Bootsy's (Lunch Review)

Jeff Ruby's newest production, Bootsy's, recently began serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. While Bootsy's typically has more of an after-work party vibe, a midday meal there could be just the mini vacation that keeps you from goin

Jeff Ruby’s newest production, Bootsy’s (631 Walnut St., 513-241-0707), recently began serving lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. While Bootsy’s typically has more of an after-work party vibe, a midday meal there could be just the mini vacation that keeps you from going batty during a long day at the office.

[Read about Bootsy Collins' memorabilia collection at Bootsy's and get a photo tour.]

Lunch at Bootsy’s is a bit of a production. We were brought to the dining room for the main attraction. It was gleaming with psychedelic lighting, and the staff, like ushers, scurried about, taking care of business. We weren’t surprised to find that the place was jammin’.

And with good reason: $19 gets you the most expensive item on the lunch menu, the Kobe Skirt Steak, and it’s $16 for one of the second most expensive, Short Ribs or Cigalas. For even less dough, try the Bento Box or Bootsy’s $12 Lunch, a pick two deal featuring any of the available soups, salads or sandwiches. The rest of the menu falls in the same price range (or less) and includes paellas, seafood, pastas, sandwiches, sushi and flatbreads, many with a Latin or Cuban twist.

We decided to start out with a sushi roll: the Yellowtail Crunch ($7). Although it is not a weird Japanese breakfast cereal, it probably was the first thing I ate that day. The six pieces came with a spicy, tasty sauce. My girlfriend is a very picky eater but I persuaded her to try it by ensuring her that the fish was cooked. What else would make it crunchy, I reasoned. I’m not positive that it was cooked, but between the rice and the sauce and the crunch all I know is that it was delicious. I was impressed that she thought so, too.

I was also impressed that she ordered the Cigalas ($16), whole blue prawns with Spanish olive oil, garlic, grilled lemon and fresh parsley. When our server brought the dish out and informed her that the prawn heads were edible, the look on her face said, “Yeah, about that …”

I don’t think I’d dive right in to eating prawn heads either, but the dish was great anyway. It was a light dish that consisted of four or five prawns atop a bed of lightly cooked, lemony spinach with halved grape tomatoes.

I ordered the Earth Wind and Fire ($12), which is a trio of sliders. Served on a slightly sweet slider bun, the pork belly slider came with a sweet orange marmalade. The Cuban short rib was topped with queso fresco and was incredibly tender and delectable. Lastly, the Kobe beef slider had a strong smoky flavor and like the others contained a generous hunk of meat. They all hit the spot.

For dessert, The Key Lime Pie ($6) was a stand-up act. No really, it was tall. It was like a little bucket made of crumbly crust filled with key-lime goodness. The whipped cream on top tasted a bit like Cool Whip, in a good way. It was a nice closing act to an overall great meal.

CONTACT BRIAN CROSS: [email protected].

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