Bonefish Grill

Written by on January 3, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Broadlands Center Plaza in Ashburn, Virginia

How I heard of this place: While I have heard of the Bonefish Grill before, probably in Seattle, I had never had the opportunity to sample their cuisine. Not until our friends Sam & Janelle invited us to join them and their two children at the Bonefish in Ashland for a New Years dinner.

Type of cuisine: “Your local seafood restaurant” seems to be the motto of Bonefish Grill as it appeals to those feeling the need for a “big city bar that’s not far from home.” Their website boasts, “When you walk through our doors, you may notice the chef-coast service or wine display. But we’ve left stuffiness and unprounceable menu out. Our polished casual setting helps you relax and celebrate – even if the occasion you’re celebrating is just dinner…It’s a wood-burning grill that swaps out boredom and routine for a dinner that opens your eyes. It’s chef-coat service that’s not about being stuffy, but all about knowing what you need. It’s feeling good about the food, the people and the bill each time you walk through the door. Because at Bonefish Grill, special isn’t something that comes around once a year. It’s something you’ll find here any night of the week. No matter what the reason is for your visit, we’re ready to share the BFG experience with you.”

Ambiance: Cozy, warm, dimly lit and very romantic. The revolving doors and dark windows (or maybe it was just late and the night sky naturally gave the dark window look?) leading inside the establishment kept the chill and the views of the shopping strip and parking lot to a minimum. Immediately ahead of us, the bar crowd merrily enjoyed happy hour cocktails from their booths and traditional bar stools, keeping the bartender company. Music plays softly in the background so as not to disturb diners, but provide some ambiant air throughout. To our left the host and hostess stood, awaiting our names for the reservation. They offered us a table either in the bar or on the restaurant side; we chose the restaurant, for quiet, comfort and the children joining us shortly. Between the two large rooms/sides of the establishment, a wall with a lengthwise cut-out extending the entirety of the width of the restaurant helped separate the seating areas. In that space, one row of brass plants, lined the wall from front to back. We sat a booth along the bar wall. Ahead of us, seating was available at the window, around the space near the far wall, at more booths, as well as chairs and tables available throughout the center of the establishment. Ceiling fans and the feel of fake palm trees gave the venue a Tommy Bahamas vibe.

What I ordered: When seated, Chris ordered each of us a glass of cranberry juice ($2.50 each). When they arrived, our dining companions ordered two Cokes ($2.50 each), a glass of Sprite and water for the children. While they perused the menu, we enjoyed watching their children play with Thomas train cars and crayons, doodling on the parchment-colored paper that lined our tables. To start, Chris and I shared a full-sized Caesar salad ($3.10 with the order of an entree), perfect as a shared appetizers. Our dining companions started their meals with a House Salad ($3.10 with the purchase of an entree). Prior to making our way out to Ashburn, Chris had emailed me the link to the Bonefish Grill website, complete with menu of the evening’s specials; on the menu I found the Spinach Bacon Gorgonzola Atlantic Salmon ($18.90), and could not be swayed. Chris was compelled to choose the same dish of Atlantic salmon, topped with sauteed spinach, crispy bacon and creamy Gorgonzola cheese. Our dining companions, initially both selected the Wild Dorado Mahi Mahi ($18.90 each), but decided that one of them should sample something different, and went with the Maryland Crab Cake Dinner ($18.80) with two broiled crab cakes served with a slightly spicy, red remoulade. Each of our dishes came served with the seasonal vegetable: spaghetti squash sauteed in a brown sugar and butter sauce, as well as our choice of fresh sides. The women both chose garlic whipped potatoes, while the men enthusiastically opted for the potatoes au gratin. Chris and I also added steamed asparagus (five, fat spears for $4). Marissa selected the Kids Grilled Fish (5.99) dinner with grilled Longfin Tilapia and fries. Even though we were too full eat any more, dessert could not be refused. Each of the men made their selections, and the women sampled: Jen’s Jamaican Coconut PIe ($6.20), creamy custard, rum sauce and fresh whipped cream, and the Key Lime Pie ($5.90) with a roasted pecan crust. When the manager came by to see how our meals were, it paid to be honest about our dislike of the Coconut Pie (with too much rum). He offered us a free dessert of choice, and I was jumping eagerly at the Macadamia Nut Brownie (normally $5.90), a flourless brownie served sprinkled with toasted macadamia nuts, a puddle of raspberry sauce and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream.

What I loved:  Of everything we sampled, my favorite things were the creamy, flavorful and not-inundated-with croutons Caesar salad. The salmon was moist and well-seasoned, the spinach perfectly wilted, yet vibrantly green, and the Gorgonzola cheese crumbles large and fresh. The whipped garlic potatoes soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, the tilapia grilled to light perfection and the crab cakes full of big chunks of crab. Of the desserts, the brownie stole the show, but the thick, cheesecake-like key lime pie held the attention of our tastebuds from start to glorious finish.

Why I loved it: The service was stellar, the food delicious and abundant and the company well worth the drive.

Cost: Average to high ($16-$28 per dinner entree)

Be Sociable, Share!


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *