Wine Dine and Play: Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill was founded in St Petersburg, Florida back in 2000 and is part of the Bloomin Brands restaurant chain with over 150 stores in 28 states.

Stone Crab Claws
St. Petersburg, Florida USA
Cuisine Style: Seafood, Chain
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 3/5
Dined: January 2016
Article Updated: December 2019

By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Bonefish Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Drake Jotch, Managing Partner
- Mr. Jotch has been with the company since its inception at the first location

Bonefish Grill was founded in St Petersburg, Florida in 2000 by Tim Curci and Chris Parker. In October of 2001 Bloomin' Brands, headquartered in Tampa, Florida acquired the restaurant which at the time, had three locations. Today they have seven franchised restaurants and 151 corporate-owned and operated Grills across 28 states. Bonefish Grill is also a Consumer Picks Best Seafood Award Winner, recipient of a 2015 MenuMasters Award by Nation’s Restaurant News, and the 2016 Technomic Consumers’ Choice Awards food quality winner.

This is my wife and I’s first visit together and the first review on Wine Dine and Play to our two Bonefish Saint Petersburg locations. I have been to several Bonefish Grill locations over the years from Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and the Carolinas, yet no matter how many times I went, or where the location was, the food was excellent and consistent from one store to the next. When my fiancé at the time (now wife), daughter, and I visited the local Bonefish Grill in St. Petersburg, Florida, I had no idea at the time until doing more research that the company’s first restaurant was also opened here in St. Petersburg. I’m not sure if this location was the first one, but either way, we knew that we were in for a wonderful experience unlike other chains out there that treat you as a number instead of as a person. 

When asked about charity work or other philanthropy the company is involved with, I was quite surprised to see such an extensive and diverse list. Each location hosts “Benefit Days” where a percentage of sales is provided to a local charity. For example, the St. Petersburg location that we dined at partnered with United Way Suncoast as well as the other charities listed below:

Pediatric Cancer Foundation
·         Heart Gallery
·         Magnolia Ball benefitting Moffit Cancer Center
·         Tampa Bay Watch
·         Southeastern Guide Dogs
·         FARA
·         The Florida Aquarium

On the night we went, it was very crowded, and luckily we had made reservations beforehand using their Table Wait System - an internal program versus the use of web companies like OpenTable.  The regular menu and the specials list were delivered, and drinks were the first things on our mind.

Bonefish Grill Menu:
Starters + Sharing
Soups + Greens
Grilled Fish
Wood-Grilled Steaks + Chops
Sautéed, Baked + Steamed
Hand Helds
Fresh Sides
Deluxe Sides

The Specials list for that night:
  • Lobster Stuffed Shrimp
  • Fresh Stone Crab Claws
  • Oscar Mahi Mahi
  • Rhea’s Cobia
  • Crab Crusted Pompano
  • Filet + Colossal Shrimp Scampi
  • Dessert Chocolate Creme Brûlée

Compared to other restaurants in the area, what makes Bonefish stand out or what makes them different from other seafood restaurants and chains is that they specialize in seasonal fish species from around the world, wood-grilled specialties and hand-crafted cocktails. The service staff called “anglers” are educated on all specials and fish species so that they can educate you - the customer.

The bread starter at Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Bread Starter

My daughter had a coke as she was underage, though I always give her a siping taste of my wine. Besides, she is 16, and in France at 12 they start giving kids wine mixed with water and full glasses by the time they are my daughter's age. It is still in irritation that the law specifies you have to be 21 to legally consume alcohol when most of the world is 18, except for middle eastern countries like The UAE where alcohol is legal in hotel restaurants only as it is a majority Muslim country. It is funny how in the USA you can volunteer to die for your country serving and defending it in the military but still be arrested for drinking a beer. 

