HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


First Nantucket Bay Scallops of the Season

Bought some this AM from Mercato de Mare on Salem St..delicious raw with a squeeze of lemon and a little soy for lunch; app of raw cherrystones at Haymarket made for a nice meal

J Hook is also carrying them.

I imagine they'll start showing up on menus shortly.

If you cook yourself, please don't overcook...raw or just a little heat

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Based on your visit, do you think Mercato de Mare will have any left this evening forpick up on the way home?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Northender

      I am so excited about this. Cherry St fish market in Danvers has them starting this weekend and I am making Olive's recipe Scallops with an orange and chestnut sauce

      1. re: Northender

        I could make a guess but I really have no idea, You could call them and ask them to hod on to them for you. I'm sure if they still have them, they'd be happy to put some aside for you...857 362-7477, Good luck!

        If they don't have them, J Hook told me they were getting them in later in the day...617 423-5501

        1. How similar are cape cod bay scallops and nantucket bay scallops? I think of the nantucket ones as tiny (circumference of a dime?) and supersweet. New Deal had slightly bigger (circumference of a penny) "cape cod bay scallops" for $25/lb. Made some awesome scallop ceviche (recipe on Helen Rennie's blog: http://beyondsalmon.blogspot.com/2006...)

          3 Replies
          1. re: heypielady

            I think we had this discussion last year about this time. If you ask a Nantucket scalloper, he'd probably say there's a huge difference..:) and in fact Nantucket is trying to "brand" their local scallops.

            I don't think the general public makes a huge distinction and last year a fish market was selling "Nantucket" scallops when in fact the season hadn't begun. After a little conversation, it turned out they were actually from Wellfleet..still delicious. Martha's Vineyard also has a cape/bay scallop season and the scallops from all 3 places are excellent.

            I'm looking at a dime sitting on top of a penny, and the difference in diameter looks like less than a millimeter...and that's probably the difference in flavor between actual Nantucket and scallops from nearby waters.

            What you want to avoid are the dime/penny sized scallops from China...not particularly good. You don't want to pay Nantucket/Cape/Bay scallop prices for those things..or any price.

            $25-28/lb has been the general price for the last few years..and all are super sweet.

            1. re: 9lives

              Ha! 9lives, I guess your right that a penny and a dime are not all that different in circumference. I didn't actually have any change in front of me. But something held me back from saying "nickel." It was probably my subconscious knowing that I got the good stuff. Those scallops were delicious. I popped a few raw ones in my mouth while preparing the ceviche per the advice in your OP.

              1. re: 9lives

                After new years you will be paying in the high teens tops. There's a glut this year and the economy is terrible. I had my first last night as well and they were small.

                There's already prices being thrown out there for less than $10 to the distributors.

            2. Garden at the Cellar currently (well, as of last Friday) has an outstanding ACK scallop appetizer. I believe raw, or perhaps sliiiiiiiiiightly cooked. Great tangy sauce.

              I don't usually care about such crap, but they were so beautifully plated, I wish I had my camera.

              Garden At the Cellar
              991 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              1. Neptune Oyster had a Nantucket bay scallop ceviche special when I visited yesterday (Sunday the 8th). At $14 it was quite a bit cheaper than most of the rest of the menu, but unfortunately I didn't notice it written on the glass until after I ordered.

                I did enjoy a wonderful plate of raw oysters and fried clams, however. As usual, Neptune was excellent. If anyone visits and enjoys the scallop ceviche, I'd love to hear their thoughts.

                Neptune Oyster
                63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                4 Replies
                1. re: rlove

                  Hmmm.... our local has scallops on sale for $7.97 a pound! And they're BIG ones and VERY tasty! I cannot fathom paying $28.00 a pound!

                  1. re: spazita

                    I presume you meant to reply to 9lives and not me, but I'll add my view that it is hard to compare regular sea scallops to Nantucket bay scallops. I love sea scallops, because I love putting a good sear and crust on my scallop, but Nantucket bay scallops are a unique enjoyment--sweet, tender, super small, and perfect raw. While perhaps unsuitable as an everyday-replacement to your usual scallops, Nantucket's are a wonderful treat.

                    FWIW, I pay about $19/lb for dry packed sea scallops at Savenors. A quality product (that is, dry packed, not soaked in a phosphate solution) isn't cheap.

                    1. re: rlove

                      I occassionally buy the sea scallops from Savenor's at the same price. Have you checked out Mercato de Mare on Salem St?

                      Sea scallops are priced the same and I think even better than Sav's.

                      1. re: 9lives

                        Hi, 9lives. No, I haven't bought from Mercato de Mare, but I like their quality in general. Savenor's is between work and home, so I can drop in easily, but I'll make a point to try the scallops at Mercato de Mare.

                        Thanks for the tip!

                  1. re: deweyweber54

                    Apologies, should have mentioned that this is an article from the Inquirer & Mirror (Nantucket newspaper) today.

                    Almost worth taking a steamer ride to the island to stock up.

                    $12 a pound for Nantucket scallops at retail.

                    Who has a cooler?



                    1. re: deweyweber54

                      I had the same thought..weekend trip to ACK and gorge on local scallops..:)

                      Bought some yesterday at Courthouse Seafood..$19/lb.. Not nearly as good as last week's Mercato de Mare...still good..not mindblowing.

                      1. re: 9lives

                        Market Basket in Reading 30 minutes ago.....$16.99/lb

                  2. I had some cape cod sea scallops from wulfs in brookline so amazing. They had ACK scallops for 20/lb and cape at 14.99/lb

                    1. Just a PSA to clarify prices you might see: Nantuckets at the wholesale level are much less expensive than years past - around $14 vs upwards of $24. The price will rise as the supply dwindles over the course of the season.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: almansa

                        Prices came up yesterday and today due to the wind over the weekend.

                      2. I stopped in at Court House Fish market on 484 Cambridge St, Cambridge and they had great looking Nantucket Bay Scallops for $18.99 per LB.

                        1. B&G Oysters has a nantucket bay scallop ceviche on the menu now, priced around $12.

                          Nantucket bay scallops denatured in lemon (I think), with two or three types of beets, slices of fingerling potatoes, and a horseradish crème fraîche.

                          I enjoyed it. The scallops were fresh and sweet and the beets made for an interesting contrast, in texture, flavor, and color. I did not detect any horseradish in the crème fraîche, however.

                          An excellent course after a large plate of oysters.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: rlove

                            Hi. I open scallops on nantucket for several fishermen... this year they are very plentiful, but not as big as we were hoping...they are averaging in size from about a nickle in circumference up to over a quarter. Shanty price is 10.50... hope it continues to rise! P. S.- any recipe that calls for more than 2-3 ingredients with bays is to much- they are so sweet just as they are. If you are using alot of flavors just go to sea scallops-.

                            1. re: islandJ

                              I hope it has risen for the fishermen recently - they are charging $28 per lb for them at Whole Foods River St in Cambridge - seems the same as last year and doesn't really fluctuate there from week to week.

                              1. re: rlh

                                it has risen to $13 a lb. to the fisherman. granted if they don't shuck their own they pay the shuckers 20% of there catch.

                          2. Make sure they are "Authentic" Nantucket Bays when buying them, they should be posted as such. There are other small scallops out there whose flavor does not compare.