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Day Boat Diver Scallops at Aldea

We talk secret food markets & hangover cures with Chef George Martin!

The plates coming out of the kitchen at Aldea always look like masterpieces so the NY hot-spot was a natural fit for our next Illustrated Plate feature. We asked illustrator extraordinaire (for real, she’s incredible) Naomi Otsu to recreate their popular dish, Day Boat Diver Scallops a la Plancha. Drool over Naomi’s piece above and catch our interview with Chef George Mendes below!

Hello Chef! Please describe this dish in three words, go!
Sweet, bitter, and balanced

How can we make this at home?
The dish is so simple that it almost doesn’t require a recipe. We cook fresh jumbo diver scallops on the plancha using canola oil until they are nicely seared. We then wash and sauté hen of the woods mushrooms in canola oil, and peel and thinly slice a watermelon radish before blanching the slices in boiling water for five seconds. A dill oil, created by pureeing blanched dill weed and canola oil, is drizzled on top. We also dust the plate with a citrus powder, made by drying orange, lemon and lime zest and pulverizing until fine

Where is a secret food market in the city?
That’s a tough one! I feel like my favorite spots are no longer secrets! We love the Union Square Green Market, Garden of Eden on 14th Street, and Kalustyan’s for spices.

Everybody’s talking about spring, so which vegetable are you most excited about?
White asparagus, because it’s very unique and has such a short season; it never sees daylight. I’m also loving blood oranges. They’re visually appealing and have a juicy, sweet flavor.

Which reminds us, what cocktail would you pair with this dish?
I would pair it with our Araguatherapy, because the sweetness of the Benedictine will supplement the earthiness of the dish, and the rum will balance the fatty scallop.

Best place to cure a hangover in the city? Liquiteria!

Name a restaurant and a chef we should be watching this year?
Cesar Ramirez’s new Brooklyn Fare in Manhattan and everyone should watch David Santos at Louro. He’s doing great things.

Which vegetable are you most excited to cook with this spring? Comment below! Pippa@sousstyle.com