My wife had the winter white cosmopolitan to start, which is advertised as their top-selling favorite of the year with Icelandic Reyka Vodka, Cointreau, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, and white cranberry juice. I bypassed the cocktails menu and went for a glass of Federalist Zinfandel from the Lodi region of California. Here is a great story on the history of the Lodi AVA. The Federalist wine to which I hadn’t had before attracted me by name alone as I am fond of the old Federalist movement, today called the Libertarians. As I did research for this article, go to their winery web page, they were advertised as the revolutionaries wine, and have George Washington and other Founding Fathers pictures on their wine labels. One of their main wines, the Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel happens to have one of my favorite fathers on its label, Alexander Hamilton. But I had to settle for George Washington. According to the winemakers’ notes, the nose has a robust fruit with a bright berry fruit character. On the palate it has a lively acidity allows it to partner well with a wide variety of foods. The wine is aged 12 months in 25% new oak, with a blend of 93% Zinfandel and 7% Syrah.

We began with some items from the staters and sharing a section with my daughter having her eyes on the bang-bang shrimp served with a creamy and spicy house sauce, over a bed of greens. Other starters on their menu consist of ceviche, ahi tuna sashimi, wagyu potstickers, oysters and crab cakes to name a few. They have several vegetarian options on the menu as well, and can also provide an entire gluten-free menu, and educate their staff on allergen identification and they can then pass that information on to the customer unlike Mohammed Khalique Zaman owner of the Indian Garden restaurant in North Yorkshire, the United Kingdom who killed a patron who had a nut allergy.

The bang bang shrimp dish with bang bang sauce at Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Bang Bang Shrimp

From their specials list, I could not turn down the stone crab claws. It had been years since I had some, as I had been working overseas and was never back in the states during the height of the stone crab season. They are by far my favorite shellfish selection, and even better, they are fished off the coast of Florida. I first had them in 2002 working at a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. They are known as Florida Stone Crabs but can be found all up and down the East Coast from Connecticut to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, down to Belize in the Caribbean. 

Some stone crab claws at the Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Stone Crab Claws

For entrees, my daughter had the Crab Crusted Pompano from the specials menu, where the local Florida fish was dusted with garlic, crab meat, and panko breadcrumbs, topped with lump crab meat, and a white wine lemon butter sauce. Around this time my fiancé switched from the cocktails menu to the wines enjoying a glass of the Merryvale Sauvignon Blanc from Napa. According to the winemaker, the nose has fresh aromas of grapefruit, lime, mandarin, and melon and on the mouth the flavors of citrus and stone fruit mix with subtle hints of spice. The finish is clean and refreshing, long in length with mineral notes.

The crab crusted pompano fish entree in a lemon butter sauce at the Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Crab Crusted Pompano

For her entree, she loves a good lobster bisque which was available on their winter menu along with corn chowder soup as well. With her lobster bisque, she ordered a house salad with hearts of palm, kalamata olives, and tomatoes all tossed in a citrus herb vinaigrette. She also added some goat cheese to the salad as well. Finally, as she was only having some small bites, her all-time favorite dish in the world is macaroni and cheese, so the white truffle mac + cheese on their menu was not going to be passed up. The best part about when we go out to eat, we like to share each other's food or even split an entree and a few sides.

I was in a toss-up about what came out at me the most from the menu, as the seafood and land items both were calling my name. The ribeye steak is always a favorite, but I wasn’t in a steakhouse, this was Bonefish Grill, so I settled on the Grilled Atlantic Salmon, which is served with your choice of two sides. I went with the garlic whipped potatoes and sautéed spinach. Other entrees on their grilled fish selection consist of the overpriced Chilean Sea Bass or by its real name the Patagonian Tooth Fish, (sea bass sounds better for overall sales, but still very tasty cold-water fish). They also have Ahi Tuna, Freshwater farm-raised GMO’d Rainbow Trout, and Tilapia to name a few served with assorted sauces of your choice as well.

The grilled Atlantic salmon dish at the Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Atlantic Salmon

For those in the mood for something liter, they have hamburgers, blackened fish tacos, and Pad Thai as well.

