A consistent eclectic theme pervades Alchemy Café & Bistro, from the spacious restaurant's mismatched fabrics and assorted furnishings to each of the menus’ diverse selection of contemporary American cuisine. That eclectic culinary motif has served the eatery so well that Northshore Magazine awarded Alchemy the distinction of best tapas in the area. In the kitchen, the chefs are selective about the ingredients they use in each brunch and dinner dish. They meld these hormone- and antibiotic-free meats into entrees such as smoked confit pork belly tacos and scallop fritto misto. Designed for sharing amongst guests, the menu includes flavor-filled half-sized entrées and sharing platters, including one with steamed mussels fennel, white wine, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, house cut frites, and tarragon aioli. Patrons can dine in one Alchemy's many themed rooms, such as "The Cave" and "The Mafia Table."
The upscale casual environment, with colorful painting on exposed brick walls and leather couches surrounding candlelit coffee tables, also sees guests enjoying organic salads and tofu bites, which can be paired with a 2-4 cup pot of French-pressed coffee or one of several options from a locally-produced cocktail list. Alchemy also encourages guests to enjoy an after-dinner drink of bourbon, whiskey, or absinthe, or indulge with a dessert of maple bread pudding and flourless chocolate torte. Alchemy also contains several gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly options.
In 2000, an educational outpost named Maritime Gloucester was birthed to help develop sea-faring talents. In a little over a decade since, the popularity of both the venue's educational programs and exhibits have transformed it into a bona fide information source about Gloucester Harbor.
In addition to the center's weekly and daily programming, site tours, and special events, the on-site museum offers a maritime wallop. It gives visitors access to boatloads of exhibits and attractions, each of which celebrate Gloucester's storied relationship with the sea by delving into the city's maritime past, present and future. The Sea Pocket aquarium, for example, encompasses outdoor saltwater touch tanks where customers can handle specimens of local marine life. Boasting the oldest continuously-operating marine railway in the United States, the grounds also contain a working Dory Shop, a large wharf yielding striking inner harbor views, and an oversized 12-foot lobster trap that allows for human entry. One of the most popular attractions occurs out on the water. Captain Burnham sets sail in the 55-foot Schooner Ardelle, a replica of a fishing schooner built in 1845—the same year the underwater blimp, The Hindensplash, horrified onlookers by losing control and floating violently to the surface.
Dan Doke discovered his passion for photography as a teenager, eventually turning his beloved hobby into a career after purchasing his first studio in his 20s. After building a thriving business with portrait and senior-photo portfolios, Doke moved his studio closer to his family and began to focus on wedding photography full time. Today, the seasoned shutterbug dangerously overloads his mantelpiece with a wealth of awards and honors, ranging from a membership in the Society of XXV to his status as a Photographic Craftsman from the Professional Photographers of America. Doke’s polished black-and-white and color prints have graced the covers of more than 30 magazines, including Gala, La Bella Bride, and Studio Photography, and his expertise won him a spot in 2005 as a photographer at an inaugural ball for President George W. Bush, where he was responsible for capturing candid portraits of heads of state, governors, lawmakers, and dignitaries. Along with the team of photographers he has personally trained, Dan produces high-contrast, post portraits of families and pets that range from traditional outdoor and studio shots to high-concept editorials.
While the 90-foot long Thomas E. Lannon schooner boasts many impressive characteristics?including a 64.5-foot deck, a spacious 18-foot beam, and a resemblance to a 1903 sword-fishing schooner?none of them rivals the story of how the vessel got its name.
Before the ship was built in 1997, owner Tom Ellis was visiting his relatives in Newfoundland when he overheard them reciting stories of his grandfather Thomas Lannon, who had fished the Gloucester coastline for more than 40 years. On one particularly stormy day in 1908, Lannon and five other men set out into the waters off Nauset aboard two dories and rescued the crew of the capsized schooner Eric amid 70-mph winds. Each of the rescuers received the eternal admiration of the rescued men and a medal from the Massachusetts Humane Society, which Ellis possesses to this day.
More than a century later, the crew of the Thomas E. Lannon keeps its namesake's love of the sea alive by chartering an array of sailing voyages that have attracted more than 100,000 passengers to date. After helping raise the sails at the voyage?s start, passengers capture vivid views of Gloucester harbor's lighthouses, castles, and beaches.
Though it overlooks Gloucester Harbor, where fishermen haul in the restaurant's supply of fresh fish and lobster, the dining room of Latitude 43 feels like it's underwater. The hull of a 36-foot Coast Guard rescue boat hangs overhead, a 16-foot iron-and-glass octopus sculpture wrought by a local iron artist dangles above the sushi bar, and a harbor mural painted by local artists enlivens the walls. The aromas of coastal cuisine waft through the oceanic interior, signaling the arrival of dishes such as grilled local swordfish, more than 17 sushi rolls, and a host of non-seafood entrees that can be prepared in gluten-free or vegetarians versions.
Because a strong ecosystem produces healthy fish, Latitude 43's restaurateurs do their part to ensure earth's well-being with their green facility. Recycled materials compose the tiles in the kitchen and around the sushi bar, and the deck's sunshades heat the dishwasher's hot water while shading guests from the sun?s deadly laser beams. An oceanfront patio hosts feasts in the summertime, while a fireplace made from locally sourced granite keeps diners cozy in the winter.
In the center of Minglewood Tavern's acoustic space, a bar constructed from 180-year-old barn siding rises from the ground, with posts made from the dried trunks and branches of trees holding various drink glasses overhead. Bartenders swipe those glasses to fill orders of one of the 20 beers on tap, which rotate monthly, or to mix up one of their signature cocktails. As cold sips of icy drinks chill gullets, hot entrees such as hearth oven–baked pizzas or bacon-wrapped entrees travel from the kitchen to weathered wooden tabletops, arriving just in time to catch the end of a set from one of the live bands that plays Wednesday through Saturday or a rare glimpse at the one band that plays Wednesday through Saturday.
When the stage and mics stand silent, high-definition and projection-screen TVs pick up the slack, beaming sports games across the retrofitted bar. Each weekday night boasts its own food special, such as Monday's all-you-can-eat ribs and Wednesday's all-you-can-eat sushi.