Skinny Review: Eating Healthy at Bonefish Grill

What is healthy to eat Bonefish Grill?  First, the restaurant has the word “fish” in its name, so I knew there was hope.  (The Cheesecake Factory would cause me pause).  Of course, in any restaurant, even food that is healthy in its purest form can turn into a calorie and fat bomb depending on its preparation, additions of oil, butter, and sauces.

Bonefish Grill does not offer calorie or nutritional information online for its entrees, so ask about the preparation.  All of the grilled white fish and shellfish options are a great skinny base to your meal, including sea bass, tilapia, shrimp and scallops, grouper, halibut and red snapper.  All are lower in calories and high in protein.  Yes, some are sustainable and some are not, but that’s for a different blog, my environmental friends.  Ask for your fish to be prepared with minimal oil or butter, if any.  Grilled preparation typically uses less oil or butter than sautés or bakes at restaurants, although it varies by chef.

Salmon is also offered, but since I cook wild salmon at home once or twice a week, I typically take a pass on it in seafood restaurants.  I adore salmon, but it is higher in good fat and calories, so control its prep at home unless you personally know the chefs at locally owned establishments.  Skip it in big box franchises, especially when other interesting fish is offered to branch out and taste.

Bonefish Grill offers four sauces.  Ask for it your pick on the side and choose either Chimichurri Sauce, which is extra virgin olive oil, garlic and Italian spices, or Warm Manga Salsa, which does contain some corn syrup based on my sleuthing on Bonefish’s web site recipe, but the rest of the ingredients are pure.  Skip the Lemon Butter for obvious reasons or Pan Asian, which is more of a salty sugar glaze.

I took my own Easy Skinny Life advice and looked online at the menu before we even entered the restaurant.  My game plan for the night was to order a large wood-grilled entrée, even if a little decadent, but to substitute steamed vegetables for all of sides dishes that go with it.  Plus, I knew in advance that I would skip the bread basket.  Why waste carbs and calories on starchy fillers unless it is something spectacular?   No need for appetizers either with a half-pounder fish on route.

My Skinny Pick:  8 oz Chilean Sea Bass with Chimichurri Sauce on the side.  Steamed Broccoli and Steamed Vegetable Medley as my two sides. 

Expensive, large, but worth it!  I then took a forkful of the Chimichurri sauce to top the fish with some excellent herbs, garlic and just a touch of olive oil.  Don’t pour it on.  Also, hmm….  I detected some garlicky butter on those so-called steamed vegetables!  If you are really watching your calories, ask them to steam the vegetables without butter or oil.  It’s probably wise advice when dining out anywhere.  Purity is the purpose for steaming anyhow, but restaurants do like to flavor it up as much as possible with sneaky back room prep.

Other Skinny Picks:  Any of the other fish or shellfish options can replace the sea bass.  Or as an alternative, pick one of the only two healthy appetizers offered as your main dish, the Ahi Tuna Sashimi, which is sesame seared with wasabi and ginger, along with two sides of steamed vegetable options including broccoli, vegetable medley or green beans.  The only other healthy appetizer is steamed and seasoned Edamame, which could easily be enjoyed as a side dish or shared dish.

Some Fun Photographs:   No, no, no!  Take a pass on the bread basket and save room for the protein based entree.

The server overheard that I was a “food blogger”, so he was so excited to present our table with this complimentary dessert!

Thank goodness I’m not a fan of this particular dessert plopped down in front of my face, but it certainly made the big guy and my father VERY happy for this freebie treat.  I was nice and full from the main meal.

Let me know your favorite dish at Bonefish Grill.  Enjoy!



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7 Responses to Skinny Review: Eating Healthy at Bonefish Grill

  1. Kim says:

    I ate there last night and had the orange roughy. It was amazing.

  2. Nancy says:

    Thanks! We are going to Bonefish soon and I was agonizing over what to get that wouldn’t blow all my hard work to lose weight!

  3. hannah says:

    are bang bang shrimp tacos out of the question? I looked up the calorie count online and its supposedly only 484 which isn’t too bad for a meal.

    • upsideofvanity says:

      Hannah, be wary of the anything bang bang. Speaking from personal experience (i.e. I work in the kitchen at BFG), the sauce for the bang bang shrimp is a Mayo based sauce. With Sweet Thai Chili sauce. Over fried shrimp. Most places also “over sauce” the shrimp. While we haven’t heard a official count for the amount of calories in an order of the Bang Bang Shrimp, it is somewhere in the 1200 range. I overhear servers constantly joking about people visiting the restaurant and saying “Oh, I’m just gonna have the Bang Bang Shrimp for my entree, trying to watch what I eat” or some variation of that.

      For the Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos, you’d be looking at about 1/2 order of bang Bang Shrimp, with a lime sour cream sauce over it, and 2 flour tortillas. Still close to 600+ calories, not including the side item (normally in house fried chips)

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