TASTES

Cecil Whig - - JUMP­START -

but­ter was a spe­cially-made pump­kin-spiced va­ri­ety (Gen­try makes a new one ev­ery week), that doesn’t quite fit. It did melt like some­thing cream-based. The Vir­ginia green beans were de­li­cious, too, com­plete with a hint of smoke from the pork belly, I as­sumed.

I ended the meal on a plate of beignets with rasp­berry sauce on the side. In my 22 years, I had never eaten a beignet, so Wil­liams de­scribed them to me as kin to fun­nel cake, which was an apt com­par­i­son but inevitably un­der­stated. The dish came with six or seven and I ate all of them in a fever.

Who cares about great food in Ce­cil County? I do. Prime 225 has granted new per­spec­tive on what food can be, what food can do. Eat here and it’s well within the realm of pos­si­bil­ity you’ll feel some vague nos­tal­gia for me­mories you’ve never lived. As Wil­liams told me, a good chef treats a meal the way a good mu­si­cian treats an al­bum or sym­phony, the way a good painter treats a gallery ex­hi­bi­tion.

When I fin­ished my food, I asked about Gen­try, and whether I could talk to him. But he had al­ready left for the night, Wil­liams told me. Like a good artist, leav­ing his work to speak for it­self.

Is this kind of ven­ture prof­itable in an unas­sum­ing town like Ch­e­sa­peake City? That’s well be­yond my ex­per­tise. Even on Wed­nes­day night, how­ever, Prime 225’s dining room was just about packed.

“So many peo­ple have told us along the way, ‘This’ll never work here,’” Walls said. “But it’s work­ing so far.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHO­TOS BY JOE AN­TOSHAK

On the left, the shrimp and crab crawl cock­tail; on the right, cre­ole-sea­soned scal­lops. In the back­ground, you can just make out the small loaf of bread that came with dip­ping oil and pump­kin-spiced but­ter.

The red crab soup. The own­ers of Prime 225 have said that they want the restau­rant to af­ford pa­trons the kind of dining ex­pe­ri­ence they’d oth­er­wise only find in a large city.

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