Visited: May 2021 • New American Cuisine
Before heading up to Ashland, Oregon, I made reservations at Alchemy Restaurant & Bar, located inside the Winchester Inn. I perused the menu online, and although the menu was not extensive, it was certainly interesting. I read, “Alchemy offers unique cuisine, wines, and cocktails – showcasing the best of Ashland and Southern Oregon.”We arrived for out 7 p.m. reservations and were showed a table inside the beautiful Victorian building. The outside tables looked inviting, and I asked whether we could dine at one of those. Luckily there were still a couple of tables left, so we took advantage of their lovely patio surrounded by an array of colorful flowers and plants.Mary started the evening on a humorous note. After our wine and cheese happy hour, she stated, “I don’t think I’m going to drink anymore tonight.” When the waiter arrived at the table, her first words were,”I think I’ll have a Manhattan.” There’s a reason these two couples travel well together.
Our very personable and professional waiter guided us through the menu, and the food was spot on. Mary started with the Soup de Jour; asparagus and parsnip with Morel Mushrooms.
Tracy loved her harissa spiced scallops with fennel, orange slices and crispy prosciutto.I very rarely pass up a chance at a steak tartare, and I didn’t here. This delectable tartare was made with Bagna càuda (a hot dish made from garlic and anchovies, originating in Piedmont, Italy, during the 16th century). It paired perfectly with the grilled baguettes on the side.Our main courses were equally good, although one stood out among the others. On their long ago road trip, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby would have loved Tracy’s Moroccan Duck Leg Confit; maitake mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, along with preserved lemon & olive tapenade. It received a “Double Wow!” She thankfully shared a bite with everyone.
Mary enjoyed her Smoked Local Halibut; snap peas & baby artichokes, toasted quinoa with a San Marzano Tomato Glacé.Kim said his Dry-Aged Ribeye Steak; bone marrow butter, salad of parsley, shallots & lemons, plus some “peewee” potatoes was full of flavor, but he didn’t necessarily think it was a ribeye. I checked to see if he was correct, but he had already eaten it.
Like steak tartare I rarely pass up a bucatini cacio e pepe, but our server convinced me that the Lamb Osso Bucco; soft polenta aligot, grilled frisee and achiote-fennel mojo was tremendous … and he was right.
Our server also doubled as our travel agent for the next day. The group was deciding on visiting local sights or a drive to Crater Lake, and our waiter told us a blue-sky day was forecast, so it might be a good idea for us to visit Crater Lake. Good call!
During and after dinner Tracy wandered the manicured grounds taking lots of plant and flower photos …
… while I scoped out the bar area.
As you can tell, we all very much enjoyed our time at Alchemy Restaurant and Bar. If you’re in Ashland, and you’d like a great dinner in a peaceful and gorgeous setting, this should be one of your top choices
Alchemy Restaurant & Bar
35 South 2nd Street
Ashland, Oregon 97520
Thursday – Monday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Happy Hour 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.