While spending some time in Florida over the winter break, we had a very special evening at one of our favorite restaurants in the Tampa area, The Refinery. We contacted The Refinery a few weeks ahead of time to see if they could accommodate our party of fourteen. Although it’s a fairly small place, they made room for us, and made some great dishes inspired by some of our requests.
Little Neck Clams – bacon-shrimp-yellow tomato broth, escarole, eggplant cracker
Salad – house ricotta, beet, tomato, sherry-leek vinaigrette
BBQ Ugly – soy-vinegar braised pork belly, green peppercorn biscuit, duxelle, smoked tomato compote, whey, scallion oil
Pink Florida Gulf Shrimp – garlic, anchovy, escarole, lemon-green peppercorn polenta cake, mizuna, nutmeg vinaigrette
Hanger Steak – roasted potatoes, broccoli pesto, mustard greens, salsa verde
Beer and Peppercorn Braised Pork Shoulder – tasso grit cakes, collards, kumquat jam
He said…As you can see from the meal, pork was definitely the featured item. The BBQ Ugly was one of the most creative dishes that I have eaten and it was delicious. The braised pork shoulder was superb and the tasso grit cakes were inspired. The other highlight for me were the little neck clams. In particular, the broth had a delicious bacon flavor.
She said…Everything was good, but the star of the evening for me was by far the BBQ Ugly. I could’ve eaten a bunch of those little porky pot pies! The pork was so moist and flavorful, and that biscuit was perfection. The many ingredients all came together in a fantastic way.
Thanks to the efforts of Chef Baker and his wife Michelle, we had a very memorable evening. We love chef’s creativity, and were thrilled that he incorporated some of our suggestions into the menu. As always, we give The Refinery two thumbs up!