The one shopping center I find to be beyond amazing has just gotten unbelievably better. Before this year, the shopping center I speak of had a lot going for it: Target, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Wegmans, and a pretty good pizzeria, Alessi’s, all within walking distance. I could park here at 9 a.m. and be ready to go home, oh, around 4:00 p.m. But now to make good even better, this center has another great addition. Bonefish Grill recently opened its doors and is ready to serve hungry shoppers—and their hungry sidekicks.
My husband, Matt, and I were invited to a press dinner at location the week it opened. We were quite pleased at how it seemed to be running almost seamlessly—and deliciously. Matt tried one of their martinis, the Winter White Cosmopolitan, and was happy with the recommended choice. Made with Stoli cranberry, Cointreau, fresh lime and white cranberries, it was just mellow enough to make for a great pre-dinner beverage. For appetizers, we took a two-prong approach: one tried-and-true option and one slightly peculiar-sounding offering. The former being the Bang Bang Shrimp. Honestly, I didn’t even have to sample this as I knew it would be, well, bangin’! For those of you who haven’t indulged in these cream-covered fried shrimp, you now have a new item for your to-do list!
As for the other item we shared, the Wagyu Beef and Ginger Dumplings, we had mixed reactions. I loved them for a few reasons. One, the delicate nature of the dough, two, the light yet lively soy sauce they sat upon, and three, the welcoming texture of the beef. Matt found them a bit boring, nothing to praise but nothing to complain about, either.
Fresh house-made bread was brought out with the salad we ordered. The bread and pesto-like dipping sauce were addictive to say the least. My only issue with it was that I would have liked it to be brought out upon sitting, not two courses in. The Beet and Goat Cheese Salad was freshly prepared and plated separately for us, nice touch. Dinner soon arrived and we were both impressed with both presentation and taste. Matt ordered the Wood-Burning Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with a side of asparagus and au gratin potatoes while I went with the Baja Fish Tacos accompanied with homemade chips. As for the bass, it was delightful in flavor, texture and freshness. It flaked right from the fork and had the wood-fired taste weaved through each bite. The fish tacos were a winner too. I loved the “Cajun-style” of the fish pieces because it balanced the sweet mango salsa spooned over. The fish was nicely portioned as well, which made for a hearty offering from the “Handheld” section of their menu. The only improvement I could justify for my choice would be to add a touch of crunch to the tacos. The chips adjacent to the tacos were awesome indeed, yet the salty crispiness would have been better placed atop the dish rather than alongside. To round out the meal, we split the Key Lime Pie. Although plated a tad carelessly, it was quite tasty and had us going back for that infamous one more bite!
All in all, it was a great night out and one that I look forward to doing again. Bonefish Grill has great service, great food and, of course, a great location to make it a keeper in these parts. Not to mention, they have already given back to the community with a recent event to benefit the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties! Needless to say, I definitely recommend you going there soon and enjoying their food. And if you’re like me—also getting some great shopping in!
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Gina Glazier is a born-and-raised Jersey Girl. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Reading & Literacy and is currently a teacher. Gina lives with her husband, Matt, who is her number one fan and shares in her passion for the culinary arts, minus the cooking part! Her “culinary life” became a reality a few years back when she was chosen to be a guest of The Star Ledger’s Munchmobile. This ignited Gina’s desire to be around food and all its counterparts all the time, meaning restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, cooking, etc. Gina says her “biggest and most monumental experience” was being a part of The Star Ledger’s Pizza Patrol two years ago where she traveled the entire state, eating at 3, 4, sometimes 5 pizzerias a night for just about 6 months! You can check out her Hungry Teacher adventures, on her blog www.ahungryteacher.blogspot.com.