100 Favorite Dishes: No. 62, Marin's scallops with fingerling potatoes

A must-try mollusk

A must-try mollusk

As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2014, coming April 16, the Hot Dish is serving up 100 of our favorite local dishes. 
Peruse the menu at almost any of our local finer dining establishments and you'll be sure to find some starter, raw bar item, or entree that features the scallop. It's a sweet and elegant mollusk when properly cooked, but after a few too many overcooked, rubbery, mis-treated scallops, we were beginning to think we might be over them entirely. That is until we encountered the scallop dish at Marin Restaurant & Bar in the Chambers Hotel and remembered what we had been missing.

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In this sophisticated entree, the contrasting textures are key. There's the lovely, crusty, hard sear on the scallops themselves, that gives way to a barely cooked, wobbly, almost creamy center. Then there's the delicate flakes of lobster that decorate the crispy fried fingerling potatoes and the trio of corn: summery pureed corn, bits of fresh roasted corn, and finally salty popcorn. 

At first, it sounds like a very busy plate, but each impeccably prepared component comes together harmoniously in the end. Though the goal of this restaurant is to keep calorie counts low, this particular dish is generous in portion. Still, something about it makes you slow down and savor.

They've changed this dish slightly for the season, swapping in artichokes for the lobster and parsnip puree for the sweet corn, but we're hoping the original presentation will make a repeat appearance on the menu come summer.

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