Boston’s growing seafood boil scene expands into the South End this week as Bootleg Special opens the doors at 400 Tremont St., showering the neighborhood in Cajun-seasoned crustaceans.
Bootleg Special fully embraces the New Orleans seafood boil theme, with a menu full of small plates and po’ boys stuffed full of everything from oysters and shrimp to clams and catfish.
“It’s a sharing dining experience and a really upbeat, fun atmosphere,” said chef Christos Tsardounis, reached at the restaurant on Monday. “We’re really excited about the opening.”
Tsardounis is the former chef of Washington Square Tavern and previously owned Ariadne and C Tsar’s in Newton and Aspasia in Cambridge. He confirmed that Bootleg Special will open at some point later this week, following inspections.
The restaurant will operate with a cordials license, which Tsardounis said was a good alternative to the more expensive all-alcohol licenses and will allow Bootleg Special to cover a lot of ground.
“We’re going to have some really interesting cocktails,” he said.
The restaurant’s general manager, Mark Corcoran, comes to the new spot with years of experience in management roles at several other restaurants in the Boston area.
Bootleg Special joins an increasingly large group of area restaurants in churning out spicy seafood boils, including Holly Crab, Loui Loui Seafood, the ever-growing Shaking Crab group, and others. Bootleg is the first to bring this type of cuisine to the South End, however, and it’s taking up residence on a stretch of road close to several other neighborhood institutions, like Masa and Wink & Nod, and down the road from others including the Beehive, Banyan, B&G Oysters, and more.
Bootleg Special has offered a sneak peek of the signage and some dishes on its Instagram page, while the Bootleg team and Assembly Design Studio have showed off interior photos of the restaurant’s fancy chandeliers, art installations, and stenciled walls and floors.
Keep an eye on social media for an opening announcement later this week or over the weekend, pending final inspections.
Update, 2/16/18: Bootleg Special opens at 4 p.m. today (Friday).
• Bootleg Special Coverage on Eater [EBOS]