coupon was a nice one, worth up to $25 on its face. However, it’s fairly restrictive, as it covers only food (no drink) from the standard menu. Well, okay; Paula Jo was quite hungry, so that was no real barrier to use. There was a nice table for two right next to a big tree, so we moved out to the patio and settled into our chairs.

The people at M&S are very friendly, and they know their menu well. The happy hour offerings are quite nice, including drinks, appetizers and light meals. I tried the on-tap beer, called a Knotty Brunette. A solid pilsner with a deeper, golden color than many, this brew is smooth on the palate, with enough hops to give a bit of astringency but not enough to overbalance the flavorful malting. (The picture doesn’t do the brew justice, really.) PJ sprang for a sangria to settle the dust after a hard day’s work. I find their sangria to be flavorful, if a bit too sweet for my tastes. Plenty of fruit flavors, and the red wine used as a base is good quality.

The happy hour menu features bruschetta (our choice), shrimp appetizers and light meals. Drinks, of course. Prices are quite reasonable, from $3-6 per item. They offer a small hamburger, nothing fancy, for $3.95, for instance. It’s pub grub, not haute cuisine. Satisfying, though. (Next time I’ll remember to ask for mayo.) Other items include small pizzas, fish tacos, beef quesadillas, buffalo wings and Kobe beef sliders. PJ ordered a full-menu shrimp dish, the crab-stuffed shrimp with mashed potatoes. These potatoes aren’t the usual bland, over-processed type either! They’re made with red pepper and white cheddar cheese, and there’s a bit of texture left as well. This was a great way for the coupon to sacrifice itself.

Our only quibble was with the bruschetta. Because of the languorous server pace, the toast bits were somewhat soggy. The taste was fine, with fresh tomatoes and plenty of minced basil, drizzled with a good-quality balsamic vinegar reduction. PJ’s a big fan of sweet potato fries, and we’ll try them next time.

As long as the weather’s this nice, you should consider running out to the Domain and  settin’ a spell. You won’t be disappointed…

McCormick & Schmick's on Urbanspoon

McCormick & Schmick’s, 11600 Century Oaks Terrace (in the Domain), Austin, TX 78758. Phone 512.836.0500. Up-scale seafood and libations in a luxurious dinning room, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Reservations honored. Full bar. Happy hour. Outside dining available. Gluten-free friendly. Free Wi-Fi (if you must).

Enjoy the (Balmy Spring Dining) Heat!

Entries in this series:
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  2. Restaurant Review: Gumbo's Louisiana Style Café
  3. Restaurant Review: Chola Indian Restaurant
  4. Restaurant Review: Fujian Grand China Buffet, Austin
  5. Restaurant Review: Casa Garcia's Tex-Mex Restaurant
  6. Review: Mesa Rosa Mexican Restaurant
  7. Restaurant Review: Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House
  8. Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant
  9. Restaurant Review: Pho Viet Restaurant
  10. Sunday Brunch Anniversary Celebration: Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar and Grill
  11. Late-Lunch Steaks at the Blue Oak Grill
  12. Mama Roux: So Good There's A Song About It, Sort Of...
  13. Phil's Ice House, an Austin-Weird Place for Great Burgers
  14. Easter Sunday Dinner: A Poor Experience at a Usually Reliable Locale
  15. A Sedate Spring Lunch at Zed’s
  16. Looking for a Taste of Germany? Well, We Tried…
  17. Fresh and Tasty Tex-Mex, Prepared by a Grandma
  18. The HomeField (Grill) Advantage
  19. Dinner for One: Sometimes the Good Stuff is Right Under Your Nose
  20. Smoky Heaven in Round Rock: Johnny T’s BBQ
  21. Tex-Mex, Better’n Sex (Says So on the Menu)
  22. The Quest Begins Anew (Just Pho Me): Mai Lien Bistro
  23. A Little Bit of the French Quarter, Here in Central Texas
  24. Quick Bites: El Caribe Tex-Mex
  25. It’s Good, It’s Italian, and You Don’t Have to Go to Europe to Get It
  26. Casa G’s for Lunch (Hint: It’s Awesome)
  27. Chola Indian Restaurant: A Good Indian Eatery Gets Better
  28. Tacos are Brain Food, and Brainiacs Eat at El Taquito…
  29. Get Your Indian Food Fix the Easy Way: Tärkă Indian Kitchen
  30. Late Lunch at Mandola’s Italian Market; Worth the Wait…
  31. I Didn’t Know Sichuan, China Included Round Rock
  32. Sunday Brunch at Pecan Street Station; Good Choice…
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  34. The Underground Visits Ethiopia for Dinner (and Has a Wonderful Time)
  35. Pho Lee Vietnamese, It’s Total-Lee Pho (and Very Good)
  36. A Taste of Jalisco in North Austin
  37. The Great Pho Quest Continues: Pho Thaison in Allandale
  38. From New Pho to Old: Lunch at a (Nearly) Forgotten Friend, Tan My
  39. Z’Tejas, a Wonderful Place for Brunch and Clan Revelry
  40. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Round Rock: Great Meat; As For the Rest…
  41. LongHorn Steakhouse Round Rock: A New Family Favorite
  42. Salt Lick BBQ in Round Rock: More Than Finger-Licking Good
  43. Drinks and Snacks on the Deck at McCormick & Schmick’s
  44. Going Back Pho More at a Local Favorite
  45. Swagat Indian: A Disappointment With a Few Bright Spots
  46. Branch BBQ in Wells Branch: A Local Secret?
  47. Karrrazy, Man: Kublai Khan Crazy Mongolian Stir Fry
  48. VooDoo BBQ & Grill: Their HooDoo’s Pretty Good, Actually
  49. My Fit Foods: Tasty, Healthy Food, Ready in a Flash
  50. Chang Thai, Our Family’s New Favorite
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  52. Playing With Your Food (and Your Mom Would Approve): Shabu Hot Pot & Noodle Bar
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