click to enlarge bartlettimage-pharmacy_9929.jpg

Photo by Rob Bartlett

The Pharmacy, by Loren Falsone & Dominick Tardugno, is as fun as it is food-focused 

The Pharmacy, a restaurant disguised as a throwback speakeasy disguised as an apothecary, is as fun as it is food-focused. For Dr. Phillippians looking for a change of pace from the pedestrian offerings along Sand Lake Road, there's really no better place. Chef-owner Loren Falsone, who was named one of Food & Wine's "Best New Chefs" in 2000, keeps things fresh at the Pharmacy, even amid the restaurant's yesteryear motif.

"We try to be forward-thinking in everything we do," says Falsone. "The Pharmacy is a modern take on a speakeasy – an ode to one of the most iconic time periods in history – but we strive to introduce new techniques and ideas in both our food and beverage offerings to keep things exciting for our guests."

Dominick Tardugno is the man behind the Pharmacy's cocktail program, and his stiff hand-crafted poisons are, like Falsone's creative dishes, an unquestionable draw. "We love to think out of the box," Falsone says, "and we try to adopt trends, then adapt them, to make them feel on-brand and genuine to who we are."

Much of what she learned came from an eight-year stint at Al Forno, the legendary Italian restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. The restaurant's owners, Johanne Killeen and George Germon, "were two of my greatest mentors," Falsone says. "I began working with them at Al Forno when I was 20 and I try to carry on their teachings by putting education at the root of everything that I'm doing here." And that includes teaching respect. "It's at the core – respect for the industry, respect for peers and respect for guests. We've taught our team to honor these practices, but our biggest blessing is that our staff truly believes in all these practices." Amid a rapidly changing industry, Falsone's ethos amounts to a healing prescription.

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