On my recent trip to Tampa, Florida I was lucky enough to go out for a nice seafood dinner thanks to my grandma. My aunt had heard good things about a restaurant called Bonefish Grill about a half hour away from her house. My dad, husband, and I were hoping to have some good seafood while in Florida so we immediately took her up on the suggestion.
At first glance I could tell that I had either seen this restaurant before or that it was definitely a chain. That doesn't bother me at all, as long as the food is good.
Fortunately, the Bonefish Grill did not disappoint.
Our night started out with some Pinot Grigio (only 6 more months until I can drink again!), a basket of fresh bread, and a few plates of pesto olive oil with Kalamata olives. While neither pesto or dipping oil is new to me, I was surprised at how fresh their dipping oil tasted. The Kalamata olive pieces were sparse but extremely flavorful. It only took a few minutes before I had to order another basket of bread.
Perhaps the best thing about this restaurant was their menu. It was huge. Their appetizer selection was quite pleasing (I ended up ordering from it for my meal) with dishes ranging from spicy shrimp to mussels. They actually had a non-fish section which was perfect for my grandma who is very picky. Besides their main entree section and a great list of specials, they also had a big section devoted to grilled fish. You could choose your fish and your sauce of which there were around six options.
My only complaint about the restaurant was the music. They played tension-filled music that would only be appropriate for a bar or nightclub, not an expensive seafood restaurant. It was very strange.
When our meals arrived I realized that I might have over-ordered. I had already eaten half of my dad's and part of my grandmother's salads (which were delicious) and lots of bread by the time my two appetizers arrived. Since I couldn't decide on a meal and knew that my appetite isn't as big as it was pre-pregnancy (strange, huh?) I settled on a plate of calamari with a side of marinara and a side of Thai hot sauce and a plate of bacon-wrapped scallops with fresh mango salsa. My husband got a macademia nut encrusted mahi-mahi with a rum pineapple sauce and a side of garlic mashed potatoes.
I had barely touched my calamari when my dad started giving me samples of his dish, grilled shrimp and scallops with a pan-Asian glaze and little bit of wasabi cream. Part of me wished I had ordered his dish because I LOVE shrimp (my favorite food) and the glaze was balanced nicely with partly sweet and partly spicy flavors.
My calamari was exactly how I like it. Fresh, tender, not chewy, and accompanied by 2 very tasty sauces. Since I love spicy foods I mainly used the Thai dipping sauce.
The bacon-wrapped scallops that I had ordered would have been taken home had we been in San Diego. By the time I got to that plate I was stuffed. However, I gave it the old "college-try" and managed to finish the plate (minus one that I made my dad eat). The scallops were also just how I like them. Not wet, slimy, and chewy but tender, dry, and crispy on the outside. Fortunately the mango salsa was also just how I make it at home. The fruity salsa worked well to cut the grease from the bacon.
While I did remember to take pictures this time, the restaurant was extremely dark and our meals don't look very appetizing (even once I lightened the pictures a bit). So no food pics today (plus I'm having trouble getting the blogger photo upload to work).
If you're ever in Florida I do recommend going to Bonefish. They also have restaurants all over the east coast and a few on the west (closest to CA is in southern Nevada) but I'm guessing the freshest fish would be found in Florida.