The refinery is located above Sip Lounge on Granville St. Coming here is a very interesting dining experience.
They have an award-winning cocktail program, along with excellent cheeses, meats, antipastos, all made in premises. Most dishes are made for sharing tapas style.
We ordered a large variety of tapas to share: The Fried Risotto Balls ($12) come stuffed with an assortment of seasonal fillings. Crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. I enjoyed these. The fillings were rich with mushroom and root vegetable taste. Very earthy. Together with a tomato sauce topping, the taste was mild, but tasty. These came recommended by our server. On top of it all, we got them for free by checking into foursquare together with three friends. Don’t you just love social media?
My favourite dish of the night was the Gnocchi ($14). Made in house, sauteed in sage brown butter and served with pancetta. We ordered two of these and were gone in minutes. The rich taste of the parmesan cheese and the pork was fantastic together.
Another hit at our table were the Braised Short Ribs ($17) – slow cooked in a mushroom gravy and served with scallop potatoes. The gravy was nice and peppery and the ribs were melt-off-the-bone. An excellently-sized portion to share. There was plenty to be had.
The Hummus and Olive Tapenade ($9) was delicious. Served with bread chips drizzled with olive oil. The hummus had a nice texture and a strong citrus flavour. Just the right amount of garlic and an unexpected spice. I really loved the tapenade, I think it really made the dish. Great combination.
Moving on we have the Roasted Duck Breast ($13) This dish was served with a honey-dijon dressing and roasted figs. Duck can be a tad heavy and fatty, but this duck was meaty and lean. The figs gave the duck a nice sweet taste.
For dessert, we shared the Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake and the Chocolate Terrine (both $9). I’m glad that the cheesecake came with caramel sauce on the side, because it was very dense and didn’t have a lot of flavour. But the chocolate terrine? It was fantastic! Very rich, layers and layers of flavour. The candied pineapple on top was such a nice touch.
The Refinery is also well known for their innovative cocktail list! An award-winning system, they create all their non-alcoholic ingredients such as bitter, grenadine and such from scratch. They will also be participating in Dine Out for Life on March 29th, when 25% of their proceeds will go to people living with HIV/AIDS.
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The Refinery is Zagat Rated.