When fresh and cooked just right, scallops are a delicacy and a treat. While they’re most often seared, the flavors of the scallop also lend themselves to other cooking methods, including grilling, stir-frying, to even baking. They also pair well with a variety of other flavors. Restaurants most often serve bay scallops or sea scallops. But no matter which they’re offering on the menu? These five restaurants know how to cook them just right.
803 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Everything is beautiful at this West Loop restaurant, from the decor to the presentation of the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Among the small plates, the scallops are worth diving into, as they have a melt in your mouth quality. Depending on the season, you may find such dishes as diver scallops on the menu (and served, appropriately, with Mediterranean ingredients like sun dried tomato pesto), as well as a unique citrus ceviche, made as it is with bay scallops along with mahi-mahi, shrimp, Alaskan halibut, and Nova Scotian caviar.
Girl and the Goat
809 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Known for its amazing out-of-this-world flavors, and inspired by fresh flavors of the season, it’s hard to go wrong with absolutely anything on the menu at Chef Stephanie Izard’s restaurant, where small plates reign supreme. (Plus, you’ll want to try just about everything on the menu). The scallops are no exception. That’s because the diver scallops are perfectly seared, and then complemented wonderfully with three sisters pecan romanesco, along with sunchoke and blood orange gremolata.
180 N. Upper Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60606
The 1950s-inspired restaurant offers all sorts of reasonably-sized plates of fresh seafood. While the scallop offerings vary, depending on the chef as well as the season, one offering you may discover is the scallop jambalaya. It’s served mixed with andouile sausage, scallion, and okra, over a bed of Southern rice. It’s an example of what the tavern does best: fresh seafood mixed in with wonderful flavor combinations.
Related: Best Seafood Restaurants in Chicago
Devon Seafood Grill
39 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
You’ll find surf and turf aplenty at this grill restaurant on the Near North Side. The extensive menu is packed full of meats, particularly steak), as well as seafood. And if it’s scallops you have a hankering for you, Devon Seafood Grill gives you a few options, starting with a surf and turf combo of seared sea scallops alongside a fillet. Other options include a seafood bouilllabaisse, in which the scallops are one of many seafood ingredients, as well as hickory char crusted sea scallops, and seafood mixed grill — just in case you can’t choose among the many delectable seafood options!
35 W. Wacker Dr. (Leo Burnett building, first floor)
Chicago, IL 60601
Just as the Loop restaurant’s name implies, Catch 35 is all about a great catch of seafood (along with steak and salads). While their menu rotates depending on the best catch of the season, you’ll often find scallops on the menu. Start your meal off with a dish like Szechwan scallops, which are served with peppers, scallions, chive potsticker, and shiitake mushrooms. Entrees may also be available, such as the George’s Bank Scallops, which is a surf and turf dish of a kind, as its served with braised shortrib hash as well as caper aioli and watercress.
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Liz SanFilippo Hall is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at Examiner.com.