ST. PETERSBURG – Jonny Reno's opened its doors in early July, and already it is making waves.
Owner Jon LaBudde also runs a surf shop on 4th Street North, so it is no surprise that the restaurant and pub has a surfer theme.
Items on the menu have funky names that refer to famous surfing spots worldwide."Our goal is to have dishes that represent the area in which different surf breaks are located," explained LaBudde.
Patch went unannounced as a regular patron to see what Jonny Reno's brings to the table when it comes to hospitality and more importantly, food.
Menu: Jonny Reno's current menu is fairly small, but is sure to get the job done as there is a little bit of something for everyone. Appetizers like the Calamari Reno (accompanied by cherry peppers and mama butter) are a good start to any meal. Other offerings include salads, burgers and even a 12 oz. rib eye steak. The Lamb Skewers Sosaties are marinated delicacies with onion, dried apricot and bacon.
First Time Recommendation: First timer at Jonny Reno's? Start out with the Smoked Fish Spread or the Calamari Reno. As an entree, try the Grouper Sandwich or the 7 oz. Reno Burger on for size. Be sure and get the fresh cut and fried to order french fries as the side. The Mac & Cheese was also pretty stellar.
Preparation: LaBudde has a standard of freshness to live up to. He avoids purchasing over processed foods and prefers to bring product in whole and then divvy the portions in house. For example, fresh whole fish are brought in and prepared.
Ambiance: Part of the price at Jonny Reno's includes the ever beautiful waterfront view that the Pier has to offer. With indoor and outdoor seating to boot, every seat is the best seat in the house. Live music is a nightly promise with a full bar inside and outside. Surfboards line the restaurant while island tunes from Jack Johnson and the Dirty Heads play softly over the speakers. Flat screen TVs are scattered throughout the place with surfing in high demand and ESPN on the others.
- Appetizers: $8-$10
- Salads/Sides: $3-$9
- Burgers/Sandwiches: $6-$13
- Entrees: $12-$20
Tip from the Kitchen: Jon LaBudde prides himself on thinking outside the box when it comes to food. His young chefs are always eager to try new things and prefer to do it from scratch. "Try and buy the least processed foods as possible and don't be afraid to experiment in your own kitchen," was LaBudde's expert advice.