5137 N Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33603
Cuisine: American upscale
Features: Date night
Cost range: 10.01-20.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
More in this neighborhood: Seminole Heights
The Refinery is certainly Seminole Heights' most exciting culinary development since the opening of Ella's Americana Folk Art Café. Committed to sourcing local, seasonal and sustainable, they've got a weekly changing one-page menu of dishes that explore pretty much untrammeled ground in the area. Dishes show real moxie, with a decadent (read: caloric) streak running throughout. The restaurant itself is a sweet two-story house saved from demolition in 2000 when Hillsborough Avenue was widened. The menu's small-plate/large-plate prices, in the $2 to $20 range, make it an affordable Tuesday night impulse, especially if they're holding a "cheap date" wine night with select bottles for about $15. And the service staff — high funk factor and quick with the riposte — keep the proceedings far from formal.