Fish Fry Review - Alchemy


I've been spending more time on the east side of Madison and as a result am becoming more familiar with the hot (and not so hot) spots on that side of town. One of the places I've come to really appreciate is The Alchemy.

Astute readers (and some stalkers) will recall that I've already sampled the fish at Alchemy... way back around April of 2010. It received a decent review, although it only landed in 28th place. Hmm.

Luckily for everyone (but most of all moi), my tastebuds continue to evolve, and I've learned to appreciate quality, local food more than quantity and/or value. As such, some of my very favorite restaurants these days include The Alchemy, Forequarter, Graze, and the like.

So while I've been eating the heck out of Alchemy's "normal" menu (and loving every bit of it), I hadn't revisited the fish fry. That all changed on Friday, May 24, when I met up with my cousin Leanne and her husband Jeff at the Alchemy. I was first to arrive and put in our name for a table.

After a brief wait, we were seated at a 4-top table. A friendly waitress refreshed our drinks, and we placed an order for the "grilled bread" and the chips and salsa. Within minutes, drinks arrived, followed shortly by the appetizers.

The grilled bread is a treat - it features thick slices of locally made sourdough bread, slightly charred and lightly buttered. Accompanying the bread is a spread that varies on a regular basis. The spread for this evening consisted of a hummus made from wild mushrooms, walnut, bell pepper, and seasonings. It's like pate, but without the gamey taste (or the animal organs).

The chips and salsa were both house made, and both were fresh and delicious.

We then placed dinner orders - I had the fried cod (with wasabi green beans); Jeff went with the cod (with fries), and Leanne chose a grilled chicken salad.

The fish was outstanding. No photos, sorry. It looked exactly as it did from the previous review/visit - big, thick, meaty pieces of cod, expertly battered and fried to perfection. With nary a sign of grease, I greedily wolfed-down my cod and stared longingly at Jeff's and Leanne's plates...

The beans are a treat. Crispy, warm, and dusted with wasabi powder - they're a welcomed alternative to fries (and probably a bit more healthy). The slaw was a surprise - it had a slightly Asian-slaw taste, with hints of sweet and sour. Totally delicious.

Service remained excellent throughout the night. And while the place is still cash only, the bill was more than reasonable - with drinks, appetizers, entrees, and drinks, we came in at just around $80 (for four people).

Alchemy = WIN

Food = 4.25 stars
Service = 4 stars
Value = 3.5 stars
MISC = 4.5 stars (still a super cool vibe/feel/look)

I can see them moving up quite a bit in the ranks... 11th sounds about right.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on May 29, 2013 9:34 AM.

A trip to the Bay was the previous entry in this blog.

Next year, I'd like to try the "Modestly Hilly" is the next entry in this blog.

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