Bonefish Grill opens to much fanfare in Kingstowne

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Wrapped in an aura of sub-tropical, Florida-like ambiance, the Bonefish Grill is the newest dining spot to infiltrate the Kingstowne Towne Center in Alexandria.

With a name like Bonefish, its all about seafood, too. Their signature appetizer, the Bang Bang Shrimp ($7.90) are succulent, grilled shrimp on a bed of lettuce, in a light, spicy white sauce that will make your mouth come alive. Their grilled fish entrees come in 10 varieties, ranging from the Atlantic salmon ($14.20) to the twin tail lobster ($30). Surprisingly there isnt a bonefish on the menu. Thats easy to explain, said manager Paul Diorio. Bonefish embraces the Florida concept but its more of a sport fish than an edible fish, he said.

The Chilean sea bass ($22) made up the difference, though. It comes in one-inch thick steaks doused in a mango sauce, lightly charred on the outside with a hint of cilantro. It was served with a side of Island Rice and bacon-laced sweet corn. The rice was lightly seasoned with vegetables and peppers, and screamed calypso.

For the sushi lovers, Bonefish Grill serves Ahi tuna that is slightly seared with different dipping sauces. To top off the Florida theme, the Deep Dish Key Lime Pie is a must-have. Its flavor comes from freshly squeezed lime juice filling on a pecan-graham cracker crust, topped with whipped cream; refreshingly tart and not overbearing.

In the beginning
It was all part of the island atmosphere the Bonefish is famous for. The chain got its start in 1999 in St. Petersburg, Fla., when founders John Cooper, Tim Curci and Chris Parker joined forces after several years with Outback Steakhouse. Bonefish is now in 29 states, including Virginia area locations in Centreville, Ashburn, Fredericksburg, and Maryland locations in Gaithersburg, Frederick, Glen Burnie and Owings Mill.

In Kingstowne, passersby anxiously awaited the grand opening which finally came on Monday, June 11, to a packed house. We opened up to a huge first night, said Diorio.

The revolving door opens to the grill area, decked out in dark, stained wood and artwork on the wall embracing a fish theme. To the right is a long bar, then two center community tables, and five booths along the partition wall. This area seats 60.

On the other side of the partition is the formal dining area with seating for another 145 people. The windows are tinted and the sound system plays light jazz.

The menu is loaded with nine appetizers, soups, three salads, grilled fish, five saut dishes, six non-fish grilled specialties and three desserts. From the bar, 10 categories of wines, 12 types of beers, and 12 designer martinis are offered.
Nestled in the middle of Kingstowne Town Centre, next to the theater and shopping, the Bonefish is something the neighborhood has been waiting for. Dinner and a movie, its all perfect, said Diorio.

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