Peconic Bay scallop season opened Nov. 5, and it’s off to a strong start. Now the bivalves are making their way to restaurants and fish markets all across the Island. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation won’t “close” the bay until March 31, but, said fish wholesaler Bart Molin, “the peak of the season is really now through December.”
Molin, who owns Gra-Bar Fish in Westbury, added, so far, “it’s looking like a pretty good season.”
Long Island’s own sweet, nutty, briny little mollusks are a true delicacy and, because they are harvested in our own waters, they arrive at local restaurants and markets fresh. They take to all methods of cooking and all manner of accompaniment, from the simplest deep frying to the most elaborately plated crudo.
We’ve put together a list of local restaurants serving Peconic Bay scallops. Because the catch fluctuates depending on the weather and supplies are limited, not every restaurant will have them every day. And bear in mind that many chefs experiment with a number of preparations throughout the season, often changing them up on a daily basis.
At Schout Bay Tavern in Manhasset, chef Shawn Patrick sears them on the plancha and then naps them with a bacon-sherry vinaigrette. In Oyster Bay, Osteria Leana is cooking them with roasted turnips, hazelnuts and sage; 2 Spring serves them raw with black truffle, sherry vinegar and pistachios. Rothmann’s Steakhouse in East Norwich is baking them with Gruyère cream and truffled breadcrumbs. In Roslyn, Hendricks Tavern and Jolly Fisherman are broiling and sauteing them. All of Kent Monkan’s restaurants (The Brass Rail in Locust Valley, Heirloom Tavern in Glen Head and Wild Goose in Port Washington) are serving Peconic Bay scallops.
At Noble Kitchen & Cocktails in Oceanside, chef Pierluigi “Gigi” Sacchetti, is pan-searing scallops and topping them with aged balsamic vinegar and shaved black Umbrian truffles. Blackbird Kitchen & Cocktails in Wantagh is serving scallops in a beurre blanc sauce topped with Osetra caviar. Pomodorino Rosso in Valley Stream puts them over toasted farro with moscato grapes and brandy. Also on board: Franina and Rare650 in Syosset, Waterzooi in Garden City, Beginnings in Atlantic Beach, Wild Feast and Lost at Sea in Long Beach and Nautilus in Freeport.
At Off the Block Kitchen & Meats in Sayville, sous chef Radu Grigore is making a crudo with truffled ponzu and black sesame seeds. Coral in East Moriches is serving them with dried figs and black squid ink. Taiko Sushi & Lounge in Patchogue is serving them raw and cooked. Verde Kitchen & Cocktails in Bay Shore is plating scallop ceviche and tacos. Snapper Inn in Oakdale is sauteing, searing, blackening, broiling and frying them.
At Pentimento in Stony Brook, chef de cuisine Chelsea Taylor sears them, tosses them with lemon-herb butter and spinach linguine. PJ Lobster House in Port Jefferson is serving scallops fried, broiled, scampi- or Cajun-style.
Also on board: Sundays on the Bay and Centro Trattoria & Bar in Hampton Bays, Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue, Blackstone Steakhouse in Melville and NoCo North Country Kitchen in St. James.
In Greenport, Noah’s steams them in the shell with white wine and tosses them with linguine; Andy’s is serving them pan-seared, broiled and fried. Lucharitos (also in Aquebogue) is tucking them into tacos with cabbage and corn.
In Southold, Wednesday’s Table is making scallop banh-mi bao buns and will happily top your choice of salad with them as well. North Fork Table is serving them, too.
In Peconic, North Fork Shack is searing or frying and serving them with fries or quinoa salad. At Greenport Harbor Brewery, Greg Ling is making crudo; frying the scallops with salt, pepper and hot peppers; and wrapping them in cedar paper and grilling them.
You’ll also find the Peconic Bay scallops at Legends in New Suffolk, A Mano and Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck, and Tweed’s and Dark Horse in Riverhead.
In East Hampton Rowdy Hall is sauteing scallops in white wine, butter and lemon, and broiling them with a panko-parsley topping. Almond in Bridgehampton is searing them on the plancha. The Bell & Anchor in Sag Harbor sears them and serves them raw in a crudo. At Bistro Été in Water Mill, Arie Pavlou makes a ceviche with pomegranates, tangerine juice and cilantro, topping it with a lemongrass froth. You can “truffle-ize” it with white Alba or black Burgundy truffles. At Plaza Cafe in Southampton, Doug Gulija is “giving them a quick sear, then serving them over a cauliflower-white truffle puree and finishing with a clementine ‘piccata’ sauce and chive oil.”
AT THE MARKETS
Care to try your own hand at cooking Peconic Bay scallops? Among the local fish stores that have been selling them are Alice’s Fish Market in Greenport, Southold Fish Market, Braun Seafood in Cutchogue, Cor-J in Hampton Bays, Claws in West Sayville, PJ Lobster House in Port Jefferson, Marty’s Seafood Gourmet in Huntington, Jewel of the Sea in Woodbury, Gra-Bar in Westbury and Two Cousins in Freeport. John’s Farms in Plainview has them, as do the John’s Farms-run fish counters at North Shore Farms in Commack, Glen Cove, Great Neck, Hauppauge, Mineola, North Bellmore and Port Washington.
Call first to make sure Peconic Bay scallops are in the house.