Bonefish may be a strip-mall chain, but this catch is worth the wait.

Big Bang Bang Theory 

Bonefish may be a strip-mall chain, but this catch is worth the wait.

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"I love this place," he said, greedily opening one shiny black mussel shell after another to spear the lusciously garlic-speckled shellfish. "You can't believe how sweet and good this buttery broth is," he said.

I watched the servers, all with beautifully polished manners, patiently attend to some demanding customers (including a family with a trio of restless, tired toddlers). Our waiter had done a magnificent job explaining the restaurant's "progressive wine list," which lists the vintages from the lightest Sauvignon Blanc to the heaviest Frog's Leap zinfandel. "I haven't actually tasted any of these wines," he added. "I'm only 19."

I think I was still eating fish sticks when I was 19. That night, I ventured away from fish and ordered Lily's chicken, a simply grilled bird breast blanketed with soft goat cheese, wilted spinach, artichokes and lemon-basil sauce. Very nice, but I should have stuck with seafood, especially after I took a bite of the terrific butterfish piccata that Bob had ordered. It's a specialty at Bonefish, and it's extraordinarily delicious — even more so sided with a pile of the creamy au gratin potatoes. The garlic mashed potatoes are skimpy on the garlic.

But that's the only skimpy thing at Bonefish, where everything else — from dinner portions to staff attention — is jumbo-sized.

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