Where does a restaurant reviewer take his wife on their anniversary?
How about one of the finest additions to the Cranston restaurant scene.
Friends had told us how much they enjoyed Bonefish Grill, but we had never got around to trying it. Leaving pad and pen at home, and vowing not to be influenced by the right side of the menu, we headed to Chapel View, found a spot in the crowded parking lot, and were pleased to learn that there was only a short wait for a table.
The Bonefish menu doesn’t have appetizers. They call them “Starters + Sharing” and they are a great way to start the evening, after a cocktail and warm bread with oil. And, of course, we shared.
Our friends, Don and Caroline, make a meal out of the Starters + Sharers, and we were tempted but decided to save that for another visit…and there will be another visit.
The menu features a star next to the “popular guest choices,” so we decided on the starred Bang Bang Shrimp. Usual price for a generous portion is $8.90, but they were only $5 as the featured Wednesday special. Tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce, they were crispy on the outside and served piping hot.
We couldn’t resist trying the Maryland crab cakes ($11.90), two jumbo lump cakes that were all crab, again perfectly cooked and the best we have ever had. They were served with a nice red remoulade sauce but were mostly enjoyed au natural.
A variety of grilled fish, cooked over a wood-burning grill, included swordfish, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, longfin tilapia and ahi tuna, all of which we wanted to try. Joyce settled on the sea scallops and shrimp, and she was not disappointed. I enjoyed another favorite, Chilean sea bass, and I was in seafood heaven.
The grilled fish comes with a choice of four signature sauces. Pan Asian added to my enjoyment, while Joyce enjoyed the chimichurri. Prices range from $27.30 for the large sea bass portion (I chose the small portion at $23.30, and it was more than enough) to $14.30 for the small Atlantic salmon. The entrees are accompanied by a vegetable medley and your choice of a variety of potatoes, rice and veggies.
There are daily specials, and you can call ahead to check. We praised the crab cakes, and I commented to the hostess on how much I used to enjoy crab imperial at a Washington restaurant. She said that it is one of their occasional specials and also recommended the fresh cod imperial, which is stuffed with shrimp scallops and crab meat ($18.90).
Bonefish Grill has $5 bar-fresh cocktails, a large wine and martini list, local and draft beers. We couldn’t handle dessert, but the macadamia nut brownie is on the list for another time, along with Jen’s Jamaican coconut pie, made with creamy custard, rum sauce and fresh whipped cream.
They do serve chicken and steak, but our suggestion is, “If you are going to a fish restaurant, order fish!”
Bonefish Grill also has two locations in Newington and South Windsor, Conn. They have certainly found a home in Cranston. Open daily, they also serve brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For reservations call 275-4970.