We've heard so much about the renovations at the Galvez that we got there as soon as possible. And to be sure we wouldn't miss anything, we went twice: once to try out the bar, and once the sample the restaurant.
They have given the entire bar and dining area quite a makeover! Decor is beautifully done and the space is visually very open. Colors are island-tropical and pleasing. The two areas are nicely juxtaposed. The bar itself is gorgeous. Visitors can sit there, or in the comfortable seating nearby.
Because it is, after all, a bar, we began with a bottle of an excellent Cabernet by Esser from an extensive wine list. My three companions and I chose a variety of bar offerings so we could sample as many as possible. Our choices included two "Bar Sliders:" crispy chicken with red hot Texas sauce, and Filet Mignon with horseradish cream. Both came with very thin french fries. (I had to test the fries several times to make sure they were as tasty as I thought.) A third choice was the barbecue chicken quesadillas, of smoked chicken, three cheeses with pico de gallo and sour cream. And I ordered Fish Tacos, spicy hot with very fresh fish. A small salad came with the quesadillas and tacos. Everything we tasted was absolutely delicious. Servings were generous and this was not just finger food, but real dining at quite reasonable prices. Service was excellent.
We finished by sharing a piece of key lime pie. It was enough for all to savor, and was unanimously determined to be among the best we have ever had. Topping was a lime sauce giving just a hint of mint.
We wait a couple of weeks to visit was to the restaurant itself. The dining area is bright and airy and family-friendly. Because we had enjoyed the Esser Cabernet at our earlier, with stayed with that choice for dinner. The menu is limited but has a wide variety of offerings from simple to ornate, including vegetarian options. My companion started with Texas Tortilla soup, which was well-prepared with a rich chili flavor, strips of tortilla, cheese, and chunks of avocado. He was quite pleased with it. I had the Galvez House Salad, a lovely mix of organic greens, apple, spinach, and cheddar cheese, topped with a spicy basic-garlic vinaigrette and sugared pecans. I am a salad connoisseur and adored that salad.
For his entree my companion selected the 8 ounce angus filet, which was served medium-rare according to his request. It was tender and topped with a tasty ancho-spiked sauce. His grilled vegetable accompaniment was big chunks of squash, peppers, mushrooms, and asparagus, nicely presented. I ordered grilled snapper from the fresh fish menu, without a topping. It was prepared nicely enough but probably would have benefited from one of the toppings. My vegetable choice was scalloped potatoes, which were delicious.
To keep with tradition, we ordered peach cobbler for dessert, served with Blue Bell ice cream. The serving was a surprisingly large and fabulous, almost more of a crisp than a cobbler but totally wonderful.
To sum up both experiences, we enjoyed the restaurant and were wowed by the bar food. I highly recommend trying either or both. Our thanks to the Galvez for updating this Island treasure.