Happy October! Even though the leaves are changing, the apple crisps are being produced in droves, and the pumpkin spice craze has reached a fervor that makes me wish pumpkins were extinct, this post covers a meal I had over the summer. While I promised Fall posts when I discussed my meal at Mother’s Ruin, I was a little bit of a liar since I had one more beach meal waiting in the wings. Before we can finally move into the Fall, I wanted to share my thoughts on 14 Global, a tiny spot located right in the heart of Bethany Beach.
This restaurant focuses on the flavors of the world and really takes the best elements of each type of cuisine to create cohesive, enjoyable plates. Before I get into the food aspect of the meal though, I have to start with the real stars of the evening: the people sitting outside with us. This older group of four included a woman whose dress was halfway unzipped, a boozed up wife, and a man who kept making a slew of unfunny jokes that touched on everything from his wife to how drunk he was. The waiter was pretty uncomfortable, but I found it hilarious, especially when they had such a hard time getting out of the roped-off outdoor dining area we were all sitting in.
Though these diners were real champions, I was still concerned about the food we would be having. Since this was one of the last locations that we checked out this season, I was craving some fantastic summery food and drink. To begin with, I ordered the Global Smash while my mom went for the Red Sangria. Both of these cocktails were out of this world and I’m sure my words will do them no justice. My cocktail overflowed with some of the best ingredients, including muddled basil, blueberry puree, blue vodka, Saint Germain, agave nectar, and honeydew-cucumber infused rum. It was full of flavor and incredibly vibrant on the tongue. Instead of all the ingredients getting lost in the drink, they all played off of each other and made a memorable cocktail. The sangria was a bit more appropriate for autumn with a fruity Malbec as the base and loads of cinnamon spice. I am passionate about the world of drink in general, whether that be a big, bold wine or a complex cocktail, and I can assuredly say that these were some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying.
As always, there were a few appetizers that caught our eye. The one we ended up splitting was the Cheese & Charcuterie Board that came with three meats, three cheeses, and a number of flavorful accompaniments. All of the cured meats and cheeses had great flavor to them and each highlighted a number of different flavors, such a nuttiness and creaminess. However, we were only served two meats instead of three, and when the board was placed in front of us, nothing was explained. The blue cheese was easy to pick out, but everything else on the plate was a confusing jumble. To make it all a bit worse, the waiter didn’t come back until we were finished, so there was no way to figure out what was what. It was a bit frustrating, but it was something that could easily be fixed with some better training of the staff.
We’re never just happy with one appetizer, though, so my mom and I picked out two more small plates to satisfy our need to taste it all. I went for the Global Soup Trio which provided a sampling of all three of the soups offered at this restaurant. By far, my favorite of the three was the Wild Boar Chorizo & Sweet Corn Chowder. It had some great smokiness and spiciness from the chorizo and jalapeno, but it was balanced by the sweetness of the corn. This creamier soup might not be what most people would want in August, but it was good enough that I didn’t really care what time of year it was. As far as the other soups go, the Chilled Honeydew-Cucumber & Avocado Soup was pleasing and had a nice tartness to it, but wasn’t quite as memorable as the first while the Sweet Potato & Lump Crab Bisque was incredibly bland and served cold. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t waste my time with the latter two and would just go straight for a full-sized serving of that powerful chorizo chowder that impressed me with my first bite.
The final appetizer we ordered was the Global Street Corn because I come from a long line of corn-lovers. Sprinkled with a healthy dosage of cojita cheese, this street corn was just as good as others that I’ve tried. There wasn’t anything too fancy about it, but since it had such simple yet bold flavors, the corn was one that I’d imagine satisfies consistently. Out of all of the appetizers we tried, this was my favorite and I’d definitely recommend it to others.
After the appetizers, which were good though not perfect, we ordered our dinners and waited to see if the entrees would better the rest of the meal. I unwittingly participated in Meatless Mondays that evening when I ordered the Roasted Eggplant. This colorful dish came with sweet corn, tomato confit, shaved asparagus, and patty pan squash. All of these veggies were at the peak of their greatness to create a plate that pleased through flavor and texture. With just a bit of cracked bulgar wheat, herbs, and a buttermilk-cilantro sauce, this was a light, layered entree with enough in it to keep it interesting. I was absolutely blown away with every bite, and while I never thought these words would come in reference to a meatless dish, it was one of the best meals I’ve had all year. It was the one dish that I had no complaints about and since it left me so satisfied, I just wished every other element of the meal had been as thoughtfully prepared.
Despite my desire to constantly try new things and discover exciting ingredients, my mom is a bit more predictable. Like most of her meals throughout the summer, she went for a Grilled Caesar Salad and Filet. As you should probably know by now, romaine is all but toxic to me, so I stayed away from that. Nevertheless, the filet was pretty in pink and was something I wouldn’t mind trying without the lumps of croutons and creamy dressing. It wasn’t the type of entree I would bother ordering, but if salads topped with a protein are your thing, you’d probably enjoy this choice.
Besides a few missteps and some disappointments, I was generally pleased with my meal at 14 Global. The quality was there, but it could be so much better with an extra push in the right direction. The owner and chefs understand what food works well together and seem willing to try fun things, so if they could just perk up the waitstaff and refine some of the problems that I mentioned above, I think this restaurant could be a solid choice for downtown Bethany diners. With their desire to push boundaries, I hope 14 Global will stick around, and I can’t wait to stop by again next season to see what new things this little spot is putting out.