Restaurants not along Water Street in Port Townsend tend not to get noticed as much, even if Washington Street is only a block north. But, you’ll likely see Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar because of two landmarks in the city: the classic Rose Theatre and the Haller Fountain and the stairs behind it that climb to Jefferson Street. Back in 2008, the location was occupied by Galatea Café that specialized in tapas. Alchemy has since taken over the spot and, though bistro suggests French cuisine, the menu reaches to boundaries beyond France.
As with many finer restaurants, the menu changes seasonally. Alchemy also sources its ingredients from local growers, which at least relieves the mind when it wonders where in the world the food is coming from. Happy hour (or what it calls Bar & Bites) is available in the bar daily from 4pm. And as befitting a wine bar, there is an impressive collection of bottles toward the back of the dining room near the kitchen. With the evening’s specials, there is even a suggested pairing by the glass or bottle, which we found to be spot on.
What looked appealing from the beginning was moule-frites, Penn Cove mussels steamed in white wine with linguiça sausage, fennel, and garlic, and paired with shoestring potatoes, but we weren’t in the mood for appetizers. And as we don’t cook lamb at home, I would normally have picked the lamb shanks, one of the kitchen’s specialties, except that the dish sounded more substantial than I wanted at that moment.
So, my wife and I both just selected something from the specials menu.
This is the season for wild Copper River salmon. Their fish was lightly grilled, perfectly cooked, the salmon’s extra oiliness ensuring succulent bites throughout (☆☆☆½). It was augmented by a terrific sautéed spinach. Complementing the dish was a recommended glass of verdicchio.
I ordered the pan-seared scallops. Listed on the menu as Colossal Scallops (☆☆☆) (which they were), they were sauced with a nice lemon-garlic vinaigrette. A glass of gros manseng was an excellent pairing.
Port Townsend has many good restaurants. Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar is among them.
Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar
842 Washington Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368
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