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Hot Plate: Diver Scallops at Harp & Crown

A taste of the sea at one of Philly’s swankiest new restaurants.

Harp & Crown is a feast for the eyes as well as your taste buds. The romantic-meets-rustic space on Sansom Street opened in mid-October, and makes for the ultimate date spot, with its cozy plush seating and mood lighting.

Being chronically single, however, I invited one of my favorite gal pals for a light dinner after work. Spending most of the day sitting behind a desk, I wanted something wholesome but nothing too heavy. That’s when I settled on the Diver Scallops.

The dish was beautifully presented with three impeccably seared scallops, cooked spinach and dollops of parsnip puree.

Topped with a green chermoula sauce (a mixture of herbs, lemon and olive oil) and red onion, the scallops were juicy with just the right amount of zest to take them from bland to bam. The cooked spinach stood its ground in a supporting role — not overpowering the scallops but essential to balancing the dish. Finally, the parsnip puree was a welcome change from your typical mashed potato: creamy, yet light.

Chef Karen Nicolas later revealed that the parsnips are cooked in milk with a tiny bit of apple — a secret straight from the kitchen.

I won’t attempt recreating it at home, but I’ll definitely return here for a second helping.

Harp & Crown is located at 1525 Sansom St.

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