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Brick and Mortar, Chef Brian Ricci's American Gastropub on N. 12th and Wood Street in the Loft District

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We were excited to try Brick and Mortar after Eater named it one its five finalists for Philly 2015 restaurant of the year - along with Aldine, one of our best dining experiences in the city so far.  After dining there last night, I can tell you the inclusion on that list does Aldine a great disservice.  Brick and Mortar is housed in the first floor of the Goldtex apartment building - it's an oddly shaped, generic space that is really devoid of any character whatsoever.  There's an enormous TV that had sports on when we got there although to their credit they did turn it off once the dinner crowd really started to roll in.  This restaurant continues an annoying trend of playing loud pop music while you're trying to enjoy dinner.  They have a number of crescent-shaped tables that are totally awkward and make you feel like you entire party is sitting on the same side of the table - they tried to jam us into one and then made kind of a big deal about accommodating our request to sit at a regular 4-top.  The food is your standard charcuterie, cheese boards, small plates, yada, yada that you see everywhere these days.  I would say everything we ate was enjoyable though nothing to write home about.  The oysters were just OK, the lamb was pretty nice, as were the rock shrimp.  All in all, just not a standout restaurant - there are plenty of better places to go.

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