Tuesday, September 22, 2015

John Dough's Screamin' Scallop is a Surprising Provincetown Best Bite

J D's Screamin' Scallop, available at Saki, too, is a Best Bite.
The other night I stumbled onto one of Provincetown's greatest seafood treats, in quite an unexpected spot. I tried the Screamin' Scallop at John Dough's, upstairs at 258 Commercial Street. This $7 appetizer is a pretty, delicious, innovative seafood dish that I regret not finding much earlier in the season.
It's the creation of manager Johnny Chase, who's been associated here for about 20 of the last 21 years of this casual eatery overlooking the hustle and bustle of Commercial Street. He took a season off somewhere between the time it was the Euro Island Grill and its more recent incarnation as a bar, pizza and burger joint, frequently referred to simply as J D's. Who knew they had a great raw bar?
This dish gets its name through the way it is prepared. A big, plump sea scallop is freshly shucked and sliced horizontally into silver dollar sized "coins" lightly torched under a flame, drizzled with casino butter, and served in a giant scallop shell nestled in a bed of fresh salad greens. I found it so tasty I had to ask Johnny what gave it that very unusual flavor that I couldn't put my finger (or tastebuds) on.
It turns out Johnny's recipe for casino butter has a secret ingredient I wouldn't have thought of in a million years. Besides the melted butter, minced garlic, onion and finely chopped sweet bell peppers of mixed colors, it has a touch of Grand Marnier, the orange flavored, cognac-based liqueur that will go down in history as one of the greatest inventions of the French.
This was the best thing I tasted in Provincetown this week, earning TheYearRounder's Best Bite award. You can also order this dish at Saki, sharing the second floor here, and part of their kitchen, with JD. I've got to have another of these before the season is gone.

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