The Refuge - Food & Spirits - Melville, NY
One of my favorite restaurants when I first moved to Long Island was Four Food Studio in Melville. I loved the atmosphere and especially enjoyed the DJ and dancing aspect. I actually celebrated my 30th birthday there and brought all my Brooklyn girls to Long Island to celebrate. Over the years, Four Food Studio started to decline and was not really drawing in the crowds. The owners decided to close the doors on Four Food Studio and completely renovate the space. The new restaurant is called The Refuge.
Four Food Studio’s décor was modern and sleek, whereas, Refuge is warm and rustic. The menu at Four Food Studio was based on seasonality and would change, as the name suggests, four times a year. The menu at The Refuge is a twist on Italian and Latin cuisine.
My first experience dining at The Refuge was not a good one. I came with a couple of my girlfriends in the winter, so of course we were wearing winter coats. There was no coat check and the bar was extremely crowded. There is nothing worse to me than standing by a bar holding my coat. I cannot truly relax and enjoy myself. Unfortunately, when you enter a restaurant and are already turned off, it is hard to get back to a good place. The food was nothing special and I did not think I would ever return.
About a year ago I was reading a post about great restaurants for brunch and The Refuge was listed as one of the restaurants. I decided to give it another try and it far exceeded my expectations. The brunch menu is truly unique and features items I have never heard of before. In addition to the amazing menu, I just found out that on Sundays from 11-3, The Refuge allows leashed dogs for brunch on the patio. The Refuge will also serve complimentary treats and refreshments for your dog!
The dishes are pretty large at The Refuge so my husband and I decided to each order our own dish and then share them. My husband ordered the Bacon Cranberry Corn Pancakes. The pancakes are a perfect balance of sweet, savory and a little bit of heat. The peach agave syrup is so light and decadent. It is an essential component to this dish.
I decided to order the Huevos Ranchero Pizza. The pizza is huge so either plan to share or bring some home! The pizza is made in The Refuge’s wood burning oven so you get that really nice flavor on the crust. The crust is essential to being able to hold all the amazing ingredients on top. The Huevos Ranchero Pizza has a nice amount of heat from the chorizo and pico de gallo.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my son has a peanut allergy. Therefore, I always notice when restaurants go the extra mile for people with any dietary restrictions. In addition to the regular menu, The Refuge also has a plant based, vegan menu. All items on that menu are 100% vegan and contain no meat, shellfish, dairy, eggs or honey.
Although my experience with The Refuge starting out rocky, I can now say I am a fan of their brunch. My family (including Teddy) will definitely be back to dine on their gorgeous patio throughout the summer!