I love this place. This sassy little spot is niched between more than a few trendy restaurants, conveniently located among Hampden’s 36th the Avenue haunts. Why do I love it so much? It’s innovative. Superb food. Great menu options. A sophisticated wine program. That’s what their website says, and that’s what it is. For you beer and spirits types, a witty “Liquid Culture” list is available.
Alchemy, thou callest my name.
Currently, on Tuesdays, Alchemy offers a 3-course dinner menu for $25. It’s a lovely, inspired menu — that better yet — delivers. In the past, I’ve had the House Cured Salmon Plate. I hate to gush, but it was the best. The fact is, I’m thinking about it now. We paired the salmon with a Pinot Noir that was recommended by Somm and Pastry Chef Debi Bell-Matassa.
Bell-Matassa co-owns Alchemy with Executive Chef Michael Matassa, both of whom hold credentials that are seriously prestigious. In addition to Alchemy, they co-owned the popular Fusion Grille of Harford County, an establishment of which, I’m sorry to say, I was unaware. The third chef in this trifecta (!) of superb (there’s that word again) cuisine is Trinity Fisher, a classically French-trained executive sous chef.
On this particular Wednesday when my niece Jennifer was in Baltimore, we stopped by Alchemy to participate in a blind wine tasting. These blind tastings are scheduled each Wednesday of the month. Here’s how it works: 3 wines, 3 nice pours for $10. This is a good deal. Or it’s a great deal, because did I say these are nice pours? If you guess the 3 wine varieties, you win a dinner. Additionally, if you guess the regions from which the wines were produced, you win a 2nd dinner for your guest.
Bell-Matassa stopped by our table, and we talked wine. This is a delightful opportunity if you love the grape. She knows what she’s talking about, and she’s open to discussion. This was fun.
Menus are subject to change, and I wish I could replicate the exact menu, but alas, I cannot. As close as I can report the main course, I had beef tenderloin over smashed potato, topped with jumbo lump crab and a chocolately sauce drizzled around the plate. My niece had seared scallops topped with a bacon mixture, and pickled onion served over creamy polenta. For dessert we shared a generous portion of bread pudding with the most incredible creamy bourbon sauce and a glass of tawny port. Of course. Port.Alchemy Modern American Eatery
1011 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211
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