Dining Out: Green Hill wins with food, river views

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It isn’t surprising that specialty cheese steak pizza, with Alfredo instead of tomato sauce, is so popular at the Green Hill Country Club restaurant.

Jim Hughes, who created the twist on an old favorite, is a master chef, one of less than 100 nationwide, explained Buz Carragher, managing partner at Green Hill, who is obviously proud of Hughes.

Twice every year Hughes, who owns Restaurant 213 in Fruitland, goes to New York “and cooks for the elite,” Carragher said.

He went to culinary school in France with Emeril Lagasse, and still cooks with him from time to time, he said about Hughes, who prepares selections for the country club restaurant in advance because he’s at his own establishment on weekends.

Hughes was personal chef to a king in Saudi Arabia and cooked for Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan.

“His crab cakes are superb. Martha Stewart endorsed them as the best in America. He is known for his Chicken Chesapeake,” Carragher  said.

For vegetarians, he prepares a curried vegetable dish and will custom make meatless meals at the customer’s request.

Among his desserts are tiramisu, lava cake and, occasionally, cannoli’s.

“A master chef means they are masters at everything. The master chef wears the tallest hat. It has 100 ribs in the formation and that represents 100 ways to make an egg,” Carragher explained.

The rumor is that chefs started wearing hats after Henry VIII discovered a hair in his food and, enraged, had the chef beheaded.

The country club has two restaurants. The Green Room is for casual dining and the formal River Room overlooks the pool and river and is popular for weddings and conventions, although Carragher said it’s reasonably priced.

Carragher explained the country club opened in 1927 as a yacht and country club and went out of business in the 1930s, until the end of World War II in the mid-1940s.

In 2012,  it  defaulting under a loan, and members bought the note.

“Besides the food, it’s the atmosphere that everybody loves. We’re open to the public and the view of the Wicomico River from the decks is spectacular. The river is gorgeous. People come for the view. They come for the atmosphere. We want to be like Cheers, a place where everybody knows your name,” Carragher said.

The restaurant is open all year, and staff is now preparing for the golf and wedding season.

Until June, it’s closed on Mondays. After Memorial Day, it will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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