Small plates were originally invented as lean-to bomb shelters during the Great Lilliputian War of 1726. Honor their delicious history with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of contemporary American small plates at Alchemy Cafe and Bistro, located in Gloucester. This Groupon expires June 16, 2011.
Alchemy Cafe and Bistro activates dormant taste buds with delectable brunch, lunch, and dinner menus served in a cozy, bohemian setting. With a focus on taste, originality, and natural ingredients, Alchemy's tapas-style new American grub is perfect for sharing with friends, family, or familial mailpersons. Unravel traditional notions of mixed greens with the deconstructed chopped salad, furnished with endive, pears, apples, olives, hard-boiled eggs, pecans, and apple-cider vinaigrette ($13), or transcend cultural boundaries with the Provencal platter, topped with olive tapenade, basil white-bean purée, marinated tomatoes, and toasted bread ($12). The local lobster cakes, stuffed with smoked paprika and red-pepper coulis ($12), can accompany the pan-seared sea scallops ($15) to a tabletop panel on the diminishing quality of deep-sea feature films. Morning munchers delight in the Sunday Bluegrass brunch (served 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Sundays), which fills ears with down-home tunes and sates stomachs with a selection of omelets ($8), eggs benedict ($8–$14), pancakes ($8), and more. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. Monday–Saturday, and dinner is served at 5 p.m. seven days a week. Alchemy's communal, welcoming space overflows with charm, class, and monikered dining nooks, such as The Cave, the living room, the brick room, and the mafia table, in which patrons are required to brandish their entrees as weapons. Reservations are required.
America's food has come a long way in the last few decades, and the menu at Alchemy is printed proof. Vegetarian-friendly and made with ingredients sourced from local farms, the restaurant's new American cuisine marries the flavors of an ever-shrinking globe with the familiar preparations and traditions of the United States. 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 spit-roasted duck and burgers topped with bacon-tomato jam and Vermont cheddar cheese. They also work with fresh seafood, turning the latest catches from Gloucester's shores into dishes including seared scallops served alongside a mild parsnip puree. Meals unfold within the warm, inviting dining rooms, whose wooden accents pair wells with a rotating selection of artwork from local artisans.