In this instance, however, I felt compelled to attend. Having grown up in Switzerland, five minutes from the French border, I'm drawn to all things from the region. And knowing that Bernard Brunet, executive chef and co-owner, is French, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity.
That's how, over a selection of delicious menu items and wines, we talked about growing up in France and the vision he and wife/co-owner Shannon have for the restaurant.
Bernard jokes that when he and Shannon opened Global, people asked why they didn't name it "Chez Bernard". As a Frenchman with a cooking style rooted in French culinary technique, the name would have accurately conveyed Bernard's background. But, as he points out, it would only tell part of the story.
Shannon, who grew up in Boone, North Carolina, runs the restaurant's front of the house. Having met and fallen in love while working on a cruise ship, Shannon and Bernard spent years traveling the world. And while French culinary technique and Southern hospitality make up the restaurant's ethos, the source of their inspiration extends well beyond the boarders of their native countries -- it is global.
Focusing on seasonal ingredients and sourcing from local farms whenever possible, the menu includes an eclectic range of dishes from pickled farm deviled eggs to tempura avocado.
Over dinner, Bernard shared his vision for Global, "People think of French cooking as something fancy, reserved for special occasions. We want to change that." In addition to the formal second floor dining room, which is perfect for date nights and business dinners, the restaurant's main level has a sleek and trendy vibe seeking to appeal to families and couples looking for a more casual setting. As Bernard spoke, it occurred to me that I had always considered Global a great date night option but never thought to bring our children.
Although I may not have embraced my young fine dining experiences as much as I should have, I've come to appreciate how much they helped shape my love of hospitality and establish a comfort level in more formal dinner settings. And while my boys may not be as enthralled with Global's lamb belly as I am, I'm confident they'll be won over when they hear "pomme frites" and Hazelnut praline.