Bonefish Willy’s Riverfront Grille

Thursday 08 November, 2018

Bonefish Willy's Riverfront- Melbourne- 4 Stars

Pulling into a busy parking lot, as I say, is always a good sign for a restaurant reviewer. Such was the case the day I pulled into the lot for Bonefish Willy's Riverfront Grille & Tiki Bar. There was what appeared to be a nice crowd waiting inside, not packed, but certainly not dead either. Upon being greeted and seated we were promptly introduced to our server for the meal, Kenneth. Kenneth went through the menu and specials with obvious ease and with the practiced confidence of someone who knows the menu forward and backward. He was polite almost to the point of being apologetic needlessly, took our order then quickly disappeared. Waiting for our Cup of Fish Gumbo, Salmon Oscar and Key Lime Pie for an inordinate amount of time, I actually got up and began searching the premises for Kenneth. I was shocked when I came upon him and a heretofore unseen female swapping saliva out of sight.

Returning to my table, it wasn't much longer when the aforementioned particulars arrived. I was very skeptical looking at the Cup of Fish Gumbo as it was a darker color than most Gumbo I have enjoyed in the past, but the show must go on so I grabbed a spoon and attacked the Cup with forced gusto. Much to my surprise, it was bursting with flavor with an extremely nice kick attributed to the Andouille sausage. The roux used as a base lacked the usual bitterness I find in Cajun style roux and instead added nice slightly bacony notes to the finish.

The Salmon Oscar was next to face my cutlery skills as my journey into the menu of Bonefish Willy's continued unabated. While I found the Salmon to be slightly overcooked (it shouldn't be completely dry inside) the made to order key lime Hollandaise sauce was crafted with obvious care and skill. The crab was succulent, tender and the perfect mate to the freshly made sauce. The replacement of the standard fresh lemon juice with key lime juice made this Hollandaise truly unique and set it apart from all others I have to this point, consumed. The sides consisted of a vegetable medley and a house salad. The green beans and carrots while cooked to perfection and obviously fresh, lacked seasoning. The asparagus was executed flawlessly and extremely tender and sweet. the accompanying red bliss potatoes were also cooked and seasoned to perfection. Then we have the house salad. As you can see by the picture this salad was absolutely gorgeous and consisted of freshly shredded cabbage, carrots and romaine.

Last, but not least on today's culinary journey was their made on site Key Lime Pie. As any Floridian worth their salt knows, this is the Unofficial State Pie and as such comes with high expectations. I am happy to inform you that Bonefish Willy's Key Lime Pie is the real deal and there is no way you want to eat just one piece. It is so delicious and made so perfectly that it was all I could do not to burst into the kitchen, grab all the days pies and make a run for it.

The Big Boy says, "If you don't mind an amorous waitstaff and love delicious food and real, honest to the Sunshine State Key Lime Pie, you will love Bonefish Willy's Riverfront Grille & Tiki Bar." #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout