Monday, January 28, 2013

my final Bonefish Grill meal

As I get closer to January 31, the first day of my no-carb Taubesian diet, I'm trying to cram in my final last-hurrah meals. Yesterday, I hit Foster's Grille for the last time; today, I went to the Bonefish Grill for a valedictory repast. My meal in a nutshell:

Amuse-bouche: Ciabatta with pesto in olive oil

Appetizer: Lobster Rangoon (eight gyoza-style dumplings)

Main Course: Wolf fish stuffed with crab, scallop, shrimp, capers, parmesan, and Gruyère, with a side of garbanzo beans and garlic whipped potatoes

Dessert: chocolate crème brûlée (!!)

Beverage: my usual Coke

Wonderful meal. Any Rangoon is automatically a tacky, low-rent, bad-fusion item in my book, and after years of downing the occasional crab and/or cheese Rangoon, I thought that lobster might kick the dish up a notch, so I admit I was curious. The sweet-and-sour sauce that came with the dish was nothing to write home about; it was pretty typical. The lobster, however, did come through clearly. The server mistakenly asked me how I liked my "won-tons," and I had to bite my tongue. Won-tons are Chinese, and are made with thick won-ton skins; these Rangoons were made with thin gyoza/mandu skins.

The main course was also quite good. The garbanzo beans were cooked up with a mixture of sausage bits and finely diced vegetables; the potatoes were silky and delicious, and the fish was rib-stickingly good. "Wolf fish," which I'd never heard of, turned out to be a whitefish not unlike cod in its simultaneous robustness and simplicity. I can easily imagine wolf fish being used in English fish and chips.

I was intensely curious about the dessert. As an ardent lover of crème brûlée, I was eager to try this chocolate version; the specialties menu noted that it also contained a hint of Grand Marnier. As it turned out, the Bonefish Grill was not shy about its Grand Marnier. As with those Bananas Foster that I'd eaten on my very first trip to the Grill, the alcohol came through clearly. Once I got over that shock, the dessert was quite pleasant: as with any good crème brûlée, there was a marked textural contrast between the sugary surface and the chocolatey depths of the dessert-- which also featured a healthy pile of fresh whipped cream topped with a sassy spearmint leaf. As I'd learned to do on a tour of George Washington's property at Mount Vernon, where Washington grew spearmint among other plants, I took the leaf between thumb and forefinger, crushed it, and smelled my fingertips. Very nice.

Not a bad way to move from afternoon to evening. Every trip to the BFG leaves me full but not stuffed. Tonight's visit, in which I ordered everything off the specialty menu, wasn't cheap, of course; my wallet lost weight even while I was gaining it.


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