Seared scallops are my favorite food. I'm not too crazy about seafood otherwise, but I just can't help but order seared scallops if they're on the menu. I love when they're tender inside and perfectly golden around the edges, in some sort of sweet and salty creamy sauce. I don't even mind a bit of gritty sand in there.
Where have you had AMAZING seard scallops? I don't want to imagine that someone has good ones that I'm missing out on. So far I think my all time favorite were from the Left Bank restaurant in OBX, but Woodberry Kitchen had great ones too for a local favorite.
Seared scallops, eh? My wife is obsessed with seared scallops, specifically seared fresh diver scallops the size of a tennis ball. In almost 30 years of heavy travel I also once found myself in Digby, Nova Scotia at the Kingfisher's Scallop House. What's notable about this is that Digby claims to be the scallop capital of the world and Kingfisher has won (you won't believe this!) local cooking competitions for the best scallops!
Similar to Texas bbq (i.e. best in TX means best in world) the best scallop restaurant in Digby is the best scallop restaurant in the world.
Both Citronelle and Present (yes, Present!) have scallops, I think, almost as good. Present's are fresh diver scallops with chopped peanuts and a bit of peanut sauce and scallions on top of them. My wife disagrees because she doesn't like the sauce. Her preference is Citronelle but I should note that they are not always on the menu there.
Black Salt, Kinkead's and others have also done a very, very good job with fresh scallops here.
I must note, however, that despite my "educated" opinion about scallops my wife passionately disagrees with me on this and time has shown that she is usually right. Of course I would add that she hasn't been to Digby.
She would say, "yet."
My wife, a life long scallop addictee, insists that I add that Black Salt has the absolute best scallops (of any kind) in the metro DC/Baltimore area. I, as a witness, can testify that for years scallops have been her priority in what she has ordered everywher we have been.
Question: will the new Michael Landrum seafood restaurant have scallops? Carol insists we will find out. Soon.
Not too long ago, I went to Gibby's in Timonium, bought a pound of day boat scallops for $13, went home, ate a few raw (so very sweet) then pan seared them with a little salt and pepper. Not much more you could ask for!
A week later, a friend bought some very large scallops at Costco for a lower price. These were commercial scallops that are water laden. No searing no matter how hot I cranked up the pan. Avoid.
I second Ray's the Steaks and Ray's the Classics. And here's a surprise entry: Matchbox, or at least the new one on Barracks Row. Really nice.
Like you, I'm obsessed with seared scallops. I had amazing ones at Teatro Goldoni. Oceanaire does all seafood so well. And I agree Bill on Cap Hill, Mtachbox does make a nice, and reasonably priced scallop appetizer.