Bonefish Grill is overrated.
The 7-year-old fine dining seafood establishment is supposedly more than just seafood. However, after walking into this seafood haven I expected elegance, professional service and the aromatic essence of great food. Instead, my great expectations were met with less than average food.
I’ve been waiting for the day when I could boldly answer anyone who asked me, “Have you ever been to Bonefish Grill?” On Sunday I could finally answer “yes” but my initial reaction was different than what I thought it would be.
The lighting was intimate and dark. Two hostesses greeted me with warm smiles and a menu. The hostess had to guide me to the table where my party was because I couldn’t see. Around me there were scattered groups: a few young couples, a family of four, some older gentlemen who looked like they were colleagues and, of course, the large group of people who were my family all smiles.
Drinks were already ordered. My sister’s friend and colleague had a Pomegranate martini, which she let me taste. I must say; it was quite nice. The martini glass was chilled, and it was garnished with frozen red grapes. The alcohol was smooth and subtle with a mix of a sweet juice.
After one more scan around the room, I immediately felt underdressed. Apparently the dress code was ‘cosmo-snazzy,’ which is a blend of what I like to call “night on the town wear” and high-end chic. I wore a simple brick orange sweater with jeans and flats. I didn’t care though. I was starving.
I was excited to be there because I love fish. Tilapia, red snapper, salmon, grouper, mahi-mahi were some of my favorite seafood delicacies. But much to my surprise, as I hungrily searched through the menu, there was not much to choose from.
As I watched the appetizer come out, I was pleased at the food presentation. The fried coconut shrimp was a bit too crunchy, according to my sister, but she said the tangy sweet dipping sauce was really tasty. I applaud Bonefish for compensating for the mediocre shrimp with a great sauce.
I had a bite of my friend’s sesame seed seared tuna sashimi. The sesame seed seared tuna sashimi was room temperature, which left the tuna a little soggy. The girl who ordered the sashimi is a chef so she commented on the unappetizing fish right away.
We placed our orders, and the food came out on time. However, we were not impressed. I ordered chicken marsala with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. The portions were small, and the side items were left unnoticed and undermined. My sister’s tilapia, however, was fried perfectly, and the dipping sauce accompanied with the fish was a perfect combination of sweet and savory. My chicken marsala was covered in a brown wine-based sauce was truly divine.
Unfortunately, the chicken was a bit overcooked and burnt. The small “ice-cream scoop” of garlic-mashed potatoes was soft and creamy, just like I like it. I couldn’t remember what kind of vegetables I had, but I do remember the four slices of over-steamed veggies were soggy and unseasoned.
Overall, Bonefish grill was a bit overrated. The ambiance overcompensated for the mediocre fish.
In an attempt to elevate seafood to the epitome of fine dining, Bonefish did not meet the requirements for high-quality food.
Out of five stars, I give Bonefish two.