Taste: Eat This Now: Scallops au Gratin at Bookbinder’s


“But this is Bookbinder’s,” owner John Taxin said when the new Old Original Bookbinder’s chef, David Cunningham, proposed adding lovage to the broiled sea scallops. Lovage, a potent celery-like seasoning, was part of Cunningham’s culinary experience — at New York’s Le Bernardin, Lespinasse and Petrossian — but Taxin worried the herb was too intimidating for a restaurant that built its 140-year reputation on crabcakes and snapper soup. When Bookie’s reopens this month, those classic dishes will still be on the menu, but there’ll also be yellowfin tuna tartare, seafood Cobb salad, and Cunningham’s sweet broiled scallops, sauced with vermouth-spiked cream and topped with orange and — no, not lovage — celery.