Atmosphere: The full bar and waiting area is right in front as you enter. For busy nights, spillover patrons can wait outside and sit down with their drinks while waiting for their table to become available. The dining room is large and tables well spaced from each other. Decor is tasteful and the lighting just right. Even though it is crowded, the noise level is bearable without being distracting.
Menu: Click here for Bonefish Grill Menu The menu is, of course, mostly seafood but they also have other grilled specialties. Good variety of fish choices and sauces to go with them. The restaurant also has daily specials and a good appetizer menu.
For starters we had:
Wagyu Beef + Ginger Dumplings - handmade with American Style Kobe, pan seared, served with crispy shallots, Thai peppers + soysauce. The pan seared dumplings were pretty good and reminded me very much of gyoza (Japanese Dumplings.) The flavor of the beef and the taste was good - you could hardly taste the ginger (which is a good thing.) With the dumpling sauce, I enjoyed this appetizer. (What is Wagyu? Read More...)
Bang Bang Shrimp - Tender, crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce (I think it is mayo with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce) More than anything else, this appetizer is identified with the restaurant. Everyone raves about how good it tastes - look at the tables around, and almost every table has bang bang. Catchy name for a good dish. The presentation is very nice!
Singapore Calamari - Tender calamari flash fried and tossed with peppers and a sweet and spicy Asian sauce. The flash fried calamari was very good - the batter was crispy and the calamari was tender. It has enough flavor by itself that you really dont need the sweet chili sauce or to squeeze lemon on it.
For Main Dishes we had:
Baja Fish Tacos - “Cajun–style” and wood-grilled. Served with lettuce, mango salsa and sour cream. You get 2 soft shell fish tacos for this entree. The tacos are Tilapia nicely seasoned and goes very well with the mango salsa.
"American Style" Kobe Beef Burger - Soft brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, special sauce and cheddar cheese. Served with fresh greens or house made chips. The burger was ok - it was a little dry, even though I ordered it cooked medium. Next time I will order something else.
Service - Some Good and some Bad. Here's the good - outdoor waiting area, and while waiting, someone comes around with "free" sample appetizers. Now if they only had an actual waiteress take orders for drinks if the wait is long, that will be good. Table service was very good as far as attentiveness, knowledge of the menu, and timing. I was very impressed with the Grey Goose Martini I ordered - it was perfectly mixed! The bad - I made a reservation but even with a reservation it took 20 minutes before we were seated. After having our appetizers, our main dishes came out BUT we had to stack our own plates to make room for our server to put them down. I'm noticing a trend in many restaurants - the absence of bus boys to clear the dishes for the waiters.
The food and atmosphere easily make up for the small "inconveniences" we experienced. I will recommend this restaurant and will return!
Bonefish Grill (Mandarin) - 10950 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville - (904) 370-1070
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