On the sixtieth anniversary of Galley Beach, David and Eliza Silva along with partners Scott Osif and Kevin Anderson and their team continue to reinvent the quintessential dining experience on Nantucket—and beyond.
When David Silva’s grandparents bought Galley Beach exactly sixty years ago this June, they operated the restaurant as a clam shack for members of the nearby Cliffside Beach Club, which was also part of the purchase. Beachgoers ordered hotdogs and burgers through a to-go window on their way down to the water. When Silva’s mother took over the restaurant twenty years later, she opened it to the public and began transforming Galley into an upscale fine dining establishment. With the interior design expertise of his wife Eliza, founder of Eliza Alles Interiors, David Silva has continued that family tradition at Galley for more than twenty years and has recently added two exciting new offerings to his restaurant portfolio.
A mile from Galley Beach, the Silvas teamed up with executive chef Scott Osif and Kevin Anderson in opening Afterhouse, a seafood and wine bar that has quietly emerged as one of the most enchanting dining experiences on Nantucket. The intimate space on Broad Street is set in a candlelit cellar that feels plucked from the French countryside. And in true Old World fashion, Silva and his team invite guests to stay a while and casually indulge in a highly curated menu that’s as unique as the space itself.
“If you were to put it in terms of poetry, Afterhouse is like a haiku,” Silva says. “Because we are limited by the size of the space, we have to make choices of what the poem is going to be. These limitations can create a really special place.” One line out of the poem is offering nearly every wine by the glass. The wine list dots the globe, from Bordeaux to Burgundy, Spain to Italy, New York to California, and many places in between. This summer, Silva has exclusive rights over Chateau d’Escalan’s new rosé called Palm, which will be poured at both Afterhouse and Galley. And for those who are just looking for a cold one, Kevin Anderson rotates in highly sought-after beers each week to accompany their drafts of Chimay and Carlsberg.
As for the cuisine, executive chef Scott Osif has created a small plate menu designed for either a light bite or a full-on dinner. Headlining the show is a bountiful seafood tower prepared in the Parisian style. Oysters are sourced locally from Nantucket and Cape Cod as well as from the West Coast. Perhaps most unique to the menu is Afterhouse’s tinned seafood: brined sardines, squid, white tuna belly and other fish each served in a tin and accompanied by toast and organic greens, which Osif picks from Washashore Farm. There’s also fishless options, such as thinly sliced Iberico Bellota, acornfed pork that’s been aged for four years.
While dialing in all these exquisite details at Afterhouse, Silva spends a lot of time looking at the big picture beyond Nantucket. This winter, he and Eliza along with Osif and Anderson made their first leap off island by opening a restaurant in Palm Beach known as Maven. Located a block away from The Breakers, Maven is an American brasserie and gastropub serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The historic space boasts a fifty-seat bar, a dining room that opens to the stars, and patio seating reminiscent of Paris.
With Palm Beach growing into the Nantucket of the South, Silva found many familiar faces waiting at the doors when they opened in January. After a successful debut, Maven will open again on November 19th to the delight of all those islanders flocking south again for the winter. In the meantime, Silva’s Galley and Afterhouse will continue to create unparalleled dining experiences that have become nothing short of family tradition.