Location: 1115 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2G6
Phone: (604) 687-8001
Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 1:00am
Friday to Saturday: 5:00pm – 2:00am
Private bookings available on Sunday and Monday
Kitchen Open Late
- Street Paid Parking
- Cocktails, Wines, Spirits
- Open till late
- Free WiFi
It was our first time at The Refinery. It was also the day of the finale fireworks, but good thing this was on the other side of town. But ultimately, this was my girlfriends birthday dinner. We were both busy the night before, so I celebrated with her the following day. I had made reservations ahead of time and the restaurant was not too busy, as it was still bright outside. We decided on this place for dinner because we had one of those group buy coupons that needed to be used up, so basically everyone in the room was doing just the same (at least I knew the table next to us were).
The Refinery is both an eatery and cocktail bar, situated on the second floor. The problem with second floor restaurants is that it’s hidden, so without much advertisement or unless your name is way out there, you won’t really notice it. Our table was a little small for all the tapas dish they serve, but our server was very welcoming and even suggested her favourites.
To start, we got two appetizers (or what they call ‘Tapas’). This was one of their best sellers, it’s a seared tuna topped with confit olives, capers, shallots, and fresh basil. The olive oil was a bit overwhelming, but flavours were managed very well. My girlfriend being the tuna lover, she liked it.
This was another tapas, a pan seared duck breast with honey Dijon dressing and roasted figs. The duck was tender and juicy. The dressing added to the duck’s juiciness.
Now, I’ve always had the Korean BBQ Beef ribs but Spanish? The beef ribs were slowly braised, which made the bones fall right out. It was mixed with a balsamic glaze and salsa verde. This was probably my least favourite dish of the evening, the beef ribs were lacking flavouring big time. The salsa verde didn’t help at all, it was very bland and the dish was a little cold. It was very different from the Korean way of serving it, but just didn’t work for me.
You’re probably thinking, what are you nuts, all meat? I didn’t even notice we were going all meat until we finished our meal. Maybe we were feeling being like carnivore. I really liked this dish, not so much for the girlfriend. It’s something about pork that just doesn’t stand out than say chicken or lamb or beef. I bet it’s cause pigs = fat. But, the tenderloin was very lean. Mixed with a sweet onion jam and pancetta. This again was a little cold, warm at best. I guess I’m not a fan of lukewarm dishes, but I liked the taste of the pork tenderloin. It was lean, tender and juicy. My girlfriend liked the pancetta on it.
We are not big on cocktails, but since our coupon came with two drinks, which normally would have costed $11, we tried some. This was the Georgian Lemonaid: Jim Beam, Peach Liqueur, Simple Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, Apricot Thyme Bitters, and Ginger beer. This was what the girlfriend got, it wasn’t bad. Very gingery indeed.
I tried the Thistle: el Jimador Tequilar Infused with Vanilla, Blackcurrant Tea Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice and Homemade Creme de Mure. The Thistle was not what I imagined, kind of cool looking but tasted more like cough meds.
We had two desserts, but got the other one to go because we were just too full. The Chocolate Terrine is a cold dessert, half milk and half dark chocolate topped with crusted almond and caramelized pineapple. I would have liked it without the caramelized sauce. The chocolate was good though.
This was their housemade cheesecake.
Our dinner originally would have costed $99 + tips and tax. But of course we only had to pay the tips.
Overall, The Refinery is a great place for those who are down by the Entertainment district at Granville. Also, perfect for those who likes cocktails. The food was not bad, but could have been served hot! The price is a little on the steep end, but was expected for a tapas restaurant. Parking could be a problem, but why drive when you are going to drink? It’s all pay parking. The service was good, the general manager made his way around to each table making sure everything was just right. It’s restaurants like this that has their guests come back. Ambiance, see for yourself.