If you ever visited EVO before, you know that although it was in a confined area, it always had that air of sophistication about it, in it’s décor to the food. Bootleggers takes all of those notions and throws them out the window; From the seamless blending of their entry way into the industrial building, they did seem to make it hard to find, much like an actual speakeasy might be back in the day. The bar has been relocated to a central rectangle, and elements of wood beams and metal adorns most of the surfaces. All of this gives the diner a very old-time feel, with a hint of nostalgia with the music and movies playing on the various TVs, while still being chic and modern.
While reviewing the menu, I was surprised to find that there were so many items that I could potentially order that I was having a hard time deciding. Trying to steer clear of the staples that I tend to gravitate towards, I chose against the burgers and the seafood. I wanted something a little bit out of the box and out of my comfort zone. I ended up choosing the Goodfella pressed sandwich ($11.99). The sandwich consisted of capicola, pepperoni, provolone cheese, banana peppers, sweet onion with garlic oil and balsamic vinegar served in a pressed Italian roll. My best description would be this is a jazzed up Italian sub. The spicy meat of the capicola and pepperoni made for a lingering heat that stayed on your palate. The balsamic vinegar gave a nice tang, much like it would on an antipasto. The vinegar helped cut through the richness of the meat and the softness of the bread. The best part of the sandwich in my mind though were the banana peppers. They were actually cooler than the meats, which gave it great texture contrast to everything else in the sandwich, while adding to that heat mentioned earlier, in the most delightful way possible. The sandwich was served with a side of perfectly golden brown French fries, while there were additional sides your could choose from such as tortilla chips, coleslaw, or Yukon gold whipped potatoes and sweet fries, plantains, sautéed green beans, Sidecar salad, or small soup.
The wait staff that we had between our Foodie’s tables seemed very polite and attentive to our needs as diners. It still seemed like they were adjusting to the changes that they were inevitable used to at Evo for so long, between the new menu, new drinks, new décor and dress code, there seemed to be some disconnect with everything. Given that it was a Tuesday night, I figured that there would have been more attention paid to our group. Overall, our waitress did a great job though and seemed to enjoy herself.
Given that this was the former location of EVO and maintained a large amount of the same moving pieces, I had high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed. I do believe that they could use some fine tuning on the cocktails and on getting the front and back of the house on the same page, but that comes with the territory. They will have that ironed out in no time. The menu was diverse and offered different options for the adventurous diners, while remaining comforting and familiar enough at the same time. With so many delicious looking/sounding dishes and all at a very reasonable price, I will be sure to head back to the Bootleggers Prohibition Pub…except this time, I will know where to get in.