The first Monday of every November marks the beginning of Peconic Bay scallop season, the time of year that everyone who knows what they’re missing never forgets.
We — my best buddy René and I — stopped at our local seafood shop, Atlantic Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant, to get the scoop on this year’s scallop catch.
“Scallops were pretty scarce today,” says Dennis Donovan, the shop’s owner. “It takes the first day or two to gauge how the season is going to go. It will take another day or two to know how the season is going to look. A bushel of scallops begets six pounds of scallops after the shells and membranes are discarded.” With the results of the last two days, Atlantic Seafood is currently charging $25 per pound.
While this season may not pass the resurgent bounty of last season’s harvest — 100,000 pounds, the most since its peak in the early ’80s — there will be scallops. The price will fluctuate, dependent upon the harvest (and how far east you’re buying them) between $20 and $28 per pound.
“Some, old-timers usually, eat the scallops raw,” says Donovan. “They’re sweet and buttery.” Donovan made us up a plate of fried scallops (a staple dinner of mine from Braun’s when I used to commute home from Peconic last year) and sautéed scallops.
Take a 1/2 pound of scallops, remove the muscle and dust them with flour. Heat olive oil in a pan with garlic, lemon, sherry, white wine and butter. Place the scallops in the pan and sauté for approximately five minutes. Garnish with parsley, salt and pepper.
Atlantic Seafood Fish Market and Restaurant is open 10 a.m.–9 p.m. everyday, except Friday and Saturday when they’re open until 10 p.m. If you have any questions on specials, give them a call at 631.878.8406.