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.”
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.