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Bonefish Grill [moved from Mid Atlantic board]

I heard that the Bonefish Grill will be opening up in Brick in the next few weeks. Has anyone ever eaten at any other one? If so, please post opinions. If it turns out to be a good, it would be a big boost to this area where good restaurants are a rarity.

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  1. I ate at their location in Greenbrook once. It was "okay", but not up to my expectations. While I am generally not a big fan of chain restaurants, I do like McCormick & Schmick's, and I found Bonefish to be inferior to M & S. However, I do have to say that I was impressed with Bonefish's efficiency in handling reservations. They seated us exactly on time, which was a nice change from most places.

    If your area has a shortage of decent restaurants, then perhaps Bonefish will improve the environment there. However, since my area (New Brunswick, Somerville, and environs) has many good places to eat, I doubt that I will be returning to Bonefish any time soon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ted in Central NJ

      Ate at the Bonefish in Deptford Saturday night. Previously, we had eaten at one in Sterling, VA about 5 years ago and that one was pretty good. Deptford is a different story.

      Here's what I think I dislike. Everything on the menu is pre-prepared. Typical chain. My wife could not order grilled tilefish, but could order tilefish picatta. ??? Apps we had calamari and ahi tuna sashimi. Tuna was ok - calamri was like fried rubber bands. Entrees were tilefish picatta and grouper thermdor. Both OK. Desserts were bananas foster and creme brulee. Again both OK - nothing spectacular. And 2 cups of the absolute strongest coffee I have ever had - and I like a stout cup of coffee.

      No need to head back.

      1. re: Ted in Central NJ

        I second "Ted". I live in the same general area & have also eaten at the Greenbrook restaurant. It was o.k., but nothing we'd go out of our way for again. (McCormick & Schmick's is definitely much better.)

      2. I ate at the new location in Brick last Monday and arrived to a nearly full restaurant at 4:45 pm (I didn't have a reservation, but was promptly seated at one of the last remaining tables). For me, it was a great alternative to chains that I often frequent because they are child friendly. Bonefish was also child friendly (kids are provided crayons to doodle on the white paper tablecloth). I thought the shirmp appetizer they pushed on us was so-so, but our entrees of grilled Mahi Mahi and a pasta dish with shrimp were both good. One of the owners spent time chatting with us and had a great attitude and was very eager to please. I'd return, but probably not without a reservation.

        1. I've eaten at one in Florida in the past. It is better than something such as Red Lobster because the fish is prepared in more varied ways. For a chain it is pretty good, but not on par with some of the restaurants in Philly or anything like that. But if it's local and not too much of a drive, it's worth a visit.

          1. I've eaten at Bonefish at few different locations and love it. If you like something with a little kick try the bang-bang shrimp. Service has never been a problem either.

            1. they are also opening on Rt 1 in Woodbridge. I ate at the one in FLorida. A step up from Friday's, thats about it. NOT great but beats red lobster.... ugh

              1 Reply
              1. re: nyebaby37

                I think that this fits the definition of "damning with faint praise"!

                Being better than Red Lobster is hardly a recommendation in my book, especially when the prices are at the level charged by Bonefish Grill. As I had said in my earlier posting, I doubt that I will be returning to any of their locations anytime soon.

              2. We have one here in Wilmington, NC, and I've always been pleased with our dinners there. Their fish is fresh, flavorful, and well-prepared, as are their other entrees. They have a pretty good wine list and good cocktails. For a chain, I think they do remarkably well. My only complaint is that sometimes it's kind of loud, but then, sometimes, that's the kind of atmosphere you want.

                1. I believe they are owned by Outback. I'v eaten in a few Bonefish Grill's and they've been pretty good overall. I agree with the post stating they do well for a chain restaurant. Personally I would put them a couple notches above Red Lobster (rather than just one...), but it's nothing really amazing. Fresh fish but generally oversauced and fairly overpriced. If I had one within 15 minutes of me I would frequent it on occasion, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it if it were further out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dawner119

                    Have yet to visit one of these (none in immediate area), but yes they do appear to share ownership with Outback. Carraba's as well (that one comes up on here a lot). See http://www.osirestaurantpartnersinc.com/

                  2. I really like Bonefish. I don't think it's overpriced. I live in FL where seafood is pretty easy to get and we eat at Bonefish a fair amount. There are some things I love on their menu - such as the Bang Bang shrimp, the mussels for an app, and the ability to have any type of fish any style.

                    1. Went to Bonefish for the first time last month. I live in the middle of the country were there don't tend to be large number of seafood only resturants. I thought that it was good but not great. I didn't like the corn and lobster chowder but the fish I had with a mango/horseradish salsa was pretty good.

                      We also have a McCormick and Schmicks which I believe is much better. As with any chain resturant, I believe that any opinion is based on how individual locations handle things and what your alternatives are. If your only alternative is Red Lobster, then you will be impressed but you have a larger number of choices than your opion might vary.

