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The Bonefish Grill impresses

Sean Sweany | Thursday, December 2, 2004

South Bend restaurants are busiest during the Notre Dame football season. Large numbers of parents make the journey to South Bend to visit their son or daughter for a weekend. A great benefit to a visit from the family is having the chance to eat an actual meal at a restaurant instead of the dining hall. The Bonefish Grill is a restaurant where both parents and students can enjoy first class food, service and atmosphere. Located at 620 West Edison Avenue in the St. Andrews Plaza Mall, the Bonefish Grill opened in July 2003 as part of a nationwide chain of fish restaurants dedicated to serving fresh fish every day.The Bonefish Grill menu offers mostly seafood items interspersed with various non-seafood offerings. The meal begins with appetizers ranging from light yet spicy calamari, to delightful crab cakes and the signature appetizer Bang Bang Shrimp. The Bang Bang Shrimp is a spicy fried shrimp served on a bed of lettuce and eaten with chopsticks. Each day, more than eight types of fresh fish are flown in to the restaurant to be served in the evening. The premise of the main course at the Bonefish Grill begins with choosing a type of fresh grilled fish and then selecting a signature sauce or topping for your fish. Sauce and topping selections include lime tomato garlic sauce, warm mango salsa, garlic butter sauce and crispy shrimp piccata. Each sauce is flavorful and unique, offering many possibilities for savory grilled fish. The Bonefish offers a variety of unique specials, including the seasonal Cedar Plank King Salmon, which consists of a salmon fillet baked on a plank of cedar wood and then covered in breadcrumbs. This infuses a wonderful wood flavor into the fish which is offset by delicious sides of garlic mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. In addition to the fish and other seafood, the Bonefish Grill serves excellent entrees that do not come from the sea. Both the sirloin and fillet of steak are highly recommended, along with the filling chicken marsala. To end a spectacular meal, the restaurant offers several desserts, including outstanding key lime pie and a large warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and smothered in raspberry sauce. The presentation of food at the Bonefish Grill is extravagant for certain dishes, but this does not detract from the appeal of the dish. The portion of some of the entrees, served alone, may be considered on the small side, but the four-course meal is well proportioned. The staff at the restaurant is friendly, helpful and attentive, especially in offering suggestions regarding which sauce fits a particular type of fish the best. The restaurant is designed to be very open with metallic fish artwork decorating the walls. The lighting makes each table seem like its own island which is secluded enough to make for enjoyable dinner conversation. The Bonefish Grill is one of the finer restaurants in South Bend, and as such, prices are not cheap. If you are looking for an inexpensive restaurant for a night out, this is not it. However, if you are willing to pay for a fine meal, the Bonefish Grill is an outstanding choice for a night away from the dining hall.