By: Liz Hilfrank
A restaurant with a view is always a perk when vacationing by the water, but it’s
rare that the view of the food is as nice as the view over the horizon. At Fishbones Bar
and Grille, however, there is the guarantee that both will please, with the added addition
that the food tastes as good as it looks. While a casual setting, Fishbones delivers the
quality of a five-star, fancy dress wearing restaurant without the hassle of dressing up.
Located on Dockside Harbor, Fishbones Bar and Grille offers all outdoor seating
overlooking the boats, jet skis and other watercrafts that pass by. With a full service bar,
it offers lunch, dinner, take-out and the perfect cocktail hour.
While the view and location certainly please, the wait staff offers even more
reason to visit. So friendly and attentive, a water glass is never left empty and a guest
never waiting. Waiters and waitresses pass through often enough for every request to be
granted while still allowing the privacy desired when eating.
And when the waiter comes with the food, the experience gets even better.
There’s a fine line where food comes too quickly or too slowly, but Fishbones has met
the challenge. The cooks have timing down to perfection. The duration between
finishing your appetizers and waiting for your entrée asserts that time was spent
preparing the meal but also with the awareness that people come to a restaurant
wanting to eat not to wait.
What is there to eat? Everything. From all forms of seafood, to salads,
sandwiches, burgers and tacos, Fishbones is a culinary delight for all. For those
wondering where to start on such a large menu, the fried coconut shrimp and sesame
seared Ahi tuna appetizers are highly recommended.
I’m not a big fan of coconut or shrimp, nor is my dining partner, but the
combination of the two satisfied both of our taste buds. To describe this shrimp as
“shrimp” is an oxymoron. These shrimp were huge. Battered in a layer of sweet coconut
flakes, a bite into this sea creature offered a delightful crunch before the chew. The
orange marmalade sauce served on the side brought a fun citrus addition to the hors
The sesame seared Ahi tuna was also a new delight. Bite size slices of salmon laid
on a plate like fallen dominoes, with edamame rice slaw at their side. Each slice came
half dipped in sesame seeds sealed on by a soy and ginger sauce that delivered just the
right amount of spicy kick.
After struggling to not overindulge on appetizers, it was time for the main course.
The BBQ burger was placed in front of my comrade, whose face lit up in
excitement. The burger sat on a bun of perfect proportion. The restaurant should teach
lessons on how to match bun to burger size, because more often than not, a burger will
hide under a massive, overpowering pound of bread, or it is barely balancing on a bun
meant for a slider. This is not the case at Fishbones.
The top of the burger brought even more taste to challenge the everyday beef
patty. Sharp cheddar cheese lay melted atop the beef burger, with two strips of bacon
layered as x-marks- the-spot on the habanero mango BBQ sauce hidden below it. This
sauce was a treasure. The consumer, a BBQ sauce fanatic, classified it as what set the
burger apart from other BBQ burgers. It had a little more of a kick than the traditional
sauce, she said, while it also provided the necessary sweet to coincide with the salt of the
bacon. Finished with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, this burger had it all.
I went for one of our waitress’ favorites, the crab cake. Coming from local crab, as
does the majority of the seafood in the restaurant, the crab cake sandwich tasted as if it
was caught just this morning, still moist from its morning crawl. I was told that as far as
seasonings go, this crab cake has a little bit of everything. I noted specifically some
peppers that added a bit of spicy flare to the patty. The chipotle tarter sauce that came as
the optional add on proved beneficial as well. Served with a side of coleslaw, the crab
cake sandwich was the perfect lunch item. After the fact, I heard that a crab cake added
on the Cobb salad also makes a great afternoon treat.
Sweet potato fries were the choice side for both of us, and they did not
disappoint. Sliced shoestring thin, these fries came crunchy on the outside and soft on
the inside, just as they should. Coated with a light layer of salt, we couldn’t get enough.
And when it’s time for a drink but not time to stop sitting waterfront, Fishbones
is the place to be. With a variety of specialty drinks, you can sip the taste of summer
while soaking up the sun. The bar specializes in upside down drinks, all centered around
sweet summertime fun. But if you want to drink like a local, choose the frozen mojito,
it’s a secret signature recipe.
Fishbones Bar and Grille puts a new spin on harbor side eating. It’s the happy
medium between the restaurants that serve food you can barely pronounce or afford,
and the typical fried beach side grease take-out. With great music, great people, great
food and great drinks, time spent at Fishbones is no time wasted.
The bar on the harbor