Why It's Essential
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Bonefish Grill4848 Veterans Blvd Suite B, Metairie, LA 70006, USA