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Friday, April 6, 2012

I Love This Place!

The Refinery
Seminole Heights, Tampa, Florida
September 25, 2010

I've been a fan of The Refinery since they first opened. I worked nearby, and would often go in alone for dinner. Staff was always warm, Chef Greg came out to say hi on several occasions. Not all of their dishes hit it out of the park, but they get points for creativity, and since they have a different menu every week, it stands to reason that not every dish is going to shine for everyone.  Nice inexpensive bottles of wine, cool vibe, some seriously delicious mouthfuls of great quality food. They're all about sustainable, LOCAL foods, and promoting the neighborhood. Well deserving of the James Beard nod.

 A few weeks ago I had their roast beef/peppers/onion Poutine. Fabulous flavor, I was diggin' it but Chef Greg came out, apologized that there wasn't enough beef in it for his liking, and he took it off my bill. Wow. I loved it anyway, and didn't even notice a lack of beef. I also had the monkfish liver. It was slightly crisp and sweetish on the outside, from the port wine reduction, but smooth as silk on the inside. Vaguely reminiscent of uni (sea urchin) if you're a sushi fan. One dish of this was not enough. I had to go back a few days later and have it again, with 2 glasses of fabulous cabernet savignon. Now THAT was perfection.

Last night I stopped in for dinner after reading about those ding dongs on Facebook. I had the chilled butternut squash soup, the memory of which still lingers on my tongue. That peppery bite of a finish, ahhh the masala,  it was just too good. I have to return on Tuesday and do it again. For the first time I had a burger...with gruyere, granny smith apples and horseradish. Had to eat it with a napkin in one hand because the juices kept rolling down my chinny chin chin. A burger that doesn't need ketchup? Unheard of! But true. And those yukon fries, crisp and firm. For dessert....the ding dong. I am speechless at the ding dong. Mere words cannot do it justice. I am begging Sous Chef Eddie to marry me and make me ding dongs every day for the rest of my life. I don't care if I need to buy my clothes at Omar the Tentmaker's. Just make me ding dongs. please? I'm beggin' ya.

photo by "Mild Bill" Leon

The Refinery on Urbanspoon

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