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May 16, 2007 04:28 AM

I eat at Bonefish in Woodbridge

I know my standarda have now come to an all time low after eating here. Don't ask me why I decided I wanted to try this place over having a choice of this of Le Fandy???

Anyway, we got to Bonefish Grill about 7 p.m. and were told about 40 minute wait. That was fine because my husband had a few call to make. We were seated around 8 ish. The wait staff was very polite, but just a little too overboard with trying to help the customer pick out appetizers, and main dishes. For example, the waiter insisted I would not be sorry if I ordered Coconut Shrimp. (I NEVER order that out because I make it at home on special occasions, plus I know if I really wanted it, I would just buy the same bag Bonefish has from Sam's Club.)

I also don't like when a wait staff presumes they know anything about wine. Clearly they werw mistaken on identifying dry from fruity, but I was not there to teach Wine 101. We shared an appetizer of Ahi Tuna. All I can say, is thank God it was cooked all the way through. They claim all the fish comes in "fresh" everyday, but from the beginning, we did not get that vibe. The Ahi was nothing special, so I won't even mention it.

My dinner was the special Artic Char with lump crabmeat. BLAH! It came out, the char was lukewarm, but the sauce on top, which was so gross, was almost like an alfredo sauce with crab meat in it. The carrots were galzed in way too much brown sugar and butter. My side dish was angel hair with marinara sauce. The angel hair was probably the most edible thing. Mine was missing everything! Flavor, consistancy, appealing to the eye. I did not like mine.

My husband had the Sea Bass on the menu in the Mediterrean sauce. (olive oil, oregano, etc.) His fish was actually bad. He tasted it, then I did, and we both knew. His side was potatoes au gratin. They were more like a lump of mashed with a chunk of velvetta in the middle.

We were really dissapointed with the whole place because even though they recently opened...the entire wait staff were young high school or college kids. Not a manager to be found! Or even anyone over 25 for that matter! We did not complain becaus ewe spent far too much time there, we just asked for the check and the waiter was surprised we did not want to take anything home. (By the way he wanted to make sure he told me what his favorite dessert was, as if I really wanted to know at this point!)

This is just my observation on the place. I will never try this place or go to another, I don't care what the review says! All I have in my head is BLAH!!

Thanks for reading my post!

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  1. I've been talked into going to Bonefish 3 times now, and have had a similar experience each and every time. I could put up with bland or ordinary, but have no tolerance for bad. Why do these places do such a good business? I'll never go back!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clarkafella

      I know...shame on us!!! As my sister said, what were you thinking?? Yet the lines outside the place were as if the fisherman himself just came and sold today's fish.

    2. I guess it depends on the location...I have eaten at two Bonefish locations in North Carolina and have had excellent experiences. Or maybe my taste buds aren't refined enough. In any event, for a chain, I think Bonefish does an excellent job.

      13 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        the BF in Florida was ok, nothing great. Wont even attempt the one in Woodbridge -- I dont wait anywhere for 45 minutes to eat, those days are over. This is a chain, I don't think one should expect perfection but too bad your experience wasn't even decent. Red Lobster is always packed too, all frozen fish! I do know someone working at BF and they are "trained" to know the wines, at least more extensively than Fridays. How about Cheeseburger in Paradise, anyone go there yet??

        1. re: nyebaby37

          I ate in one in Brick Nj and had the same experience. It was so packed you could hardly get in the door between those waiting to be seated and those checking out how long the wait with no reservation, I found the food to be so so. Two out of the four dinnes ordered had to go back as they were way under cooked. Mussels in garlic and wine nowhere as good as Carabbas. All hipe and not real tasty. did not go back (that was 4 months ago) Better places at the shore to do than that "Chain".

          1. re: Barbarella

            Barbarella - While it pains me to admit, I had the opposite experience at the Brick location about a week ago. I started out with a very decent mojito from the bar. Next came the signature bang bang shrimp appetizer. While it wasn't rock shrimp tempura from Nobu, it was quite respectable with a bit of nice heat. For entrees I ordered the grouper piccata with steamed vegetables while my DW had the ahi tuna with the pan asian sauce and potatoes au gratin. Both items were excellent and the fish tasted very fresh. We finished with the decadent nut brownie sundae. All in all a very solid meal and a bargain at $65 including tip. While not a special night out place I think the bonefish fits the bill for all other occasions. I will definitely return. Just my 2 cents.

            1. re: bgut1

              How long did you have to wait for a table? I think now that the ben...sorry tourists are going to be arriving, it will be very hard to get into the Brick location!

              1. re: bgut1


                I must have been there in January, all I remember is it was really cold. The place had just opened, I believe. It was a Saturday night at 7PM our reservation was for. I remember the wait staff not being too friendy and had a know it all attitude about them. Found it sort of tight in the place.On the other hand I know two other couples that really liked it. I like a restaurant that is somewhat consistent. Not this place!

