The Rehoboth Foodie visits this gem in The Quiet Resorts
Bethany Beach-raised Tia Sexton has paid her dues, coping with the ins and outs of restauranting. After 12 years at Magnolia’s in Ocean View, she proceeded to make a name for herself as bartender and GM at the insanely busy Agave Tequila Bar in Lewes. But Tia’s a DIY sort of girl, so when Bruce Kingston called it quits last year at Bethany’s Kingston Grill, she stepped in to make it her own. And that she has done!
The totally redesigned 14 Global looks nothing like its former occupant. Carved stone and wood wall designs blend with an eclectic mix of music as the illuminated-from-below onyx bar casts a soft glow on the guests — some of whom might begin to glow on their own after a couple of Tia’s potently delicious cocktails.
The menu is divided into sections: soups, salads, a la carte, dips/spreads, and small plates. Don’t be fooled by the term “small plates.” They are generous — at least half an entrée or more. So start with a couple and see what happens.
Sexton, Chef Shane Kellagher and sous chef/GM John Speziale love to tweak the menu to the seasons. One of the stars this time around is the Char-Grilled Hanger Steak. A teepee of grill-marked asparagus nestles up to a generous portion of delightfully charred steak, still pink and juicy on the inside. Cheddar and bell pepper polenta serves as a foundation for this traditionally Mexican cut, known for pairing with a hearty red wine. To that end, Kellagher’s finishing drizzle of port demi-glace is the icing on this beefy cake. I wish this one was on the menu year-round.
Our most recent visit to 14 Global saw one of my favorite Foodettes ordering the Sesame Encrusted Loin of Tuna. The sushi-grade fish was as much a treat for the eyes as it was for the mouth. Nutty wild rice, studded with black and white sesame seeds, is infused with softly sweet coconut. A sesame ginger glaze ties it all together. The panoply of tastes and textures is quite the roller-coaster ride, punctuated by baby bok choy sufficiently cooked so as not to be woody, but still bright green and easy to cut.
The reigning star of the salad department is the Duck Confit with Shaved Asparagus. This is the perfect dish to order when you want everybody to hear you ordering a salad. Yes, it sounds like a salad, with baby field greens frolicking with chopped garlic, shallots and basil. But that’s where the similarity ends.
The garlicky mix is topped with house-cured duck. The skin is parchment-crisp and tight, but the meat on the generous leg/thigh quarter is still unctuously delectable without being greasy. Now that’s a salad!
Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts graduate Shane Kellagher is the talented hand that assembles these delights. The 18-year-veteran chef comes to Bethany Beach from 32 Palm in the Ocean City Hilton Suites and the Marlin Moon Grille in West O.C. He also cooked for Chef Mike Stiglitz at Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach. In fact, he reminds me of Mike (could be the cap). That cap might not be an official toque, but his range as head chef is obvious.
Vegetarians and carnivores alike will enjoy the Roasted Wild Mushroom and Baby Beet Plate. A combination of maitake, hedgehog and honshimeji mushrooms takes the lead, surrounded by roasted beets and egg-shaped scoops of honey and herb goat cheese. I’m not a lover of truffle oil, so I’ll admit that I avoided the herb lentil vinaigrette laced with the stuff. But one of my vegetarian Foodies-in-Waiting scarfed it up so fast that I probably wouldn’t have gotten a taste anyway. We were lucky we got a photo!
The Pan-Seared Pork Belly is a tour de force. Shane certainly knows his way around bacon (my last dessert there was dark chocolate-dipped bacon, in fact!). Three substantial chunks of meat are scored, seared and then drizzled with a raspberry-honey gastrique. Sweet potato, bacon and brussel sprout hash forms the perfect palette for the savory and slightly sweet pork.
All these superlatives are starting to get on my nerves. But these people are indeed doing a fine job there in The Quiet
Resorts. 14 Global is at 14 N. Pennsylvania Ave., next to the post office. They’re open 12-12 in-season, but always call to verify at 302-616-1035. This is the beach, after all.
Let The Foodie be your designated eater at www.RehobothFoodie.com. He can be contacted (not at mealtime) at Foodie@RehobothFoodie.com.
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