As far as restaurants go, Bonefish Grill is typically a pretty safe bet. The food is consistently good and at a reasonable price. Thanks to a recent renovation, the Bonefish Grill at 3rd Street and Osceola Avenue in Jax Beach just got even better. We were recently invited to check out their updated look and to try a few items from their fall menu.
The renovation did a lot to freshen up the interior. Gone are the dated cherry wood chairs and the dark, closed off dining space. Now, there are lighter wood accents complimented by sleek dark wood furnishings. The wine rack wall separating the bar area from the dining room offers a nice focal point and some visual interest. The huge mosaic tile fish emblazoned across the opposite wall adds even more interest and stays in keeping with the Bonefish Grill brand. The whole space feels a lot more open and airy. And it definitely feels more up-to-date.
Just like the new interior, our service was also great. We were greeted warmly and seated right away. Our server was friendly, polite, and very eager to please. We were there on a Wednesday (also known as Bang Bang Shrimp Day, thanks to the special $6 price on their signature appetizer) and even though it was incredibly busy, food came out promptly and servers seemed to be handling the rush really well. All around us were happy customers and the place was filled with a lively spirit – especially in the bustling outdoor dining area.
We started out with drinks – a Fall Apple Martini ($7.90) for me and a Mule ($7.50) for the hubby. Both were very tasty. The martini had a not-too-sweet apple flavor and a hint of cinnamon. The Mule was crisp and refreshing thanks to ginger syrup, ginger beer, and candied ginger garnish. All that ginger not only added a ton of flavor to the drink, but also a spicy warmth as well.
When it came to food, we were definitely interested in trying out a few of the Bonefish Grill seasonal fall offerings. We started with the Saucy Shrimp appetizer ($10.50) and a cup of the soup of the day, which was a roasted red pepper tomato bisque. The Saucy Shrimp was full of flavor. The shrimp themselves were plump and juicy and sat in a buttery lime tomato garlic sauce. Sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese were sprinkled on top. The dish was almost like a Greek shrimp scampi, and although the flavors were great, we did find it really messy to eat. It was a little odd to us that a shareable appetizer like this would be so saucy, drippy, and messy. It was not a one-bite type appetizer, which made it a little tough to eat (and to share). We both remarked that it didn’t work great as an appetizer, although, I think it would be lovely over pasta as an entree.
My tomato bisque was to die for and was one of the best tomato soups I’ve ever had. So much flavor was packed into that bowl – a sweet tanginess from the tomato, a little spice from the roasted red peppers, and a hint of smokiness to tie it all together. It could have been served just a tad hotter, but otherwise it was creamy and delightful. I all but licked the bowl clean.
For entrees, we went with the Scampi-style Snapper with Shrimp ($25.30) and the Swordfish with Pumpkin Ravioli ($21.40). The snapper was good, but didn’t really offer anything exciting or new. Both the fish and the shrimp were cooked well and had good flavor. The fish especially was seasoned really well and had a bit of an oaky taste to it, which was nice. As for the jasmine rice and the green beans, they were just fillers on the plate. There was nothing really remarkable about either.
My swordfish and ravioli, on the other hand were interesting and delicious. My thick piece of swordfish was cooked beautifully and had a nice layer of flavor on the outside. Although it was a bit bland towards the middle, mostly just because of its thickness. The pumpkin ravioli were a great homage to fall, with the slightly sweet pumpkin filling and a rich warm buttery sauce. The feta cheese sprinkled on top added a nice tang while crispy onions gave the dish a good crunch and a little extra pop of flavor. The whole thing together was really tasty and I would definitely order it again. Note to self: go back and order this dish again before the fall menu is no longer available.
We finished off our meal with another pick from the fall menu – Pumpkin Creme Brûlée ($7.30). I am a huge fan of creme brûlée, with its decadent, silky sweetness and that thoroughly satisfying crack of the crispy sugar layer on top. This pumpkin creme brûlée, unfortunately fell a little flat for me. The texture seemed a little off and was a bit too thick. It was slightly lumpy and lacked the luscious creaminess that I love so much about creme brûlée. The pumpkin flavor came across strong – so strong in fact that after just a couple of bites, we were done. It wasn’t that it was bad, it just wasn’t interesting enough for us to keep eating it. The flavor was very one-note and that note was all pumpkin. It needed a little something unique to keep us coming back for more.
We enjoyed our dinner at the new and improved Jax Beach Bonefish Grill. The food was good and the updated interior is like a breath of fresh air. Bonefish Grill does several things really well: they create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with good service and consistently good food. While there are other seafood places around serving more cutting edge dishes, Bonefish Grill offers familiarity and consistency…and also Bang Bang Shrimp. With Bonefish you know what you’re getting and in most cases what you’re getting is going to be pretty good!
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to taste new menu items. This meal is usually comped, as this one was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
For this review we welcome a member of our own JRR family: Rhonda Kovar is a former call center manager turned stay-at-home mom. She grew up in the heart of North Carolina and moved to Florida after getting hitched in 2002. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible. Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies. You can follow her on Instagram.