Suburban Eats: Winter Menu at Bonefish Grill | chicago foodie girl


Suburban Eats: Winter Menu at Bonefish Grill

Practically from the moment we bonded over our mutual hardcore love of seafood, Ashley began urging me to go to Bonefish Grill in order to try their famed Bang Bang Shrimp. She swore up and down that I would fall in love with the spicy sauce, crispy breading, and juicy shrimp. Based on her recommendation, I added it to my restaurant list years ago, but let's be honest, that list is ridiculously long (but not quite as long as my to-read books list - yikes!). Years flew by and I was still Bang Bang Shrimp-less... until one day earlier this month in which I was invited to stop by the Skokie location to sample some favorites from their winter menu.

Bonefish Grill is an upscale casual seafood restaurant chain that originated in Florida; they started out as a family joint and slowly grew from that one location to over 200 locations across the country. As they shifted from a local spot to a nationally-known chain, they worked to maintain their roots - many of the recipes found on the menu today originated from various family members and friends. Bonefish is also committed to seafood sustainability and responsible fishing practices, along with the original owners' daily ritual of receiving, inspecting, and hand cutting the fish (now practiced by the partners at each individual location).

Mario and I  kicked off dinner with a few of their seasonal cocktails: the Winter White Cosmopolitan and the Fall Apple Martini. While I greatly enjoyed the tart cosmo (Icelandic Reyka Vodka, white cranberry juice, and fresh lime), I fell hard for the sweet and spicy martini (apple infused vodka finished with honey and cinnamon).

Bang Bang Shrimp: crispy shrimp tossed in a signature creamy, spicy sauce. Of course, this was the very first appetizer we ordered, as I had been looking forward to trying it for years. Let me just say that I was not disappointed! Our server mentioned that some diners find the sauce to be a little too spicy, but I thought it was perfect; between the crunchy coating and satisfying kick from the Thai chili sauce, I was in shrimp heaven. Mario felt the same way; between the two of us, I swear we polished off the entire dish in only minutes.

Ahi Tuna Sashimi: sesame-seared rare with wasabi and pickled ginger. Mario and I are both huge ahi tuna lovers, so this appetizer was definitely a must-try for us. It ended up being one of the highlights of our meal, as the fish was super fresh and meaty, with just the right amount of sear. I was actually a bit shocked at how fantastic this was; it was just as good as some of the sashimi I've had at specialty seafood restaurants in the city.

Plus, it was so gorgeous - I couldn't stop photographing it!

My favorite pieces were the ones that were completely coated on one side, as the sesame seeds provided a nice textural difference and sealed in the freshness of the fish.

Mussels Josephine (PEI): tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, and lemon wine sauce. I can never turn down mussels, especially when they're swimming in a ridiculously addictive wine sauce. As with the sashimi, I was super impressed with the quality of the mussels - they were so plump and firm and packed with flavor. Not only did we devour all of the mussels, but we also soaked up every last drop of that sauce with some delicious crusty bread.

So plump and garlicky!

Swordfish and Pumpkin Ravioli topped with crispy onions and crumbled feta. This was a surprising pairing to me, as I wouldn't normally think to put pumpkin and feta with swordfish; however, it all came together beautifully. The pumpkin ravioli was lightly buttered and on the savory side, while the swordfish was juicy and tender. I know that cheese and fish is a big no-no to a lot of people, but the salty feta really complemented the mild fish and brought out a slight sweetness from the ravioli. It was a lovely mix of earthy and sweet flavors.

Misoyaki Glazed Chilean Seabass grilled over oak, topped with misoyaki marinade and pickled ginger relish on a bed of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and jasmine rice. Seabass ranks right up there as one of my favorite types of fish, so I was especially excited to sample this dish. I completely fell in love with it and was ready to slyly slide it on over to my side of the table before Mario was able to snag even a single bite! The fish was super delicate and flaky, and the marinade and mushrooms added an intensely satisfying umami taste.

Key Lime Pie with roasted pecan crust. Although we were stuffed with seafood, we couldn't resist sampling a few bites of dessert, starting with this rich and creamy pie...

... and ending with Mario's favorite, the dense and chocolatey Macadamia Nut Brownie with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. Quite honestly, we were far too full to properly enjoy these desserts, but they held up well and made for a delicious treat the next day!

Overall, Mario and I both greatly enjoyed our meal at Bonefish Grill. While I have mixed feelings about chain restaurants, I always try to keep an open mind (although I do loathe and avoid those that simply reheat frozen pre-cooked foods). Bonefish is clearly not your typical suburban chain - it's one that I think everyone can enjoy, thanks to the high quality of food and the equally high quality of service.

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Bonefish Grill: 9310 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL (additional locations can be found here).


  1. I love that you reviewed bonefish! It is honestly my favorite place in the suburbs. I'm like you with chain places, but there are a few that I can't enough of. The bang bang shrimp is my favorite!

  2. This is a great place organize an event; they have great staff and great events put on here! I had nothing but great times and great conversations at home studios NYC here. They served slider and shrimp cakes as appetizers with chicken skewers, and eggrolls that had veggies on the inside and some kind of creamy fruit sauce on top.


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