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Sep 16, 2013 05:37 PM

Coquilles St Jacques

It is Mr. Spy's Birthday, and he wants to forget the diet...

Where is the best Coquilles St. Jacques?

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  1. Assuming you mean the old-school French / New Orleans dish of scallops in cream sauce, that's a tough one. Maybe the Iron Gate in Belmont?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Is it a New Orleans dish?

      Growing up in Quebec I always assumed it to be regional.

      In QC the dish usually consists of more than just scallops; generally baby shrimp and chunks of white fish are included as well.

      1. re: OliverB

        It was / is a standard dish at "continental" restaurants across the US, which usually means it came out of the French / Swiss hotel kitchen tradition.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I've never had it at a restaurant, but my husband and I both remember our parents having big fake-looking scallop shells that they'd fill with small scallops, white wine, mushrooms, breadcrumbs and maybe cheese and garlic for "special" dinners. Sounds pretty bad.

          1. re: Glencora

            If made with good ingredients those old-school dishes can be delicious even if they seem a bit ridiculous by modern standards.

            1. re: Glencora

              Not bad at all, though the versions I recall had as you described plus Duchesse potatoes piped around the edge of the shell. Very different than Emeril's recipe.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Inded that's how we had them in Quebec. I grew up in Montreal but would find them on menus in the more rural parts of the province whenever I'd take a roadtrip up north. Makes sense as these townships usually lined the St. Lawrence seaway and so the catch was always fresh although I was never a fan. I too remember them in those big fake shells with the mashed potato like topping. They used to sell them in frozen packets as microwave meals in grocery stores too. I tried one once at a friend's apartment in college after a little 'jazz cigarette' and still couldn't swallow more than a spoonful! Yuck

      2. YES, that's it, RL!

        I found a recipe by Emeril:

        Look at the cream, cheese and calories! Who would DARE eat like that ??? Bet it is divine!


        1 Reply
        1. re: NapaSpy

          That's the only place I've heard of serving it.

          I think some of those old-school dishes might be better as memories. We had lobster Thermidor a couple of years ago and it was good, but the simple lobster with drawn butter that came with it was better.

        2. Thanks, fellow Hounds!

          I will pack Mr. Spy, Mama Spy into a car and head off to Iron Gate to sample the CStJ, but calling them first to ensure no fake scallops! If I get REAL ambitious, I will try Emeril's recipe to see how it compares.

          Earlier on, I found Angele in Napa served CStJ, but they have since discontinued it. (no demand? Too calorific?)

          Report follows, but we will all be a collective 30 lbs in weight!

          3 Replies
          1. re: NapaSpy

            "Coquille St. Jacques" is the French name for scallops, consequently the phrase appears on lots of French menus around here, but their preparations aren't what you're looking for. For example, Angele served them caramelized with sunchoke purée, broccoli, cauliflower, salsify, capers, and chili oil.

            1. re: NapaSpy

              Glad you found the birthday boy's dinner. I'll be interested in reading your take. I'd found this old thread, but nearly all the places mentioned therein are gone . . . except for Iron Gate.

              1. re: NapaSpy

                I bet Julia Child has a recipe in at least one of her cookbooks... Have fun!