Bonefish Grill. Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 4848 Veterans Memorial Blvd. 504-780-9964.

2 Fleur
Average check per person $25-$35
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayNo Lunch MondayNo Lunch TuesdayNo Lunch WednesdayNo Lunch ThursdayNo Lunch FridayNo Lunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Bonefish Grill

Metairie 3: Houma Blvd To Kenner Line: 4848 Veterans Memorial Blvd. 504-780-9964. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Bonefish Grill is one of the best large national restaurant chains, and one of the few that specializes in seafood. Aside from a few signature dishes, however, it’s not the food that makes the best impressions. The extraordinarily well-trained service staff will make you believe you’re in for the time of your life. Enough that a lot of people don’t think to question the provenance of the actual seafood. Which is, by New Orleans standards, distinctly secondary.

WHAT’S GOOD
Bonefish buys seafood as fresh as it claims. The kitchen uses that to create dishes that go for the weak spots of the typical American palate. A large number of dishes are decidedly sweet, for example. This slips by because you don’t expect it. Quite a few of their dishes are also aggressively spicy, too–most notably the unarguably delicious bang-bang shrimp. Those are fried shrimp tossed in a zippy aioli and served in a pile big enough to share–something the servers (who wear chef’s jackets, suggesting that they’re going to cook personally for you) encourage. Once you get into the shank of the meal, however, you find dishes made of less-expensive versions of the kind of seafood we’re accustomed to eating in New Orleans. Some of it is disguised: “Imperial longfin” is, near as I can tell, tilapia. Orange roughy comes from around Australia. They’ve emphasized pompano lately, the best of our local fish. But ask them where it comes from, and get ready for a surprise. Ask what local seafood is available, and you’ll get a hedging kind of answer.

BACKSTORY
The first Bonefish Grill opened in 2000 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The developers were Tim Curci and Chris Parker, both of whom had come from other restaurant chains. It grew rapidly, preceded everywhere it went by a glowing reputation spread by customers who’d encountered it elsewhere. A few years ago Bonefish merged with the Outback Steakhouse group. Bonefish has continued to spread rapidly throughout the country, and has over 150 locations in 29 states. A Bonefish opened in Covington in 2009. It closed in 2012, when the Metairie Bonefish opened.

DINING ROOM
The dining room and bar are more comfortable and handsomer than many more expensive restaurants. The only noticeable sign that this is a chain is the large percentage of booth tables. (Booths allow for tighter packing of customers than standard tables do, which is why chains love them.) In its eagerness to please and personality, the service staff ranks with the best. But that’s something else chains know: service is more important than food to most people. (Not me.)

ONLINE MENU LOCATION

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Wagyu beef and ginger dumplings
Bang bang shrimp
Edamame
Fried calamari, peppers and sweet spicy Asian sauce
Seared, sesame crusted tuna
Mussels Josephine (tomatoes, garlic, basil, lemon wine sauce)
Maryland crab cakes, red remoulade
Bacon wrapped sea scallops, chutney, mango salsa
Thai coconut shrimp
Shrimp, lime tomato garlic sauce, kalamata olives, feta
Fish and chips
Soups And Salads
Corn and crab chowder
Wedge salad, tomatoes, blue cheese
Caesar salad
House salad (hearts of palm, kalamata olives, tomatoes, citrus-herb vinaigrette
Grilled salmon and asparagus salad, goat cheese, fennel
Cobb salad
Sandwiches
Kobe beef burger
Bang bang shrimp tacos
Baja fish tacos
Fillet of fish burger
Entrees
Grilled chicken, goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts
Grilled boneless pork chop, fontina cheese, prosciutto, marsala sauce
Grilled chicken marsala
Filet mignon
Sirloin and crab cake dinner
Pecan parmesan crusted rainbow trout, artichokes, lemon butter
Tilapia stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crabmeat; lemon caper butter
Diablo shrimp fettuccine, tomatoes, capers, spinach fettuccine, garlic cream sauce
Grilled swordfish
Chilean sea bass
Atlantic salmon
Sea scallops and shrimp
Rainbow trout
Tilapia
Cold water lobster tails
Ahi tuna with asian vegetables, jasmine rice
Desserts
Jamaican coconut pie
Macadamia nut brownie
Key lime pie, pecan crust
Creme brulee, berries
Peanut butter ice cream

FOR BEST RESULTS
Almost all the best dishes are in the appetizer section. Start with the bang-bang shrimp (everybody else does), and ask for local fish. (Sometimes they do have it.) If there’s a fish here you’ve never heard of, ask probing question, and have an alternate entree order ready.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
I find it offensive that any upscale seafood restaurant operating in New Orleans has little or no local seafood. Corporate buyers shouldn’t force what they have to buy for Des Moines on us.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+3
  • Value +3
  • Attitude +3
  • Wine & Bar +1
  • Hipness
  • Local Color -2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Outdoor tables, drinks only
  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

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