James Boyce cut his culinary teeth at New York’s Le Cirque, where he worked for six years. Then following more than two decades of culinary accolades, the seasoned chef and his wife/business partner, Suzan, relocated to Huntsville in 2008, where they opened several popular downtown restaurants. A two-time nominee for the James Beard Award, Chef Jimmy also appears regularly on “The Today Show.” The duo’s most recent venture is Galley & Garden, located in the former Veranda on Highland space, which brings Boyce’s highly acclaimed culinary skills to the Magic City.
As with all of the Boyce restaurants, Galley & Garden blends the past and the present with the food and atmosphere notably infused with Southern charm and inspiration. We recently had dinner there, and were thoroughly impressed with the distinctive cuisine and charming hospitality. The food was divine, the atmosphere warm and inviting, and Chef Jimmy and his staff made us feel as though we were old friends.
Extensive renovations to the historic Merritt House, which was built in 1908, applaud the elegant architecture of the original home, and the decor is refreshingly modern and chic. Past and present meld beautifully to create a unique dining environment that offers the ambience and hospitality of the original great home. Upholstered chairs and banquettes make for comfortable and attractive seating. Couple that with the marble countertop of the expansive bar, and you have a refined elegance suitable to this historic home and the fine dining setting it is today.
In addition to the gorgeous interior renovation, the food is just as fabulous. The menu changes seasonally, so fresh, locally sourced fare is always at its peak. We feasted on Maine lobster risotto, baby beet salad and roasted Culver Farms duck breast served atop a savory white bean cassoulet with artichokes and charred Romanesco. And no, we didn’t stop there …
For dessert, we indulged in a luscious crème brûlée with a honey lavender-infused ice cream. Everything was prepared perfectly, and our waiter was attentive, but not at all overbearing. After dinner, we saddled up to the bar. Why? Because we just weren’t ready to leave this warm and welcoming place. There was a lively crowd, and we saw several familiar faces.
Below is a sampling of the decadent variety of menu options at Galley & Garden:
Whether just for drinks, a date night or a gathering of friends, we plan to return here often!
Galley & Garden is located at 2220 Highland Ave. South, Birmingham. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m to 10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For reservations, call (205) 939-5551.
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