Alchemy mixes character, style and taste
October 10, 2013 12:00 AM
Alchemy Café in Murphys is a place with a comfortable but distinctive character. The long, rustic wooden bar; open beam, vaulted ceiling; and fireplace tucked in a corner make it easy to unwind and enjoy. The main dining area has a rather large opening to the patio, which is well protected from the elements and has bistro tables and heaters.
We were greeted with a friendly smile and seated in a prime location to listen to the guitarist on the patio. The waitress told us the day’s special and brought us Gold Nugget Cheese Bread. The bread is enough to make you come back! The topping is a mixture of butter, kernels of corn, green onions, serrano chiles, garlic, cilantro, white cheddar and parmesan cheese spread on ciabatta bread and baked until golden brown. Check out the recipe on their website; your taste buds will be happy.
We ordered the Marinated “Almost Boneless” Half Chicken ($17), charbroiled and pressed under a brick, with creamy herb rice pilaf and snap peas. Also, one of the day’s specials, Paella ($23), cooked in a cast iron skillet with scallops, chorizo, mussels, peas and saffron.
The chicken was an ample portion. It had a delicate but flavorful marinade and was very moist. The rice was good but what really made it pop was the creamy herb sauce under it. The snap peas were a bit too buttery for us but, on the other hand, it made the snap peas glisten and the bright red cherry tomato look like a Christmas ornament on a tree.
The paella was cooked to perfection and also was served in an ample portion. The scallops were tender and moist, the chorizo did not overpower the mussels and of course saffron added a beautiful color. The dish was presented like a master piece. At the end of the meal there was not a morsel left in the skillet, only empty mussel shells.
As though we didn’t have enough to eat, we decided to order dessert. The Coconut Caramel Cream Pie ($8) is not what we expected. This was the dessert of desserts, the Tower of Pisa (not leaning!), Empire State Building on a plate. It was a fluffy, pillowy pastry with bruleed coconut cream custard and caramel sauce, layered and repeated.
Yes, it was fantastic and absolutely a two-person dessert.
Other entrees on the menu include Cranberry-Balsamic Glazed Salmon ($19), Seafood Pad Thai ($22), Angus Beef Ribeye ($25) and Ultimate Meatloaf ($16), just to mention a few. Alchemy also serves appetizers and lunch, and it has a wine and beer bar.
Alchemy has a market under the same roof. According to their website they specialize in local wines and have an extensive selection of beers. The Market is open 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sundays.
Questions? Comments? Contact LENS Editor Robin Nichols at (209) 546-8274 or [email protected]
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