Huntsville residents and visitors are already familiar with the excellence and culinary expertise of Chef James Boyce in his three notable restaurants in the city: Cotton Row, Commerce Kitchen and Pane e Vino (in the Huntsville Museum of Art). Four years ago, in the fall of 2014, Chef Boyce took his talents to Birmingham and established his 4th winning restaurant in the Highlands section near UAB and downtown.
Galley and Garden at 2220 Highland Avenue South, is the stunning result and is a place I would highly recommend for dinner Monday through Saturday, for lunch Monday through Friday or for brunch on Sunday. Galley in the title refers to the gleaming, open kitchen visible from the dining room, and the carefully-tended garden is evident as you reach the front of the property. Depending on the season, you are likely to see blackberries, lettuces and an extensive selection of herbs which you are sure to find gracing the dishes inside.
Galley and Garden is housed in what was originally the Merritt House which was built in 1908 and later was a restaurant called Veranda on Highland. Chef Boyce, his wife and partner Suzan and a couple of other investors in Birmingham remodeled the building and completely revamped the menu and restaurant’s concept. Guests now walk into tasteful shades of taupe and gray with lots of black and white. Pristine white tablecloths, gleaming china, silver, stemware and candlelight set the inviting tables.
Steve and I shared an anniversary there several months ago — cornmeal crusted oysters for an appetizer, the evening’s special of fresh snapper for our entree and vanilla bean creme brulee for dessert. Steve enjoyed their signature blend of coffee and pronounced it “awesome.”
Our service was friendly and attentive, and we enjoyed the lively vibe and setting very much. Keep Galley and Garden in mind the next time you are in Birmingham or when you want to drive into the city for a special occasion.
By the way, drive to the back of the large building to find parking if you can’t find a space on the side streets.