Our family has a friend in California, Ed Saxon, who actually reads this Blog more than our children. It probably says something about both. We thought of Ed, who is in the entertainment business, when we went to "Bootsy's" as it is in large part entertainment.
"Bootsy's", 631 Walnut St. Cincinnati, OH, 45202-phone 513-241-0707 is a creation of Jeff Ruby and Bootsy Collins. It is well located in the heart of downtown, across the street from the Aranoff Center. Valet parking available.
The bar and restaurant are on the 2nd floor, a good climb on the stairs, but there is an elevator very near the ground floor entrance. The decoration, to me, is a mixture of Las Vegas, Mexican garden and market, Booty's outfits and Moroccan bordello. It is over the top. The service is typical "Jeff Ruby", professional and at times too hovering.
In spite, or because, of all this the food, in most cases is remarkably good. The main play is "Tapis", or small plates, but there are also several full sized dinner selections. Of course, there is full bar service, and what seems to be the trend, obligatory Sushi.
There were four of us, three were attending a program, across the street, which started at 7:30 PM and so we arrived at 5:30 to an almost empty place which gradually filled by 6. We were seated in one of the front booths, and after asking the music be turned down, which it was immediately, so we could hear each other, started with drinks. Mine being the usual Bombay on the rocks with cocktail onions.
To my surprise they had no cocktail onions, one of the few faux pas of the evening.
We all split and tasted several dishes. Outstanding were: fried Calamari with a marvelous Black Bean dipping sauce, unique, Duck Taco, Caesar Salad and Orange Flan. Also tried were: fish taco, nothing special, a salad of lettuce, romaine, ham and Swiss, good but not memorable, a spicy tuna roll, not in a league with top flight Shusi, and one of the evening soups which was good but couldn't compare with the first items. We did not sample the main courses, of which our server recommended the Kobe Steak and the Ahi Tuna.
Total cost, for each, tax and tip included, $33. We will return as the place is fun and the food from outstanding to good.