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Best new restaurant: Alchemy Elements

Since its opening last fall, Alchemy Elements has quickly become a popular gathering place and dinner spot for Harford County residents.

“The community has been really great to us,” says Debi Bell-Matassa, a Harford County local who owns the restaurant with her husband, Michael Matassa. “We live here and always have. We’re the hometown couple, and people really cheer us on and want us to succeed.”

Bell-Matassa and her husband also owned Alchemy, in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood, from 2010 until it closed last summer. When the couple opened their new spot, their goal was to create a captivating space where they could provide top-notch food and service.

With decor that Bell-Matassa described as comfortable, but “a little edgy and upscale” and a creative American menu, Alchemy Elements delivers in terms of space and food. But according to Bell-Matassa, it’s the service that really sets the restaurant apart.

“My staff is amazing,” she says. “They’re really nice people. They actually like taking care of people and are happy to be in hospitality.”

For example, she says, “If a guest comes in for the second time and says, ‘This is great, but I’d really like to see a bottle of Balvenie 17-year scotch,’ we order it.

“We try to make this feel like their place.”

Find Alchemy Elements at 528 Baltimore Pike, Bel Air. 443-371-7513 or

By Kit Waskom Pollard | For Harford Magazine
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