Yesterday's Island Today's Nantucket
Volume 41 Issue 4 • June 2-8, 2011
now in our 41th season
In This Issue

Galley Beach - A Feast for All the Senses

When you think of lunch or dinner at the beach, do you think of chowing down on sandwiches and chips seasoned with sprinklings of beach sand washed down with soda and beer from your cooler while you watch out for marauding gulls and dogs?

Galley Beach has a much better way!

Galley Beach

Nantucket’s only restaurant actually on the beach, Galley Beach shares with Cliffside Beach Club an exclusive stretch of shore with powdery white sand.  This is the place to go for the island beach club experience without having to be a member.  Even the short trip to Galley Beach from downtown is enjoyable:  past the turnoff for Jetties Beach, past the backyards of multi-million dollar mansions on The Cliff, to the very end of Jefferson Avenue.  Nestled on the beach is your destination. 

Dining Room

The food at Galley Beach is a feast for all the senses.  Chef W. Scott Osif has been at the helm of this kitchen for David and Geoffrey Silva since 2005, and Osif’s culinary style and high standards fit perfectly with the Galley Beach.  He pays close attention to flavors and whenever possible uses locally sourced ingredients.

Galley Beach opens daily at 11:30 am for lunch that can start with a choice of nine appetizers and salads, including Colossal Shrimp Cocktail with Key Lime Cocktail Sauce, Roasted Eggplant, Jumbo Lumb Crab Cake, and Strachiatella Cheese.  Continue with a choice of six luncheon entrees, such as Steamed PEI Mussels, Chilled Beef Tenderloin, and Littleneck Clams Fettucine or three different sandwiches (including a fantastic Lobster Roll). 

For those who like to sleep in, Galley Beach luncheon menu also includes Eggs Benedict, Quiche, Three-Egg Omelette, and Baked Eggs and Caviar made with free range, organic Nantucket eggs from Big G Farms.  Breakfast at lunchtime is a tradition that goes back a generation to David and Geoffrey’s mother, who always served eggs out of the original Galley. 

In that sense, brunch is served every day at Galley Beach, but on Saturdays and Sundays, the restaurant opens a bit earlier and adds special brunch dishes that might include House-Smoked Salmon Crepes, Vanilla French Toast with Bourbon Butter and Fresh Blueberries, or Lobster & Truffle Scrambled Eggs.


Lunch, brunch, and dinner can be savored outside, enjoying the cool ocean breezes and digging your toes in the warm sand, or inside in the airy dining room where two walls are open to the beach.  In the evening, we like a little of both:  cocktails outside followed by dinner at a table indoors.
During our most recent visit, we started the evening greeting colleagues who decided to unwind after work by sitting in the comfy chairs and couches of the Galley’s Beach Bar, basking in the sunshine and sipping cool drinks.  Midway through dinner, activity in the dining room paused so all could watch a young man at a beach table propose to his sweetheart—she accepted, and applause followed.  As we pondered dessert, the sky was painted pink by the setting sun and the last rays of light added even more sparkle to the blue ocean. 

Marriage Proposal at Galley Beach

In just seven appetizers and seven entrees, Chef Osif manages to present a dinner menu that celebrates freshness and offers new taste experiences.  There are many delicious discoveries to be enjoyed at Galley Beach!

Half the appetizers on the early season menu are salads, a delicious way to usher in summer!  Chef Osif’s Spring Vegetable Tasting is different every time it is served, and his Roasted Beet Salad is a showcase for these earthy treasures.  Freshly picked lettuces are featured in the Bartlett’s Farm Organic Greens, and the Warm Salad of Chicories has the deep flavors of toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and bacon.

click on images for larger view
Country Pate

We were tempted away from the salads for our cold starter by the special of the evening: a Country Paté.  Prepared by Chef Osif from venison, pork, beef, and foie gras punctuated by locally grown wild mushrooms, the delectable meaty slices let us experience a range of flavors deliciously accented by crisp sourdough crostini, puckery caperberries, and kumquat chutney.  Suggested pairing: Zinfandel, Starry Night, Lodi, 2008

Oyster Stew

Chef Osif manages to combine land and sea in his Katama Bay Oyster Stew.  Our palates were set for a more traditional version, so we were delightfully surprised when the first spoonful of velvety golden broth revealed that this soup has a base of oyster broth and pureed Yukon Golds.  Set in the middle is a treasure trove of plump, fresh oysters, sliced potato, diced cucumber, and a dusting of chili.  Suggested pairing: Pinot Noir, Bourgogne "Vielle Vigne" Demougeot, 2005

