Alchemist Restaurant and Lounge: mostly good
Finally gave this JP spot a whirl. The good: serious cocktail craft, cool atmosphere, good music on the sound system, very good food at very fair prices. Best dishes were hot wings (not something I usually order outside of Buff's, but they looked good in the bar), a chicken and spinach soup, shepherd's pie, half a roasted chicken, grilled salmon. Was less impressed by the flatbread pizza (a little dull) and the pasta Bolognese (ditto). Reasonably priced, modest wines, lots of options for vegetarians.
The only off notes were service related. Owner and hostess were really on top of their game and pitching in on dining room service, but our server was of the "well-meaning but ineffectual" school, making several screw-ups and not really appearing to pay more attention after the first one. Annoying, but not enough to prevent us from coming back. Next time I may dine in the bar, though, to avoid huge delays before and between courses because our server couldn't seem to listen carefully (repeatedly).
We hit the Alchemist for the 2nd time just a few days ago.... again, noted the food was serviceable... the service not so much. Probably the worst aspect was that the wall next to us was covered in fruit flies, which the waitress admitted to being "a problem" for them that day. I hope they get that cleaned up.
Nonetheless, I find it to be pretty consistent in the food category over two visits, its not hard to park and there usually isn't a wait.
We've been twice now. The food was fairly good comfort fare, and we like Patricia the waitress. The first time I had an amazing cocktail, but time #2 the regular bartender was gone, and my drink wasn't nearly as good, unfortunately. The dining room is definitely chilly though!
Bring back Trip D's !!!! :)
For an xmas gift my friends want ot take me here b/c I am a surley old school JP person who is sad that all of the old dives are gone.. Jp is not hwat is was...Hang in there Galway House!
But I guess I have ot "get with it" and I will be open to try the Alchemist....
My single experience here was unspectacular. The service was fine, I guess, but my main complaint is that my steak sandwich and fries was not served hot. It could have been related to the fact that the room we were in was very drafty. The door to the outside opens right into the dining room. If you're there on a cold night prepare to wear a hat and scarf.
I have eaten at The Alchemist about four times. And from my own experiences and from friends' reports, the service really needs to be tightened up. I have had great, friendly service; surly service; and disorganized service, sometimes all within the same meal! They gotta look into this. I have had some very nice meals, however.