Vazquez-Juarbe: Why Bonefish Grill is the Place to be

Co-Editor-in-Chief Joel Vazquez shares his experience at Bonefish Grill in Deptford, NJ. This is main course dish: a shrimp and scallop platter with pumpkin ravioli and broccoli. - Photo by Joel Vazquez-Juarbe

Leave it to my friends and I to spend our entire checking account at a restaurant on a Tuesday night.

Five of us went to Bonefish Grill in Deptford. The dining room was mostly empty when we arrived, at around 6 p.m. The restaurant was dimly lit, setting the perfect mood for a high-end restaurant. . As we walked to our table, there were guests chatting and laughing. We were seated at a corner-circle booth next to an old couple splitting a bottle of wine.

The aesthetic of Bonefish Grill is “big city bar meets Floridian dining,” according to my friend Emily, who works at a Bonefish Grill down in Egg Harbor Township. Much of the art displayed in the dining area are by Florida artists, while the bar area is inspired by pubs in New York City.

Our waiter, Alexis, came to our table and greeted us. A real sweet guy. He brought us water with lemon, set some bread on the table, and took our drink orders.

The ciabatta bread was warm and thickly sliced, served with a side of olive oil and pesto for dipping. 

I don’t know ifit was the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything all day or if the bread was actually that good, but it was love at first bite. The warmth of the bread combined with the savory notes of the pesto and oil was magic to my tastebuds. 

But of course, this was only the first part of this review, so I couldn’t get my hopes up too high too early.

Next came our drinks. I am a sucker for two things: sangrias and blackberry flavored foods. Naturally, I ordered the blackberry sangria. It had a dark black to velvet red ombre. Orange slices could be seen at the bottom of the glass as fresh blackberries float at the top over ice. 

Believe me when I say that this is the best drink I have ever had.  If I hadn’t had a Rowan Television Network meeting later that night, I could’ve had three more. I had to ask my friend Amanda to hold it for me until my food got to the table.

It was sweet, yet not too overbearing. The blackberry flavoring and the wine complimented everything so well. 

Emily had an apple crisp martini. It came in a cute little glass with an apple slice floating on top. She liked it, I thought it was just a little too strong.

Next came our appetizers. The five of us split Bonefish Grill’s signature Bang Bang Shrimp and calamari. The shrimp had a crisp layer of breading, coated with a mayonnaise based Bang Bang sauce, which was sweet and spicy, with flavors inspired by Asian cuisine. It was topped with scallions and a bed of lettuce–so practically a salad.

After trying the shrimp, it was clear why this is a Bonefish classic. It’s delicious and something everyone can enjoy, even people who don’t necessarily like seafood.

Our second appetizer was the calamari. I will admit, octopus was never my first choice–I don’t like the gummy texture– but my friends wanted it, so I had to give it a try. Like the shrimp, the tentacles were crispy, The sauce on the side was creamy and more tangy than spicy. I tasted hints of ginger, something that is used a lot in Asian food. I ended up enjoying the calamari very much, and I ended up eating most of the platter.

Then came the main course. I ordered a shrimp and scallops platter with pumpkin ravioli and broccoli. The shrimp and scallops were both cooked to perfection. They were sprinkled with zesty seasoning and golden brown. On the side came a sun-dried tomato lemon sauce. The pumpkin ravioli, which was a seasonal special and a $2 upcharge, was worth it. The ravioli was stuffed with pureed pumpkin, and topped with feta cheese and scallions. It’s not as pumpkin-y as you’d think, but delicious nonetheless. I picked broccoli as my second side to have a veggie in there, and it was seasoned with salt and pepper. My only wish was that it was a little crunchier.

No meal is complete without dessert. The table split an amazing pumpkin lava cake. The cake heated the plate, as the solo scoop of vanilla ice cream melted alongside it. Overall, this dessert was the perfect sweet treat for the Fall season.

I genuinely loved the food at Bonefish. The food was all cooked to perfection, and everything I had tasted different and great. Even if you don’t like seafood, I think what they offer appeals to the tastebuds of almost everyone, plus they have non-seafood options. 

The service was great. Alexis continuously checked in on our party. He always made sure we had water, and the bussers constantly cleared our table so we never felt cluttered.

According to our group consensus, Bonefish received a score of 4.6 out of 5.

For comments/questions about this story, tweet @TheWhitOnline or email