Waltham is one of those towns’ I would never think of going to unless it’s a specific invite to a place people are talking about. The last time I was in Waltham was to go to Red Bird on Moody Street, which I have to say was an amazingly tasty experience and worthy of the drive out there. Waltham then disappeared from my mind until an invite came into my inbox for the latest opening Bonefish Grill.
Hailing from Florida, the Bonefish restaurant chain has been growing with confidence and customer dedication over the last 15 years. The last time I went to one was probably about 8 years ago and memory serves me as it being an enjoyable experience, so it was time to try it out again and what better way than a media dinner where you get to sample the menu more broadly. Waltham (a brand new building) is their third MA restaurant. Given that I have absolutely no sense of direction whatsoever, I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere but I can tell you it’s right next to the Westin Hotel. One thing I can comment on his how on earth do people do that commute after work every night!!
My friend, Erika joined me on this media venture with an early glass of wine in their bar area. A long bar runs the length of the space with lots of high-top seating. The restaurant is separated by a wall of wine making it feel open and warm but creating a nice distinction from high-end casual to more polished on the restaurant side. All of the wait staff are dressed like chefs so I asked why and they said it’s part of their “Chef Coat Service”, which I quite liked.
The wine list is extensive and many offerings are by the glass. I immediately gravitated towards a Chalk Hill Chardonnay, while Erika enjoyed one of their cocktail specials of an Espresso Martini.
After a short while we were given a tour of the restaurant and then escorted to one of the private rooms at the back where a table was set up for an intimate dinner for just 10 people. We chatted with other media folks while enjoying their spectacular signature appetizer of Bang Bang Shrimp and one of my favorites of the evening, the Lobster Flatbread.
Once we were seated, the team was introduced to us. A wonderful thing about Bonefish is how long each of their staff members had been there and in many different locations and positions. They like to promote from within and seem to really care for their people. There is an absolute politeness and respect for the customer and each other, which you feel from the second you walk in.
We were in for a treat of what was to come from the menu. Our first course was the Blackened Baja Fish Tacos. A slightly spiced grilled white fish with pico de gallo and a lime crema.
The next serving was the Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad. Their presentation alone is worthy of ordering. A stacked salad of corn, black beans, feta, tomatoes and red onion is piled high with shrimp on top in a glass vase. The waiter lifts the glass and your salad is beautifully laid out on the plate. A flavorsome salad for lunch or those of us watching our diets and don’t want just boring lettuce and cucumber.
Our first courses were paired delightfully well with a Masi Masianco Pinot Grigo and Verduzzi.
The next plate was a Surf & Turf Mixed grill of Ahi Tuna, Chilean Seas and Filet Mignon. This was a lot of food. I don’t eat red meat but Erika weighed in with an “its soooo good” comment. I personally really enjoyed the pan Asian tuna steak. This dish was paired with a hearty Conundrum Red Blend.
Dessert was a Pumpkin Crème Brulee for everyone and a traditional one for me due to an allergy. I didn’t mind at all, it was so delicious especially with the fresh whipped cream. I do love Crème Brulee!
The evening was not quite over yet. The wait staff walked in with a fresh brewed and housemade infused vanilla vodka Espresso Martini, which I am absolutely getting the recipe for.
I have to say our evening was absolutely delightful and while I am not sure I would venture out to this location on a regular basis, I am left with a very positive experience of the whole evening, which makes me want to go back to any one of their locations.
Bonefish, thank you so much for the invite and the invite to this tasting.