Food & Drink » Restaurant Review

Fresh Catch

The Brandermill area lands a big one.

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What distinguishes the Bonefish Grill from other seafood chains such as Red Lobster, which also has a new outlet nearby, are its toppings which can be mixed and matched and its sauces.

Gulf grouper was given a spicy boost by a warm salsa sauce topped with fresh mango bites. A firm and chunky Atlantic swordfish was served pan-Asian style, with a teriyaki ginger glaze. And rainbow trout, sautéed and topped with artichokes, glistened with a golden pistachio Parmesan crust basted with basil lemon butter.

A high quality ahi tuna, which can be ordered either as an entrée or appetizer, was seared in sesame, sliced thin and accompanied by pickled ginger and a sinus-clearing wasabi.

The list of fish varies, depending upon availability, but you can always count on the above species, plus salmon, Chilean sea bass, mahi-mahi, shrimp, scallops and lobster tails. Nightly specials may include more exotic catches such as golden tile and butter fish from as far away as New Zealand,.

The special toppings are offered on the nightly specials, for an extra $2 to $4. They include combinations of lobster Thermidor or Newberg, lump crabmeat, shrimp, cheeses, mushrooms, nuts, rum and sherry. Portions are large, and all entrees come with a salad and a side dish — potatoes, pasta, rice or vegetables.

Shrimp, plump and solid, dominate the appetizers ($5.50-$10). They come sautéed in a lime tomato garlic sauce, with kalamata olives and feta cheese; coconut crusted with a sweet dipping sauce, or crispy "bang bang," breaded and fried, then tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce.

A generous Cajun egg roll consisted of blackened chicken, roasted corn, onions and peppers in a mustard sauce. Other starters include crab cakes, mussels, calamari, scallops, a Cobb salad and corn chowder with crab.

Meat eaters can choose among pork, chicken and steak. Grilled pork tenderloin was lifted above ordinary by being dusted with garlic crumbs and topped with a portabella piccata sauce.

The dessert menu is brief, made for sharing, and includes crÅ me brulee, Key lime pie and a chocolate macadamia nut brownie cake (each $4.70). The brownie is topped and surrounded by raspberry sauce, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

Managing partner Matthew Tanyi, who came from an Outback restaurant in California, inspects the fish, which is flown in daily, and even helps in cutting the filets. Knowledgeable servers are trained to explain everything about the fish, which in one instance was more than many diners might want to know.

The Bonefish Grill is located on the west side of Hull Street, in an easy-to-miss, stand-alone building. The handsome interior features what Tanyi calls a "golden glow" in the smoke-free dining room, where hanging lights and sconces reflect off gold walls and metal sculptures. The smoking area is in the bar, which has booths and high-top communal tables.

The chain, which also has outlets in Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia, will open in Newport News around the new year. S



Bonefish Grill ($$$)
6081 Harbour Park Drive (one mile west of 288 on Hull Street)
639-2747
Dinner only, open daily: Monday-Thursday 4-10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 4-11:30 p.m.; Sunday 4-10 p.m.
www.bonefishgrill.com



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