We were really excited to be invited to review the new Bonefish Grill in Orland Park. During our time down in Florida, Bonefish Grill had been one of our favorite restaurants, blending nearly perfectly a slightly upscale romantic feel with an eye towards being kid-friendly as well. The crayons for the white paper tablecloths, simple food were definitely for the kids, keeping them occupied while we spent some quality time together over yummy food and wine. We wondered how much of that magic remained, even though no children came along with us on this outing.
Visually, not much has changed, though the Orland Park Bonefish is quite a bit bigger than the one we frequented in St Petersburg, FL. Similar if not same decor, nothing overtly nautical, but subtle fish images throughout. We found out that, while Bonefish has a national menu, there are attempts to keep it as regional as possible, sourcing things as close to the Chicago area for this restaurant, for example, as well as using freshwater fish such as walleye when in season. Nice.
When we go out to dinner (and sometimes at home), I like to order a glass of both white and red wine, so that I can taste both through the entire meal. It was not to be at this meal - apparently a local ordinance forbids the server from bringing me 2 glasses of wine simultaneously. After the initial disappointment, I relaxed and decided to just enjoy. Plus, Laima always orders red, so, while it may not be the one I wanted, it is something for contrast. I started with the Sokol Blosser “Evolution” White Blend from Oregon , while Laima opted for the La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
For starters I tried the Wagyu Beef and Ginger Dumplings (pan-seared with crispy shallots, Thai peppers and soy sauce), which were really tasty, though the dumplings tasted just a bit undercooked. Laima ate her entire starter, the Ahi Tuna Sashimi (sesame-seared with wasabi and pickled ginger) - it was so good she decided not to save some for later.
With the main courses came our second glasses of wine, the D’ Arenberg “The Stump Jump” GSM Red for me and the Hess “Allomi” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for Laima. Both are outstanding big reds, standing up with no problems to steak, but with enough delicacy for both chicken and pasta. While I had been looking forward to the Fontina Pork Chop, unfortunately they were out - turns out the Lily’s Chicken (goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, lemon basil sauce) was a tasty alternative. I also opted for Potatoes Au Gratin and the Pumpkin Ravioli (with crispy sage and shallot brown butter) as sides. Laima had Ratatouille and the Pumpkin Ravioli with her Filet Mignon (USDA Choice “center cut”) - her steak was amazingly tender, with good flavor and cooked to order.
We always make sure to leave room for dessert, though it was difficult this time with the good food we'd had leading up to this point. Cappucinos were a great accompaniment to the Macadamia Nut Brownie (flourless brownie, raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with macadamia nuts) and Pumpkin Crème Brûlée. We made (actually I made) short work of the Brownie, but Laima held back enough of the Crème Brûlée to bring home for the kids.
Except for some new restaurant missteps, it's clear that there is a commitment to good food and wines to match, with some twists and emphasis on regional fare forthcoming. Judging from the crowd on a Monday night and how much we (and the other diners) enjoyed our evening, Bonefish Grill will be a mainstay in Orland Park for a long time.
More information can be found on the Bonefish Grill website, via Facebook, and on Twitter.
Disclaimer: This meal was provided to us for review purposes.
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