Nantucket Bay Scallops, Ripe for the Shucking

Who needs bacon, anyway?Photo: istockphoto.com/bedo


Rob and Robin recently described, in mouthwatering detail, the nuances of Peconic Bay scallops. Our thoughts quickly turned to their Nantucket Bay cousins, which are currently appearing on some of the best tables in the city.

Dona is featuring a brand-spankin'-new Nantucket Bay scallop–and–bacon tasting menu from chef Michael Psilakis and his youthful chef de cuisine, Jason Hall. It begins with the scallops and house-made chicharrones marinated in lemon zest and olive oil and garnished with shiso leaf. Then come poached scallops served in a cauliflower-and-black-truffle velouté, with Allen Benton's famously smoky bacon. Finally, they're roasted in guanciale, garnished with pickled crones, and buttered with a tiny bit of dry vermouth.

Esca is serving raw Nantucket Bay scallops prepared in fresh chervil, olive oil, and salt, as well as an appetizer of seared scallops with celery root and northern spy apple.

Drop into Hearth for an appetizer of NBS pan-seared with three kinds of salsify: pan-roasted roots that resemble batons; fried slivers that look a lot like chips; and a version wrapped in prosciutto and slowly braised, thus playfully disguised as bacon-wrapped scallops.

Ben Pollinger at Oceana is preparing a simple seviche appetizer, with fresh hearts of palm, wakame seaweed, and pomegranate coated in a cider-lime glaze.

Le Bernardin is serving the scallops raw with pickled golden beets and cucumbers (the beet broth quickly cures the scallops). Also on the menu: a canapé of lightly poached scallops with lemongrass vichyssoise.