Glorious new businesses are being born daily. From restaurants and boutiques to professional services and online stores, choices are at our fingertips. How does one choose where to shop, what to do, but most importantly – where do we eat? Some may say that the atmosphere of an eatery is vital and service is key, but honestly, we all deserve a delicious meal (seriously, there’s nothing like fresh food for everyone to enjoy!). Brick and Mortar – Kitchen and Wine Bar, offers contemporary dishes without all of the bells and whistles of a poshy joint – located in the heart of Downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida at 539 Central Avenue.
Owned and operated by hubby and wife team Hope Montgomery and Jason Ruhe, this thier newest venture opened in April of 2015. The two have always been in the restaurant and food industry, but it has been a dream for the both of them to own their own “Brick and Mortar.” (Bravo to the both of them for making their dreams come true!) Let’s just say, they are married with kitchen, but also have conjured up the perfect recipe to have a family life as well with their two sons Quintan, 17, and Maxwell, 2.
Montgomery and Ruhe have ran a catering company, In Bloom, for almost eleven years now. Creating spreads for local weddings and venues like NOVA 535 and CEO’s of major investment banking companies and even Michelle Obama, the two undoubtedly know their way around the kitchen and into our hearts – with food.
Brick and Mortar is an intimate establishment that is the pure essence of what they had dreamed of. Different than catering, the restaurant allows Hope and Jason to create exactly what they desire, rather than what their client wants. Using fresh local and seasonal ingredients, the food is mouthwatering. Although their menu is pretty consistent with customer favorites such as the Seared Espresso Rubbed Slow Braised Short Rib and the Slow Braised Ox Tail With House Made Ravioli (my personal favorite is the Veal Meatballs with Creamy Parmesan Polenta – reminds me of my mother’s Italian home cooking!), they do incorporate daily specials, local craft beers and a lovely selection of wine. As Hope says, “Life is too short to drink bad wine!”
Hope and the front of house employees do a wonderful job at continuously making you feel welcomed and Jason pops his head out from the kitchen to say hello to every table. The passion shining from their eyes when you meet them is strongly evident – Hope and Jason truly love what they do. With a small staff and friendly setting, as soon as you sit down to have a meal at Brick and Mortar, you will feel like family.
The restaurant is still evolving – they are working on keeping the sound down because it gets a bit noisy when there’s a full house (which is pretty frequently and that is great news!), but for having been open for less than a year, Montgomery and Ruhe are most definitely on their way to have created a place where all of the locals enjoy dining at (they certainly have already won me over).
Next time you are looking for a new place to grab a bite to eat at, DowntownStPete.com strongly recommends Brick and Mortar; you will leave with your belly smiling. We would love to hear from you and see what you ordered. Create a profile and post a picture of your meal on Downtown Now!