The Refinery Restaurant & Bar in Tampa, FL
The Mark's List Gang
About 20 years ago, a young cook named Greg Baker, looked at his co-worker and peered into the high end restaurant's dining room, looked down at the freshly tattooed black widow spider on his forearm, thumbed through the last of his paycheck in his pocket and said "good food is wasted on people who can afford it."
This moment is when the vision of The Refinery, a restaurant in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborjood came together. The concept that good food, prepared by professionals who are passionate about food and cooking it, who spend their off time learning new techniques, who get giddy during morel season, should be made available to everyone. Whether you are thumbing through the last of your paycheck or whether you're sitting on a million dollars, good food is a necessity, not a right, and it is The Refinery's mission to provide that to you.
We can't tell you a lot about the menu, because it changes every Thursday night. What we do know is that the starters, entrees, desserts and other dishes are composed of what is fresh, beautiful and "in season" right now. Every single thing is made on the premises. Former New York Times food critic, Frank Bruni, recently tweeted about his delight with the restaurant.
We can also tell you that the refinery has two dining areas, indoors, and a rooftop deck and bar and that on weekends the space is typically filled to capacity. They take reservations, but since there are plenty of people waiting for a table, they can afford to be rather fussy about you showing up on time.