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The Refuge in Melville: First bites

The Refuge takes over the Melville space that

The Refuge takes over the Melville space that used to be Four Food Studio, Nov. 10, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

When Four Food Studio opened in 2005, it immediately changed dining out along Route 110, for decades the Death Valley of restaurants.

Now, its successor, The Refuge Food & Spirit, may do the same.

Almost no trace of Four remains. This has been a truly extreme makeover, turning the modern-to-futurisic dining areas into the equivalent of a Latin American-Italian movie set for a spaghetti Western or at least a Hope-Crosby "Road" movie. No two chairs match.

Two cuisines reign now. And much of the food is very good, starting with guacamole and empanadas, leading to paella and rigatoni and meatballs. Desserts: lush tres leches cake and feast-worthy zeppole.

In some ways, The Refuge lives up to its name. It will take you away from any boring days or dull nights. The blaring soundtrack makes that certain.

Party on.

The Refuge Food & Spirits, 515 Broadhollow Rd., Melville; 631-577-4444.