Dining Out

At Fish Bonez, surf and turf with a harbor view

New Fish Bonez restaurant offers a fresh, local menu in a familiar spot on the Morro Bay Embarcadero

Special to The TribuneNovember 13, 2013 

  • Fish Bonez

    725 Embarcadero (above Rose’s Landing), Morro Bay | 225-1900 | fishbonezgrill.com

    Hours: Dinner nightly, 4 p.m. to close; happy hour 4 to 6 p.m.

    The scene: Waterfront views from every seat in the bright main dining room or out on the expansive patio.

    The cuisine: California cuisine, often including Mediterranean and Asian flavors; menus change frequently according to seasonal availability; local wine, several local microbrews on tap.

    Expect to spend: Entrées typically $15 to $35.

Clam chowder and fish and chips are iconic mainstays of coastal eateries, and with good reason. However, you won’t find either at Fish Bonez. This new Morro Bay restaurant is swimming upstream with its menu.

“We definitely wanted to do something different, from plate presentation to the food,” said Trevor Green, general manager. “We want to cater to locals, to offer them fresh, seasonal food at affordable prices, and to have them coming in and appreciating that has been great.”

This approach means that much of the Fish Bonez menu changes frequently, from starters to entrées. “Chef Rebecca” — as everyone calls her — added that everything possible is made from scratch, and “we don’t serve frozen product,” even seafood.

Some of the most recent offerings included everything from a calamari fritti appetizer to a lobster cobb salad, grilled halibut with olive tapenade tomato sauce to linguini and clams, rack of lamb with fig butter sauce to a $35 surf-and-turf plate with an 8-ounce filet mignon and 7-ounce lobster tail.

Among the very latest dishes to make their debut at Fish Bonez are an appetizer of roasted dates wrapped with prosciutto and stuffed with goat cheese, a seared sea scallop salad with roasted pear and candied walnuts, and an entrée of sea bass with miso mustard sauce served over coconut scallion rice.

Another popular new item is the shrimp “nachos” appetizer — shrimp, black beans, corn, tomatoes and roasted jalapeño served on fried wontons and drizzled with sriracha sour cream and wasabi guacamole. It’s a perfect nosh to enjoy with a local microbrew draft or glass of Central Coast wine while you’re sitting outside on the expansive dog-friendly patio.

Whether seated inside or out, you’ll enjoy a great view from any table at Fish Bonez.

Located above Rose’s Landing on the Embarcadero (occupying what was Rose’s main dining room for many years), it commands a broad waterfront view of the estuary, sand spit and Morro Rock. The bright interior has just the right touch of nautical décor, including creative lighting fixtures in the shape of such sea life as jellyfish and fish schools.

Though it has a similar name to other restaurants, “this is definitely a family-run operation,” Green said. Owners Jack and Maria Loveless joined up with their daughter and son-in-law, Lauren and Nathaniel Hand, to realize their dream of having a restaurant.

Chef Rebecca was brought on to help develop the concept, and Green came onboard right before Fish Bonez opened six months ago. Since then, the hands-on team has also been joined by Kurtis Wright as chef de cuisine.

(Though Fish Bonez has chosen to cater to locals, there’s a nonlocal facet of its existence. One of the reasons the restaurant was established was to help fund a nonprofit that Maria co-founded to provide a safe haven and life skill training to Chinese women struggling to escape human trafficking.)

Chef Rebecca’s culinary experience is “vast,” having done everything from owning her own casual eatery to cooking at a large casino in the Fresno area, where she served fine dining to everyone from Randy Travis to a slew of California governors. At Fish Bonez, you’re very likely to see her visiting the tables and getting direct feedback from patrons.

“We wanted to bring a little bit of elegance here,” she said. “You eat first with your eyes, so we want to make (your food) look good and taste good so that you’ll have the best dining experience you can have at Fish Bonez.”

Katy Budge is a freelance writer from Atascadero. Contact her at ktbudge@sbcglobal.net.

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