In Menemsha? Catch a bite at the Galley

A selection of menu items from the Galley on Menemsha Harbor. — Photo courtesy of Menemsha Galle

If you find yourself in Menemsha, perhaps for a midday stroll or an evening sunset, treat yourself to a bite at the Galley, conveniently located on North Road next to the Menemsha Market.

Now in its 17th year, the Gallery was purchased by Frank Fenner, former Chilmark selectman, his wife Merrily and sister Barbara, and has been a seasonal fixture on the picturesque Menemsha Harbor ever since.

Galley’s reasonably priced fare ranges from soft-serve ice cream to specialty sandwiches created by Barbara “Barbie” Fenner, a trained chef and Culinary Institute of America graduate. Barbie’s culinary resume began as a teenager working at the Dunes restaurant, and in meat and fish markets on-Island. After culinary school she worked at the Navigator restaurant in Edgartown (now the Atlantic) then opened the Outermost Inn in Aquinnah with the Taylor family, where she was a chef for 10 years. When she and her family had the opportunity to buy the Galley, the rest was history.

In an email to The Times, Merrily described her sister-in-law Barbie’s passion for food: “Caring about the quality of food has been her life, and though Islanders simply know her as ‘chef,’ few are aware of the history of her professional qualifications.” In 2014 Barbie’s food helped earn the restaurant Yankee magazine’s Editor’s Choice for Best of New England in the category of casual dining.

The Galley’s menu highlights include its delicious lobster roll (a deal at $11.95, including a bag of chips), Barbie’s homemade chowder (also reasonable at $6.95 for 12 oz.), fresh swordfish sandwiches, and specialty burgers. The newest item on the menu is the beet and kale veggie burger, and daily specials often feature crab cakes, a white bean and artichoke sandwich, and an eggplant and red pepper sandwich. Many daily specials often make it on the permanent menu due to their popularity and there are also many vegetarian options, including a side of kale and brussel sprout salad for a mere $3.

And then there’s the ice cream. No Menemsha sunset is complete without everyone’s favorite summer sweet. Treat yourself to a Galley sundae with hot fudge or butterscotch, walnuts, and whipped cream (and of course a cherry), or stick to a soft-serve cone with sprinkles or cherry-dipped.

The Galley, 515 North Road, Chilmark. Open seven days a week through Columbus Day, 11 am to 8 pm for full menu; ice cream available until 9 pm. For additional information, call 508-645-9819 or visit