Portland >Food & Dining > Mccormick & Schmick's Harborside Portland
0309 Sw Montgomery St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720145.509307 -122.673470
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Neighbors West - Northwest
All about hype – M&S has become somewhat of a local institution among the yuppie and upper class blue-hair set. Riding mostly on location and lots of money to spend on atmosphere, all of the restaurants in this chain, including the Harborside, have ridden a wave. Many people go here because of the lovely location on the Willamette, but the chances of seeing the river from inside this cavernous place are slim, especially if you go during a busy hour. The service in the restaurant tends to be decent, though it's such a huge place that the servers seem to easily forget some of their tables and none of the servers seems to enjoy their job or the customers, they just seem to be going through the motions. This is probably largely because they are always in a hurry to scurry to the other side of the restaurant. The atmosphere was obviously expensive and that's just about what it feels like, lots of money but no soul. I've had both cocktails and wine at the bar. The wine selection is good with nice variety, the cocktails decent, though on the weak side and not cheap. The food I've found to be unreliable in quality. If you find yourself here, go for one of the salmon dishes, which seem to be consistenly good. Then again, there are many places that do it as well for less money.
Seafood, waterfront views and microbrews--this place has it all. – In Short
This eatery's waterfront location and upscale-yet-casual ambience make it popular among everyone from prom-goers to groups celebrating special occasions--and the multi-tiered layout ensures views from every table. Skillfully prepared traditional seafood is to be expected. Good options include local salmon and sturgeon, grilled swordfish and oysters on the half-shell. Steaks are consistently good, as well. Beer is serious business here, with a dozen or so styles of Full Sail, most of which aren't available elsewhere.
Disappointed No More.... – I took my family here for Easter dinner. First we had reservations, and still had to wait 10 minutes for a table, and there were plenty open. We were very disappointed with the food and the service. I ordered the Top Sirloin, which was too chewy and had no flavor at all. Actually, my whole meal had no flavor, the mashed potatoes and brocolli, none. My son ordered the Marlin, which he said was good, but very tiny for the price. I would not reccomend this place at all for the food. It was way over priced and very bland! AWFUL!
They contacted me to make up my horrible experience. I finally took them up on their offer and went for my birthday on 9/17/06. I ordered the filet minion and my son got the New York steak. It was the best meal we both have had in a long time. The service was excellent...It was like a totally different place. It was GREAT!!! The steaks were done to perfection....I had the chocolate mousse for desert and it was so rich and yummy, I could only eat part of it...
Bring Your Appetite! – The waterfront only added to the whole experience. This is a place to go for an evening out, not just dinner. The bar was great for people watching, the appetizers were fast and delicious, and the service was immpecable. We didn't have reservations but they were able to fit us in, even on a Friday night. By the way, the beer-cheese soup is fantastic.
The tiered seating made it seem more private without people on both sides, and the brighter lighting was a refreshing change to the dark dim booths where I can't read the menu. The service was fast and courteous and the steaks were melt-in-your-mouth.
Capitalizing on Location – Portland has some of the best restaurants however Haborside definitely is not one of them.
Ambience: It's like sitting in the movie "Goodfellas". The decor is just plain awful and being sat on the top tier, the overhead lights blare in your eyes. The tier system is gaudy and outdated and the only value to it is an unobstructed view to the river.
Food: For $20 you can get a rubbery dry overcooked piece of Fiji Ono. I have not sent a dish back in years however, this was unedible. The Chef replied that that is how it is suppose to be. Note to Chef: not all diners lack knowledge about fish cookery.
Service: Unrefined but friendly. Our server tried her best to save our table but it was too late.
Considering Portland's options, try another restaurant so you won't be disappointed.
The best barkeeps in town!!!! – I've been all over Portland's bar scene being a barkeep myself and I must say that Matt and Ryan are by far the most entertaining bartending duo in PDX. These two guys are hilarious to watch and listen to. When a crazy song comes on (80's music), they'll use the espresso machine's steam to liven the joint up. You just have to go and check them out. By the way ladies, they're single.
Prime real estate and that's it! – We ate at Harborside last night with a group of 9, most of whom were from out of town and wanted to eat outdoors and enjoy a view - naturally we made a reservation at Harborside. Our server was really, really bad - he seemed like he was trying to ignore us. Serving a table of 9 isn't easy but we had to go to great lengths to get his attention to refresh drinks, get missing parts of our dinner, etc. Good thing gratuity is tacked on automatically because he didn't deserve more than 5%. Seafood is fresh but the food is boring. I'd rather walk along the Esplanade for the view and then spend my money at a restaurant that serves interesting and tasty food. Harborside may be good for singles and cheap happy hour but don't go there for the food or service.
Beer Cheese Soup – Over the past few years I have frequented Harborside and the Pilsner Room. Although the food was wonderful, the service has Always been extrodinarily AWFUL. This has not stopped me from enjoying the experience, only limiting the amount of time spent in this establishment. I management would pay attention to their servers as they do their quality of food I would make it my regular stomping grounds.
I would also advise anyone that makes it in on a Friday to have the Beer Cheese soup. Unfortunalty it was taken off the daily menu, my reason for less frequent stops into Harborside, Try it, you will love it!
Hot Spot – Service is great at this waterfront jewell. The bar also has great service and lots of good people watching. You have to try the Raspberry martini and a drink called the Portland sunset. What a fun place and great food.
Almost Perfect – Food is great, Servers / Waiters are excellent but the prices are a bit high, no to that it matter to us. Reserervations are useless, you still have to wait. They are merely a suggestion as to when you should arrive. The "behind the scenes staff" seems to be disorganized. I will be coming back often but it is hard to know about what you might run into
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