The first time I ever saw Bonefish Grill, I could've sworn it was an independent, upscale restaurant that just happened to land in Woodbridge.
Little did I know that it was part of a restaurant chain owned by the good folks who brought you Outback Steakhouse (the nearest one being in Edison.)
The truth is, even with knowing there is more than one Bonefish Grill in the world, I still can't be convinced it isn't an independent, high quality restaurant. It's the most un-chainlike chain eatery in history.
Their Bistro Lunch menu, introduced last November, is probably the most tony mid-day meal you can have and still return to work in one piece. The lunch menu has reasonably priced, reasonably sized dishes that outdo just about anything you can have.
It really makes it difficult to want to go back to work, but you won't have an excuse. That's because the luncheon is served quickly, so no excuses for dawdling. You can have a splendid meal, and be in and out in an hour, but you'll feel like you had a leisurely dinner with all the time in the world.
And if you want a cocktail or glass of wine, they offer a smaller lunch-sized glass of spirits so you'll be able to walk back to the office instead of staggering on in.
The Bistro menu doesn't overwhelm you with choices, but what's there is choice, and enough to make you feel pampered, but not weighed down with a heavy meal.
At a recent luncheon, my companion chose a Fried Chicken Sandwich that was artfully arranged with an Asian coleslaw and thread-thin strings of french fries.
The sandwich was highly recommended by the efficent waitress, and she didn't lie, said my friend. The chicken takes a century to prepare, it was explained. The chicken is pounded thin and marinated in a brine; afterwords it's deep fried in a buttermilk batter.
Utterly delish, my friend said. Very, very juicy, and the best chicken he had ever had.
The Pork Tenderloin Piccata that came accessorized with the perfect salad was equally wonderful, both moist and flavorful.
Other menu choices include a popular Bang Bang Shrimp, Kobe Beef Burger, and a goodly selection of salads. It's not just a seafood menu, but what's there is choice.
Prices are reasonable as well, in the $10-$14 range. There are also limited but lush dessert offerings.
Great place for a quick lunch that will make you feel like you truly pampered yourself.
Bonefish Grill is located at 625 Route 1 South, in the Iselin section of Woodbridge, and across from Woodbridge Center. The Bistro Lunch is available Monday through Saturday, starting at 11 am. For more info, call 723-634-7379.