                      1. Hm, I wouldn't even have thought that Bonefish Grill would be comparable to McCormick and Scmick's, but I guess it is approaching that in price. (Looks like M&S would be a bit more expensive for most things.)

                        Personally, I don't care for M&S at all. We tried the one here in Pittsburgh once and wouldn't go back. In that arena and that price range, we find Mitchell's to be good http://www.mitchellsfishmarket.com/ Can't compare it to Bonefish, but looking at the menu I don't find it more appealing than other choices. Still, would probably try Bonefish given a chance.

                        1. Bonefish is very reasonable for what you get. I live in a resort area on the coast & most independents are $5 more for similar dishes.

                          1. I really enjoy bone fish for cocktails (great drink specials) and apps.

                            1. It's hit or miss at Bonefish here in South Tampa. Sometimes they'll make a great steak, sometimes it's awful The scallops are usually pretty good. Eh. I could take it or leave it. I usually just get a salad.

                              1. Their "reservation" system leaves much to be desired. Four of us decided to dine at this restaurant last night and called at 5 pm to make a reservation. My wife was told that they didn't accept reservations until after 9 pm but call back at 7pm and we'll be put in for an 8:15 seating. We did as instructed and arrived there at 8:10 pm to be told that there is a 20 minute wait. 20 minutes became 40 and then 60! We were then told we could order appetizers at tables around the bar. A couple sitting at a table for 4 got up and left. We moved to the table. A waiter came and told us that the couple stepped out for a smoke and would be right back. We were ushered back to a bench. The hostess then came and sat a party of 4 at the same table not 1 minute later! The waiter didn't offer an explanation but came and setup two TV trays for us to use. If I wanted to sit at a TV tray I would have stayed home. We got up and left, went to Craig’s Steakhouse on Princeton Avenue and had a great meal. Clients and friends always ask me for restaurant recommendations. I can surely say that the bonefish grill will not be one of them.

                                1. I've eaten at it only once but I had an enjoyable experience there. The atmosphere, in my opinion, was alot nicer than other chain restaurants, in fact I didn't know it was a chain at first b/c I had never seen one before. I really enjoyed my meal, I had salmon, I forgot with what kind of marinade or rub. I would go there again. I'm sure like with any chain, the service varies from location to location. The one I went to was in Poughkeepsie, NY.

                                  1. I had heard about Bonefish Grill for a few years now and when i realized that a new one had opened in my general area of Wellington, FL, i decided to give it a try. Not being wild about busy restaurants and simply wanting a quiet late lunch, early dinner, we arrived at about 415pm, just after opening time on a holiday weekend. At that time there were only about 5 tables occupied with a few people in the lounge. We had the most delightful waitress/server. She was attentive without becoming part of the family and very descriptive as to the different specials and choices. I love caesar salad and perhaps i am spoiled by truly enjoying(loving) it at Tramontos Steak and Seafood in Wheeling, il, but the one here at Bonefish was basically tasteless and the only real taste came from the super salty anchovies which were bordering on horrible. I had asked our server for extra when i ordered which she did bring in a small side dish for me, but it was impossible to even eat the ones that were on the salad to begin with let alone any extra. Tramonto's serves what they call white anchovies and they have a wonderful sweet taste to them. I know nothing about anchovies but perhaps if Bonefish were to possibly rinse some of the preserving salt it would help. I usually order a plain grilled fish and possibly some sauce on the side. This time at Bonefish i tried one of their specialties, a pistachio crusted trout. It came with a small garnish of julienne squash and such and as my side i ordered garlic mashed potatoes. Garlic is my favorite veggie!! The fish was just ok. Nothing special and not much of any taste. I would have been better sticking to grilled fish such as swordfish perhaps. The mashed potatoes had no garlic taste at all to them. and the squash was so salty it was inedible. The person eating with me loves salt on her food in general and could not eat the squash. We commented on it to our server and we were told that they had disposed of that batch and were preparing new. My dining companion also commented that the potatoes had absolutely no garlic in them. I dont know who bakes their bread, but it is terrific. We then shared a dessert. A strawberry shortcake made with a half biscuit and lots of fresh strawberries and voluminous amounts of vanilla ice cream. It was really terrific. I took half of my fish to go and the server also included some of the newly/newer squash accompaniment, basically about 1 tablespoon full. The newly made squash was considerably less salty than the one they had dumped but still not easy to eat. The atmosphere in the restaurant is lovely, perhaps it was the early hour when we ate but service for us at least was terrific. We left at about 620pm and all of the tables were full with about 20 people waiting in the entry to be seated. It still amazes me that with an area such as south Florida where one would assume there are great fish restaurants, they are difficult if not impossible to find.