                1. re: bgut1

                  I had a similar favorable experience that I may have posted about at the Brick location right after they opened. It was my first time at a BFG and my family had an overall solid meal at a relatively affordable price. One of the franchise owners spent a lenghty period of time talking to us about the restaurant and made us feel "at home." I wasn't too crazy about the bang bang shrimp which our server told us was a "must," but was pleased with the fish selections. Everything tasted fresh. Also, very accommodating to the kids. Although I haven't yet returned, I will do so and will make sure to make a reservation.

                  1. re: jsfein

                    I went on a Wednesday night and while busy was not full. Interestingly, I also had a lengthy conversation with one of the owners. A very nice guy. I also noticed quite a few families with kids, all acting well behaved (the kids that is).

                  2. re: bgut1

                    My SO and I also had a good experience at the Bonefish in Brick. The service and food were very good. The only negative: after 8:00 PM the music got very loud. It would have been fine if it was good music, but it was bad disco...very bad disco. I was expecting "Kung Fu Fighting" to come blaring over the speakers at any minute, but we were spared that little trip down memory lane. :)

                    1. re: MartiniQueen

                      MQ - What did you have? Thinking of going there with my SO this week BEFORE 8:00 - I like to here myself chew!!!

                2. re: nyebaby37

                  Hey baby!! :) I did not eat at the Woodbridge location, but the one in Maui was great! Of course, anywhere in Maui is great. The cheeseburger was pretty good I must say. (I previously posted about this place, but it was moved to the "CHAINS" case you were interested in reading.)

                  I don't think I will be trying the one in Woodbridge. Maybe not until someone posts something other.

                  Other than that...No Bonefish for me....

                  1. re: Angelina

                    The BF in Greenbrook, NJ was definitely underwhelming for me and my SO. While nothing was bad, there was just nothing about the place to justify the attitude or the prices, IMHO.

                    The only really positive thing that I can say is that they honored our reservation exactly on time, which is certainly a rarity nowadays. But, if one can't rave about the food, what is the point of returning?

                    1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                      While Bonefish is not fine dining. I fail to see how any one could complain about the pricing. It is more reasonable than any of the independent place's where I live on th Ga. coast.

                      1. re: beteez

                        It's not that Bonefish is expensive per se, but rather that I consider it to be overpriced for the quality of what is served. I don't mind paying for good food, but there was nothing about the experience to justify what was charged, IMHO.

                        The same prices, for really fresh, expertly prepared fish, would not be out of line--but that was not what I experienced. The pedestrian fare that I was served on my visit did not justify the prices--again, IMHO.

                        Among friends and family, I am known for the ability to recall, many years later, exactly what I ate at a particular restaurant. With some restaurant experiences, I can recall every detail after a decade or so has passed. Yet, all I recall from Bonefish is that I ate fish. I couldn't tell you what type of fish or how it was prepared, and my inability to recall these details is very telling, since I ate at Bonefish only a few months ago.

                        So, while I may return to Bonefish one day, it is not high on my list of places that I wish to frequent. You may differ, and that is what living in a democracy is all about!

              2. Twice, my wife and I have eaten at a Bonefish Grill in Maryland (Gaithersburg) and once in Virginia (Centerville). On all 3 occasions, the wait staff was professionally friendly and not intrusive at all and the food was excellent. Last Sunday, Mother's Day, we arrived at the Grill at the time of our reservation and was seated immediately. At no time while we were there were people waiting for a table. The food was excellent, particularly the sea bass my wife ordered. I had halibut and it was terrific. Guiltily, I must admit that I could have eaten a plate full of the potatoes au gratin, which were marvelous. So, I guess the bottom line is that, with the Grill, it depends on where the restaurant is located.

                1. Wow thats totally unforutnate. I ate there at the Woodbridge restaurant a few weeks back and had a terrific experience. The food was amazing, weight staff friendly, everything you could want. Everyone I went with enjoyed their food, especially me. The fontina chops were amazing! Other dishes were the wood grilled shrimp and scallops and the Lily's chicken. I found their sides to be delish too. The carrots and potatoes au gratin were both out of this world. Maybe you just ordered the wrong things off the menu or caught them on a bad day because I would rate Bonefish as one of the best chains going.

                  1. A, Bonefish & Le Fandy in the same sentence is just setting yourself up for disappoint (imho). LOL. You slay me!

                    Bonefish, as with most chains, are family friendly and pocketbook values--that's why even on an 'off' night the place packs 'em in! If you're looking for Le Fandy service/fare at a chain (and I suspect you were not)....yada yada.

                    Finding fault with a overly-friendly/trying-to-be-helpful waiter on a busy night is also an interesting noted observation. Service w/a smile is far more welcome than short-on-patience staffers in my book.

                    Chains have their glorious place, can even shine in a few signature dish areas, but in my book shouldn't be held to "Le Fandy like" standards. My family & I have eaten at five different Bonefish locations and always have a blast!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: HillJ

                      Ha ha..thanks HillJ. I know Le Fandy is in a fabulous class of its own and I did not mean for anyone to confuse the two. My husband really wanted to go to Le Fandy, as we always have speb meal there. I just wanted to try the "new place" that opened in Woodbridge. I learned my lesson the hard way.

                      I will never stray from Chef Ong again!