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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bootsy's - the hip spot...for now at least

I recently got to go to Bootsy's on a Saturday night with some friends and I was soooo excited! I'm a fan of his music and I love obnoxious colors! Prepare yourself - this review has lots of pictures!!! That's what happens with a tapas menu...it's basically like a big menu of appetizer sized portions - so you can order 4-5 tapas for 2 people and have PLENTY of food!
Those are the seat back cushions - random thing to take a picture of but they're so cute! The atmosphere is bright and colorful and not quite the stimulus overload I was expecting. It's a classy obnoxious...which is definitely fun!

We arrived for a 715 reservation and had to wait about 30 minutes - not a great way to start but understandable - it's brand new and really busy.

Most of our party decided on ordering a variety of tapas and we were very excited for them to come out! We asked the waitress for her thoughts - she basically read the whole menu - not exactly what we were looking for but we had our own thoughts anyway. I don't remember who ordered what but we all tried everything so I'll post photos and then comments (click and get the pic larger - sorry if some are a little fuzzy when enlarged):
Columbia Salad - Ham, Emmenthal Swiss, Tomato, Olives, Iceberg, Garlic Vinaigrette - 8
Kinda wish this had something other than iceberg but we were really pleasantly surprised. It was dressed very well and was like a chef's salad. Also very easy to split between 2-3 people if enjoyed with tapas.
Ropa Viej√° - Pulled Cuban Short Ribs, Arepa Cake, Queso Fresco - 9
I loved it...friend thought it was a little too salty (I love salt). This was probably my favorite of the tapas. The meat melted in your mouth and the sauce was delicious - the cheese added some "cool" and the arepa cake was a nice balance to the salty taste of the meat.
Fish Tacos - Corn Tortillas, Cilantro, Spanish Onions, House Sauce - 9
I didn't get to taste these but John said they were pretty good but he didn't seem to be overwhelmed.
Braised Pork Belly - Ulmo Honey, Onion Marmalade, Tostones - 11
I had a bite and it was the best Pork Belly I'd had before - I've heard it can be wonderful if cooked right. John was pleased as well...
Beef Short Ribs - Grilled Arepa, Queso Fresco, Rioja Red Sauce - 22
Judi enjoyed the short ribs very much - she had the grilled arepa - we weren't exactly sure what it was. I had it in the Ropa Vieja as well - sort of a solid cake of polenta maybe? I'd almost like to try the ropa, pork belly and short ribs all together and see how different they taste - it's hard to tell from just one bite.
Pappardelle - Spanish Fennel Sausage, Rapini, Chick Peas, Roma Tomatos - 11 Half
Excellent - such a nice flavor - very light and a lot of great flavor.
Gratineed Aged Goat's Cheese - Tomato Fondue, Grilled Cuban Bread - 7
Skip it - marinara is uninspired, goat cheese wasn't that good (and I love goat cheese), bread was fine but no real flavor.
Duck Tacos - Fresh Corn Tortillas, Queso Fresco, Apricot-Mango Salsa - 9
Loved them - Scott just thought they were okay but I thought they were almost as good as the pork tacos from Nada. Didn't realize there was apricot/mango salsa on it until just now!
I honestly don't remember which sushi we got but whatever it was - I didn't care for it. I think I'd rather just stick with sushi at all my thai places.

So overall - the food was definitely a positive! We all enjoyed the experience and I personally can't wait to go back. FYI - they even have a suckling pig you can order 72 hours in advance - they normally bring it out on a big cart, etc... There are also a couple of chef's menus...but we didn't feel like springing for the extra bucks that night.

Without drinks - if you order 4-5 tapas at an average of $10/each - you can get out of there for $25+tip - which I think is a great deal for the food, ambiance and variety!

Also - just make sure you check out the bathrooms...they're awesome! Pink Pink Pink! I love that attention to detail!

We left around 945 and by that time the bar area was PACKED PACKED PACKED!!!!! So - make sure and get your reservations made on OpenTable: Cincinnati Restaurants so you have a seat!

Bootsy's
Produced by Jeff Ruby

631 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513.241.0707

Bootsy's on Urbanspoon
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