As usual, along the way we ate quite a bit. I generally have low expectations for restaurants at the beach. Their seaside locations mean they can get away with lesser quality food and service than restaurants in the city. Bourdain said something once about the quality of a restaurant's view being inversely proportional to the quality of the food. In my experience, he was correct.
So imagine my surprise this weekend when we had some genuinely good restaurant experiences. They weren't all perfect - but what is?
So based on that, a few recommendations:
- Our Friday night dinner at Just Hooked in Fenwick was excellent. Some highlights: a flatbread with gorgeous tomatoes, cioppino with spicy chorizo chips, and nicely grilled mahi mahi over a sweet corn puree. Plus, a visit from the chef, apologizing because he thought my piece of fish (the mahi) was too small. He delivered a second plate - which I did not need, but the table devoured it anyway.
- We celebrated Missy's birthday at Catch 54, which was also the location of her rehearsal dinner with Seth four years ago, and her birthday dinner five years ago. Since the rehearsal dinner, the restaurant has burned down and been rebuilt - it's airy and spare inside, and a lovely waterfront spot. The best part of my dinner might have been the drink: a Catch Crush made with limoncello. The heirloom tomato salad was also amazing - and I took down a hefty portion of bright scallop ceviche.
- On Sunday, Cooper and I took Dixon to Dead Freddie's for a quick lunch. Is it the best food in Ocean City? No. But I had a very respectable cheeseburger - and Dixon couldn't get enough of the pirate ship playground.
- Sunday night, we met our friends Steve and Sheila (who live in Buffalo, but were in Bethany with Steve's family) for drinks and tapas at 14 Global in Bethany. Overall, this was probably the best meal of the weekend. We tried a million different things and most were successful. Go for the pork cheeks, pork belly, grilled mako and fried goat cheese, but stay away from the skate wing (the fish itself was disappointing). Cooper and I had a couple of very good (if expensive) cocktails, too. The restaurant infuses its own vodkas in house - the effort is worth it. My pineapple pico was fruity, refreshing and very interesting. The place is small and doesn't feel super beachy, but that's a small price to pay for genuinely good food at the beach.
It's tough being a jet-setter these days.