Lump Crab Cake

Galley Beach has long been known for its sensational Jumbo Lump Crab Cake.  This enormous crab cake is loosely formed from pure unadulterated crabmeat, barely moistened with seasoned mayonnaise.  Chef sautes it till the crumbs on the top are nicely browned and serves it in a luscious pool of champagne beurre blanc.  The crab cake is garnished with a cool, crisp salad of julienne tomato, cucumber, and mint.  Beware: there is a very real danger you’ll lick the plate!  Suggested pairing: Chardonnay, Newton, Unfiltered, Napa, 2007

Calves Liver

A new addition to Galley Beach appetizers is Sautéed Calves Liver.  Nicely done, with browned edges and rare in the middle, this very tender and flavorful liver does not need to be smothered in onions or bacon!  The liver is set on buttery croutons made more delicious by soaking up some of the surrounding sauterne reduction.  Pickled grapes help cut the richness of this appetizer.  Suggested pairing: Tenuta Belgaurdo Mazzei Toscano 2003

Insider Tip:  It’s not listed on the menu, but the Galley Beach signature Pernod-Scented Escargot is still available to those who know to order it.


When the entrees arrived, our inside table was bathed in the waning light, adding a painterly look to Chef Osif’s beautifully composed plates.  Particularly stunning was the Butter Poached 2 Lb. Lobster.  The artistry of the plate is matched only by the artistry of the Chef.  The enormous curled tail supports a pastry puff that contains lobster meat, claw, and golden raisins.  Colorful cauliflower florets surround the lobster, and  all is bathed in a rich a brandy sauce.  The supple lobster, tender-crisp cauliflower, flaky pastry, and sweet pop of soft raisins makes this one of life’s finer pleasures!  Suggested pairing: "Venus," Donelan, Sonoma County, 2009


Another favorite of the evening was the “Wild-Like” Organic Chinook Salmon.  “Wild-Like” because it is raised in a natural habitat farm.  Favorite  because the flavors of the different elements — salmon, ginger, wasabi — absolutely shine.  The salmon, topped with a delightfully crisp and well seasoned skin, is cooked through but remains moist.  The ginger-scented rice is a winning accompaniment (how did Chef Osif get the jasmine rice to taste so strongly of ginger?), and the wasabi butter adds lovely color and flavor without the startling heat of wasabi.  Suggested pairing: Viogner. Pride, Napa, 2007


Chef Osif’s Porcelet Three Ways turns a standard into something exciting.  The acclaimed St. Canut Farm’s milk fed pork has a complex flavor profile unlike any pork we’ve tried.  This succulent and delicate porcelet is served as a chop, with farro, and in a buttermilk crepe with the shoulder and the leg roasted and pulled.  Fresh chimichurri accompanies all.  Suggested pairing: Syrah, T-Vine, Frediani Vineyard, Napa, 2007

Duck Breast

We think of smoked meats as a fall and winter treat, but we’ll happily partake of Chef Osif’s Smoked Hudson Valley Duck Breast any time of the year!  The smokiness of the tender breast meat is cut by a cherry reduction.  Fluffy quinoa tossed with chives and orange and lemon zests is the light and lively accompaniment.  Suggested pairing: Pinot Noir, Paul Hobbs, Russian River Valley, 2008

Creme Brulee

Desserts at Galley Beach are classic favorites:  Creme Brulee...

Apple Puff Pastry

...Chocolate Brownie (warm and homey from a family recipe),  Granny Smith Apple in Puff Pastry (simple and simply delicious), Chocolate Mousse, ...

Lemon Tart

...and their luscious Lemon Lime Tart

Triple Chocolate

This year we got to taste a new addition that we hope becomes a regular:  Triple Chocolate Fondant.  Despite the triple hit of chocolate, somehow this dessert does not weigh you down, and we loved the Hawaiian black salt garnish. 

Millionaire MartiniGalley Beach is the ideal place for any “Save the Date” event.  And this summer, starting June 5, you won’t have to plan your own.  Galley Beach will be hosting Sunday Cocktail Parties.  This Sunday is “Bubble-Q” guessed it, champagne, beer, and grilled food at Galley Beach.  Watch their website for upcoming celebrations.

Galley Beach

54 Jefferson Avenue  • 
508-228-9641, reservations suggested
Favorite Cocktail: Galley’s Million Dollar Cocktail
Favorite Table: The corner “celebrity table” often reserved far in advance!
Lunch from 11:30 to 2:30 pm • Mid-Day menu served 2:30 to 4:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday Brunch from 10 am to 2:30 pm
Dinner served from 6 to 10 pm  • 
Beach Bar open 11:30 am to 1 am
Entree prices range from $26 to $35
Restaurant Week Prix Fixe offerings at lunch and dinner June 7-13
Dress for dinner (sunglasses might be handy for early seatings)
MasterCard, Visa, Amex accepted


Nantucket’s most complete events & arts calendar • Established 1970 • © © 2018  Yesterday's Island • Advertise with Us