We did not have dessert during this visit, as we were completely stuffed and could not get dessert, however, they had a few options that looked really good to include Jamaican coconut pie, macadamia nut brownies, and cinnamon doughnuts to name a few.

Plus check out some of these wonderful selections from Wine Dine and Play: 

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is the strength, in the water there are bacteria.” - David Auerbach

United States: 


Sub-Napa AVA’s:

Other noteworthy seafood articles and restaurants similar to Bonefish Grill:
Seafood cuisine is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans. Seafood prominently includes fish and shellfish. A seafood restaurant is a restaurant that specializes in seafood cuisine and seafood dishes. They may include freshwater fish, sushi, raw bars, or rarer items such as the deadly Fugu Blowfish. 

Alioto’s Restaurant Historic restaurant serving Sicilian-infused seafood in San Francisco, California
Hank’s Seafood A classy southern seafood eatery house in Charleston, South Carolina
Jekyll Island Seafood Company New American seafood restaurant, Atlanta airport, Atlanta, Georgia
Moshulu New American dining on a restored ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Laid-back Cape Cod-style seafood restaurant in Austin, Texas
Red Shrimp A Japanese / Emirati Cuisine beach-style restaurant at Bur Juman Mall, Dubai, UAE
Red Snapper Kiwi “fush n’ chups” takeaway restaurant in Sumner, New Zealand
Two Oceans Restaurant Seafood and sushi with panorama views of Cape Point, South Africa

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other St. Petersburg restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:

Italian-American restaurant Chain
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Signature Sandwiches and Beer
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Izakaya Japanese restaurant focusing on ramen bowls
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

A Few Florida Favorites:

New American Cuisine in a casual but elegant setting
Sanibel Island, Florida, USA
Casual curries of North & South with Buffet
Brandon, Florida USA
A casual BBQ joint
Bradenton Beach, Florida, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambience, food quality, and wow factor. 
To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience, and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Bonefish a 3 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants. The other four visits review scores were also 3 of 5 stars, so they have remained at the same excellence as my previous visits.

Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings for Bonefish Grill
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage — less the Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage and bonus for a final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**

Overall Star Rating:
3 of 5 Stars: 
82% Rating with a 0 point “wow” bonus
Exceeded My Expectations in a Dining Experience
Wine List:
Bonefish Grill Wine rating:
5 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Italy

New World selections: 
Argentina, New Zealand, California, Oregon, Australia, Washington State
Corkage fees:
Bonefish charges $10.00 per bottle, and the wine you bring in cannot be on their wine list. See the wine list link above before bringing your own bottle.
Casual dining
Cuisine Style at Bonefish Grill:
American, Chain, Seafood
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Low Carb Choices, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegetarian Options
Not Required
Dress code:
Casual attire

It’s Florida, everybody wears flip-flops!
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Bonefish Grill Experiences:
Modern, Business parties, Great bar, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Bonefish Grill has a public lot
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Bonefish Grill is a non-smoking restaurant
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

$36.00 USD

Bonefish Grill:

5062 4th St North 
St Petersburg 
Florida 33703

Contact Information: 

Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 727 521 3434
Website Contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)

Mon - Thur
11:00 am - 10:30 pm
Fri - Sat
11:00 am - 11:30 pm
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Social Media 
Accolades for Bonefish Grill:
Bonefish Facebook link                

The world’s best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
New American, Southern Twist
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Safari + Upscale African Cuisine 
Sabi Sabi, South Africa
Seasonal American cuisine
Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Other Bonefish Pictures:

A lobster bisque starter at the Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Lobster Bisque

A macaroni and cheese side dish at the Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Macaroni and Cheese

A side salad with hearts of palm, tomato and an Italian vinaigrette at the Bonefish Grill in St Petersburg, Florida
Bonefish Grill / Side Salad

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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