Bonefish “Newport News, Virginia”
I used to visit Bonefish Grill a few years ago a couple times a year. Honestly I wish I could go back to that early 2000’s time when the food was fun, full of flavor and unique. The Bonefish Grill of 2021 is just a moderate imitation of what the restaurant once was. The ambiance was the same, the service just as friendly, and although I did not get a alcoholic beverage, I will give the benefit of the doubt. Over the years it seems the menu has not changed, and now have the same flair as a seafood Applebee’s.
The Bang Bang Shrimp is one of the staple appetizers. Shrimp that has been fried, then tossed in a spicy, zesty house sauce. The batter on the shrimp started to fall off the shrimp as we ate and it was soggy. I would have preferred a crunch on my fried shrimp and possibly less sauce to keep that crispiness. Honestly all i could taste was the sauce, not the batter nor the shrimp. If you haven’t already noticed, I don’t like worthless decoration or food that is not truly meant to be eaten. At the base of these shrimp was a large bed of shredded lettuce, and honestly it didn’t even really look all that pretty. If anything it looked like a false portion, because the amount of shrimp you receive is all above the bowl, the rest of the bowl is filled with limp shredded lettuce. I’m not sure what has happened to the quality over the years, maybe this is just a problem exclusive to the Newport News, Virginia location, but the starter I used to love has broken my heart.
The “Shrimp Del Mar” with risotto was also filled with empty promises , because the menu advertises risotto sautéed shrimp and grilled jumbo shrimp on top with a lobster sherry sauce. The problem is I did not feel I received sautéed shrimp with jumbo shrimp on top, what I received was miniature (what looked to be frozen) shrimp, and three grilled regular shrimp on top. I mean, in comparison sure they are jumbo, but I know what jumbo shrimp look like, and the three I received were certainly not “Jumbo Shrimp”. The lobster sherry sauce was incredibly rich and strangely tasted more of a marinara sauce than a lobster sherry. I think i may have drank 4 glasses of water just during my entree . The only decently cooked food on my plate was the risotto , which is strange because its arguably the hardest thing on plate to cook.
The “Dynamite Salmon” , a wood grilled salmon served with a mushroom spinach crab cake topping. Well done salmon is one of the worst ways to eat such an amazing tasting fish. The salmon was overcooked, dry, and portions of the salmon burnt and bitter. The crab topping was also dry, over cooked and lacked a lot of seasoning. Not only was the fish disappointing , surprisingly the mashed potatoes were even worse. I didn’t ask, (honestly because I didn’t want to know the truth) but I assumed the mashed potatoes are made in house, These tasted grainy , in seasoned, and truthfully tasted like the mashed potato that comes from a box with shreds of dried potatoes. The most tender item on the plate was the sautéed spinach side dish.
Although the atmosphere in the restaurant was modern and inviting, the food did not live up to expectations. It’s a shame because I used to love visiting Bonefish Grill, but this restaurant has defiantly lost a step or two. It could be that the Newport News location has its on individual issues, but I wont be visiting the other Virginia Beach location anytime soon to find out and possibly waste my money for the same disappointing food. Bonefish isn’t beyond saving though, a few tweaks to the menu, a couple of better executed dishes, and all can be brought back. Until then, as much as it pains me to say it , I wont be back anytime soon.
Bonefish Grill Rating: