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3
  • Food3
  • Service3.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance3.5
  • Reviews14

Refinery, The

1115 Granville Street, Upstairs
Vancouver, BC V6Z1M1
Tel: (604) 687-8001 Reserve Online
Fax: (604) 687-7479
Neighbourhood: Central
  • Cuisine: International, Italian, Pacific northwest, Tapas
  • Price: $$ ($15 - $30)
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Service: Banquet, Catering
  • Meals: Dinner
  • Features: Ocean Wise
  • Hours: Mon: Closed, Tue - Thu: 5PM - 1AM, Fri - Sat: 5PM - 2AM, Sun: Closed
  • Granville's coolest restaurant, cocktail and wine bar houses the strips only fresh, market-style eatery. The Refinery takes pride in introducing elements of charcuterie, cheese culture, cured seafood, fresh breads, hot dinner options, antipasti and all things Market fresh to the Granville scene.

    General Manager and Mixologist Graham Racich and his team are mixing up a new cocktails for you nightly, with special nights like his Two Bucket Tuesdays, and Matter Hatter's Tea party on Wednesdays.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Cozy & Yummy
By kewpiebaby of Vancouver (200 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 17, 2011 - 12:53pm [Dine in]

A nice surprise on the Granville Street strip, which is way nicer now since the street renovation. It's quietly tucked away, located above Sip Resto Lounge. If it weren't for the pretty tall girl at the front directing traffic, we would have totally missed the correct entrance. We were seated promptly in one of the back corners by the windows, which we loved because of its cute comfy cushion seating and we were away from the hustle bustle of the bar area. Overall the food was pretty good. Wasn't a very large portion, but we didn't leave hungry. We tried the Tuna Crudo which is basil crusted tuna, fennel, pear, orange & lemon aioli. Great flavors and texture. We also had their special that day the Arrancini Balls - cheese balls with truffled risotto and tomato relish. Normally I'm not a huge fan of cheese, but this fried cheese ball was quite delicious. Next on the menu was the proscuitto flatbread - cured ham, pear, gorgonzola, walnuts, onion jam. Also yummy, but we thought too small a portion. We had the pork shared plate-braised pork, gnocchi, kale, fresh parmesan. This dish was very good and the gnocchi left me wanting more of it. We finished the meal with their profiteroles served with amaretto cream, warm chocolate sauce. This was my hubby's favorite, I wasn't really a fan but I'm happy he finally found a dessert he liked. The beers were pretty good here too - I can't remember the names, but we had both a dark beer and a light beer. The prices were reasonable too. A great place to hang out with close friends and have a drink and small bites.

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Perfect cocktails - all else meh
By Barcelonaguy of Yaletown (48 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 5, 2009 - 7:28pm [Dine in]

Nice looking room with sustainability in mind. Amazing selection of bottled wines; but poor by the glass selection. Cocktails are the highpoint and expensive for a Granville strip eatery. Characturie and cheese plates decent size and value. Salad's are boring as are the desserts. Service is hit and miss depending on the night. Worth a visit or two.

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Wow! Variety & Excellence
By mcnite of Vancouver (20 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 16, 2009 - 11:31am [Dine in]

Another visit to The Refinery on Granville (above the new war zone) and another wonderful dining experience. From the friendly and attentive service to the time put in to preparing the food (the duck rillette is a 7 day preparation journey), this is a top-notch place to dine.

We sampled the duck and our usual carpaccio (to die for) and had difficulty deciding which was more superb. Our next course, which consisted of 3 cheeses of excellent quality, was a good match to the beer I was trying. Following that, succulent prawns with the best fresh taste ever, mussels (apparently really good but not for me thanks) and an albacore tuna that was prepared perfectly.

On to the meats; a spicy chorizo and a buffalo really go well with the various condiments (quince, gherkins, tiny onions, and honeyed nuts) - I'm missing a 3rd one but by then we were terrified of running out of room. For dessert, a goat's milk cheesecake with a caramel almond crust and sour cherry sauce polished us off.

The chef, Mike Carter, really is a find and is committed to providing fresh tastes to delight the clientele (not many chefs will take time to visit the dining room and speak with customers). Ryan served us again and is so engaging it heightens the dining experience (plus he knows the product and ensures the customer appreciates the qualities of each dish. Ken, the sommellier, put together an exquisite wine pairing, the best I have experienced (from the sips I stole as well as a couple of choices I made off the pairing list.

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Cozy atmosphere & great food
By world_traveller of Vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 27, 2010 - 12:08pm [Dine in]

My spouse and I dined on a Friday night. It was busy but not loud like some restaurants when they become busy. We only came in for a couple beers and a couple shared plates before heading to Granville Island for an improv show. Being vegetarians, we were happy to see a lot of vegetarian options on the menu. We decided on two menu items to share, the polenta fries that came with a delicious tomato sauce and the vegetraian flatbread. The flatbread was absolutely amazing, goat cheese, kalamata olives, tomatos, pesto paste, zuchini and drizzled in truffle oil to finish it off. Polenta fries was a nice change, have never seen that on a menu before, they were delicious. I really liked the atmosphere, they had a DJ set up playing easy listening mixes, furniture was nice. Kind of a rustic westcoast feel. Really enjoyed our evening, will return!

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Pleasant Surprise
By Nbricks19 of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 3:23pm [Dine in]

I recently had the pleasure of going to this Granville st establishment after it was recommended to me by a friend. I was a little wherry as I know Granville to be the club district and previously thought there couldn't be anywhere worth while going (don't judge a book by its cover this book being Granville).

My friend and I went for a later dinner mid-week after an early movie.

A warm eco-modern room using recycled wood, plastic and rubber for the tables, chairs and floor respectively and low emission LED lights to accent the room. Homemade bitters, preserves, and spice jars decorate the room while mason jar candles give a warming glow.

When we arrived we were the only two in the restaurant but were joined later by other late night diners (there are more of us?)

Our server was very friendly and told us we had to have one of the cocktails as they are carefully crafted and are even able to have a custom made cocktail to our liking. We then had the bartender/mixologist come over and talk to us about what type of libation we would care for.He nailed it!

With drinks taken care of we asked the server what she would suggest for two people that were decently hungry. She spoke confidently and enthusiastically about all the food. We ordered three of her five must order, gnocchi, meatball, and charcuterie mixed board (two meats two cheeses). We also order the green beans. The dishes came sporadically as our serve said they would, but we did ask to have our mixed board at the end so we could order a bottle of wine and finish with cheese! The gnocchi were like pillows melt in your mouth. The meatballs were excellent and we order extra bread to mop up the remaining sauce. The mixed board was awesome. Chefs choice with the option of omitting any dislikes. Our server explained all the different meats and cheeses plus the different condiments some of which were homemade.

I asked for a red wine that would pair well with the meatballs and would be nice for the charcuterie. The server suggested a bottle but defered us to the bartender. He was happy to talk to us about wine and make suggestions as he was in the process of changing the list and said he had something perfect. It was, a bottle of Tempranillo blend from the Douro in Portugal.

Thank you so much for opening a new area to us. Up next Twisted Fork a suggestion by the staff.

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Excellent DOV experience.
By fin2 of Vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 17, 2009 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

Went here for DOV 2008. For the $28 price, had a goat cheese brulee, vegetarian plate (marinated veggies, bean salad, hummus) and an espresso marscapone mousse. The others tried the seafood and the meat/cheese platter.
All the portions were generous. The food was well prepared and tasty. The mousse was definitely a highlight and was not only reasonably sized, but came with a sea salt biscotti which everyone agreed was surprisingly delicious.
Service was attentive, but not overly fussy. The owner made a point of coming over and introducing himself and checking on whether we enjoyed our meals (he even used the name from our reservation - nice touch!). Even though it was DOV, we did not feel rushed.
A few minor quibbles: the bread served was baguette and came toasted in varying degrees (ie: some pieces were crispy, some not, some had top only crispy). Also it was all the same type of bread. With platters, it would be nice to have some variety. Also, the waitress forgot to ask if we wanted coffee with dessert and when we did ask her for some, she informed us they only served espresso and no decaf.
Overall, we all enjoyed our dinner and will go back on another night.

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Would never recommend this restaurant.
By NGM of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 12:26pm [Dine in]

I went to The Refinery with a friend for Dine Out Vancouver 2012. The menu price was $28.00 per person and completely not worth it. I ordered the Winter Vegetable soup and it tasted like pureed squash. Both of our second course was the mushroom spaghetti and the white wine the chef used in the beurre blanc sauce completely overpowered anything else in the meal. On the Dine Out website, their menu says you can have cocktail pairings instead of dessrt. I asked about this option at the restaurant and we were told it was not possible. I'm not sure who made the error here - DOV or the restaurant but I was not impressed. So my friend and I both also ordered the cheesecake. It tasted like a spoon of mascarpone cheese with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

I am normally not this harsh when it comes to food but at $28.00 a person, this place was a rip-off. The food was terrible considering the price. The service was okay - she did her job but when both my friend and I wanted to pay with debit cards, she told me the restaurant doesn't take them.

There are far better restaurants in Vancouver with much better value for money. I've heard the drinks are decent here but honestly, I can't see myself going back unless a friend was hosting a party here and I had no other choice.

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Pushy service and totally overpriced food but good vibe and decor
By sarahj1000 of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, October 4, 2010 - 9:32am [Dine in]

A good place to go, but not if you have an appetite or want a huge choice of food. Excluding the flabreads there's about ten items to choose from on the menu.

While I appreciate their focus on sourcing local foods, flabreads (essentially very mini pizzas) are at least $5 too much at $15 each and one portabello mushroom for $10 is also overpriced.

The ambience and decor is great but not a fantastic wine list. The cocktails are interesting and I love the locally brewed spirits.

The service was pushy and focused on selling more and more so it seems after ordering a couple of small plates the bill is through the roof.

The main room is very noisy, accoustics are bad, but the back room is much cosier.

Overall, though, I won't be going back.

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Menu and Service Needs Refining
By VancityReviewer of vancouver (main) (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 8:15pm [Dine in]

I was not impressed with this place. At first I thought it was really nice, but then the service, menu and prices put me off. I ordered a cheese board and soup. The cheese board was a measly three thin slices of cheese and a couple cashews and cost $18, I could have had a filling main course at Cactus Club for less than that! The cauliflower soup was ok. I also had some olives that were ok, but I prefer Superstore ones. The drink menu is all fancy drinks at around $12 each for the martinis etc. so was too much for me. The service was terrible, the waitress did not offer any pointers about how to order, even though the menu was confusing cause I couldn't find main courses. I guess the flat breads were the only mains, and they are not special at all unless you like what looks like a naan bread with a couple dots of goat cheese and a couple mushrooms or veggies, without them touching. That was my impression.

This place is a tapas bar I think, but I don't think the tapas are worth anything, as it is really like eating from a grocery store deli for a high price. I ended up with a $45 bill for a cheap beer, three slices of cheese, some olives and a small bowl of soup. I had to go for pizza after dinner cause I was starving! My group of friends were not impressed either, we felt ripped off, we were all on the same page. Looks high end with the velvet rope and doorman outside, but I would not recommend trying this place.

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Nothing special
By ex-madridista of Burnaby (4 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 2, 2009 - 12:26pm [Dine in]

The drink I had was good, the food was just ok, and the service could have been better. For the price, I could've gone elsewhere. The only plus point was the music and the decor. On a side note: the place was like a sauna. they did crack open a window but as soon as the table next to it was occupied, they closed it again =S

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Vancouver's green little secret.
By ecomaniac of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 7:49pm [Dine in]

Having never heard of this little treasure, I was lured to The Refinery by a birthday party. To be honest, I was a little tentaive when walking up Granville but as we walked up the rustic stairs we discovered this little atmospheric, cozy little room that had so much character. We had a fairly large party, but we had the entire front room to ourselves so we coud mingle and not be tied to our chairs. Not going to lie, there was a little dancing as their amazing cocktails lightened our inhibitions (try the earl grey marteani!). Our server, Chad was incredibly attentive and knowledgable and told us all about their sustainable conecpt (which is something I can absolutely get behind) and how the menu is geared towards sharing so as to bring people together over food. We were all equally as blown away by the food ! The prosciutto flatbread is a must-eat, not to mention the beef carpaccio and zucchini salad. This little hideaway is a treasure and they can expect to see me and my husband very soon.

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are you kidding me?
By bugaboo of vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 2:51pm [Dine in]

I to the Refinery for dinner on a Saturday night as part of a group for a birthday dinner and I have very little to say that is complimentary other than the decor was pretty cool.

I thought the service was poor. Despite giving the restaurant prior notice, our group of 16 was scattered throughout the space and none of the servers seemed to care about this. Our drink order wasn't taken for aver 30 minutes after arrival and then only because we brought it to the attention of the bar manager. There was an equal disinterest in taking our food order. I shared the tasting menu with another person and we found that there were significant delays between courses.

It started with three dips: pureed white bean paste swimming in olive oil, something unrecognizable that presumably was baba ganoush, and a pork terrine. The pork terrine was pretty tasty despite that my fiance is jewish and we specifically asked for no pork meats! After that we had a tomato and bocconchini salad that was also swimming in olive oil. Good luck tasting anything normally as nice as a tomato. That theme continued through to the flatbread which was also swimming in olive oil. We were then very amused to get the chacuterie with dried apricots, craisins and nuts with the meat and cheeses. I like a good chacuterie as much as the next person and I love a cheese plate to end a meal but the meats on this one were excessively salty and the cheeses were kind of boring. A few gherkins from a jar did nothing to elevate it either. Overall, it felt like a mish mash of the foods we normally take with us when camping or hiking. It was also accompanied by really boring white baguette.

The goat cheese cheesecake was atrocious. Unless you generally like to eat chevre from the package I wouldn't recommend it to you!

That and two glasses of wine at it was over $100. We left in pain (too much oil and salt and no fresh food at all!) but unsatisfied.

Some quotes to sum up our evening:
My friend M "you could go to the polish deli on Hastings and get this for one-third the price"
My fiance "it must be so boring to be a chef here" and "I wouldn't go back if they comp'ed me and ten of my friends."

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Great little hide-away
By dsosa of downtown, vancouver (13 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 19, 2009 - 11:41pm [Dine in]

Went there before the Pearl Jam concert. Wasnt as busy as I thought it would be, actually was pretty dead.
There was 4 of us, so we just ordered tapas. The hummus is to die for. Olives are very yummy as well as the tartar, spinach and bean salad was very good...everything is so fresh and tasted wonderful.
Service was good.
Great place for a date or with a big group of friends.

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Granville Street is becoming cool again
By cocktailia of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 7:12pm [Dine in]

let me start by saying that granville street isn't that scary crack-haven infested area, littered from side to side with porn shops anymore... now, it seems that the inevitable crowding of international tourists during the upcoming olympics has pushed the city into "clean up the crack" mode. granville street looks great, it's really coming along. walking with some friends by SIP lounge, we saw the entrance to the refinery - a place i have heard much about over the past several months through reviews, including a glowing article in the globe and mail last week. i walked up, not realizing that this was actually the very place i spent countless nights years ago at the sugar refinery. now, a fully green and sustainable space, boasting all market-fresh cheese and charcuterie, the refinery reminds me of a sea-side eatery in europe somewhere - unpretentious, comfortable and delicious. i have been to both salt and au petit cavignole before, and both are great restaurants. the things that really separated the refinery though (apart from the fact that i think every neighbourhood needs a cheese and meat place) was the fact that there was a dedication to the environment, really super nostalgic 80s-90s music, boutique canadian wines other than joiefarm, and finally a cocktail presence that i instantly fell in love with. the servers were funny - running around in the their vests and converse - they looked the cast from "grease". chad - our server in particular - was hilarious. there were about 20 people in the room when i got there - great energy! in the end, i thought the portions were bigger than the other places i had been to previously, and the flatbreads were AWESOME. try the sopressata one - it's to die for. go granville go!

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