Monday, November 02, 2009

Wednesday Dine Out: Bonefish Grill

When I started on this culinary journey, I made a decision to try to avoid any chains. I mean, every Applebees and Olive Garden is the same, no matter what city or country you're in. And there are tons of dining options here in the Scenic City, but really, the crowds flock to the chains.

So, I eased up a bit, and tried the Bonefish Grill. Bonefish is an "upscale" chain, with most of their locations in the Southeast and along the Northeast Coast. The first one opened in 2000 in St. Petersburg, and Florida is still the home to most of their units. I'd been there ages ago, when it first opened, so a return trip was long overdue.

Over the past weeks, one thing I'd noticed at my restaurant picks was the lack of early diners. I like to eat early - like 5:30 or 6pm - and the downtown restaurants I've tried really just seemed to be getting some business as I was leaving. Not so with Bonefish - when I got there at 6pm, that place was hopping! It turns out they have extended happy hours until 10pm on Wednesday - with some good specials, like half price on "premium" liquors. I had a 25 minute wait just to get a table! So I took advantage of the HH and sat at the bar. It may be because Bonefish is in the "burbs," on the way home for folks working downtown, but for whatever reason, there was a large crowd hanging out there. It made for a much more fun dining experience - there was all kinds of activity to observe. Much more interesting than my book.

Although they have a varied menu, grilled fish is their signature item. You can choose from six or seven different types, and then you choose one of four different sauces. I opted for the tilapia, with a warm mango salsa. Yum! With it, I had the house salad, which was good, and a nice glass (or two!) of the house red sangria. A really nice meal.

The other special on Wednesdays is their Bang Bang Shrimp. I'm not a great lover of shrimp, so I passed on that, but it seemed like just about everyone in there was ordering it. So it must be good!

When it comes time to start revisiting some of these restaurants, Bonefish Grill will definitely be in the rotation!

Bon appetit!

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