This Dish Is a Seafood Lover’s Dream

Written By: Lauren McCarran
Photographed By: Nathan Cox Best Scallop Recipes

This story is from the pages of a previous LOCALE print magazine. As state and county regulations are in a constant state of flux due to Covid-19, some of the businesses mentioned may be temporarily closed. Please visit their individual websites to ensure they are currently open, and please follow all safety procedures in place.

Copley’s on Palm Canyon is nestled in Old Las Palmas, Palm Springs against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains. With an acre of outdoor dining space, it’s the perfect place to dine, unwind and spend time year-round, even amidst a pandemic. The distinctively elegant cuisine is marinated in a laid back “aloha” vibe, culminating in a casual gourmet affair. In other words, it’s fine dining without the overcoat. Owner and award-winning Executive Chef Andrew Manion Copley masterfully curates each meal. His distinguished culinary style is rooted in French cuisine and blended with profound influence in Pacific Island flavors.

As part of Cary Grant’s former estate, guests experience the ultimate mix of old Hollywood desert charm and upscale dining. Although limited indoor dining in California has been permitted since September, Copley’s continues to utilize their outdoor space and keep the inside off-limits. “Inside only seats 50 people, and that’s without social distancing. We can do 150 outside,” Chef Copley explains. The massive outdoor dining area is a rare perk for any restaurant, leaving plenty of space to have a socially distanced meal. Aromas of spices and herbs hover in the air, tempting your senses and creating an atmospheric celebration of culinary euphoria. Diners can enjoy intimate dinners, host an event or hang out by the fire pit. 

“As you put your fork into the creamy corn, you get the grainy polenta texture mixed with the sweet corn flavor. Then the scallops are like silk topped with chunky tomato.”—Chef Copley

Chef Copley has a varied and worldly background in food. His menu items are a showcase of the collection of influences from his travels. One of his favorite subjects to work with is seafood. A seasonal favorite is the scallop plate—a unique merging of flavors ready to warm your soul and lift your spirits. “As you put your fork into the creamy corn, you get the grainy polenta texture mixed with the sweet corn flavor. Then the scallops are like silk topped with chunky tomato,” he explains. Cutting into the seared scallops is like cutting into butter. The paradox of delicate and rich with a subtle sweetness is mind-blowing. It’s impossible not to devour each tender morsel. The scallops don’t require much in preparation, only a bit of salt and pepper. The secret is how it’s seared; timing is everything. It’s the difference between light and silky and something not so palatable.

The mushroom vinaigrette’s earthy essence complements the sweet puréed corn. The creamy corn is reminiscent of polenta, but only on the surface. Ginger gives this sweet purée a warm and welcomed depth. The dressing is a blend of local mushrooms, garlic and mustard, mixed with parsley, chives, basil and tarragon. Both are the kind of unusual pairings that Chef Copley excels in, bringing an unexpected balance to the plate. Garlic and ginger is one of his favorite combos. “It’s rare for me not to use garlic and ginger; you can ask anyone who knows me,” he says. Many things separate Copley’s scallop plate from others, including tarragon. He believes it is an underutilized herb in the world of food, making it precisely the kind of surprise element he likes to mix in. Hints of garlic and black licorice round out the robust flavor in the plump tomato relish. 

EBLAST exp May/1

Local Insight: Chef Anthony Copley, his wife Juliana, and his son host live-stream cooking classes and tutorials every Thursday night via Your Dirty Apron. Viewers can comment or ask questions in real time, and he uses simple tools to create dishes accessible to everyone regardless of experience.

Copley encourages a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, to complement his seared scallops and also suggests it be enjoyed as an appetizer. “Once you have all the flavors going, the mushroom vinaigrette kicks off your saliva glands and gets you ready for your next dish,” he says.

Local Insight: English sticky toffee pudding is the most requested dessert at Copley’s. It’s a rich and decadent cake submerged in gooey chocolate, caramel and toffee, topped with vanilla ice cream. “It’s like something your mother would make for you at home,” says Chef Copley.

Creating such dynamic plates has become second nature to Chef Copley. “I still read a lot of cookbooks and dig into archives, then I tweak the old recipes and create new ones. It’s refreshing,” he says. Following his culinary curiosities worldwide has given him a rare perspective on preparing foods and crafting new recipes. His adventurous persona is reflected in his innovative flavor pairings and tasted in every dish.

 

Scallop Plate Ingredients: Best Scallop Recipes

Scallops
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
12 U-10 Jumbo Scallops
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 oz Micros Arugula

 

Creamy Ginger Corn: Best Scallop Recipes

4 Large Ears Sweet Corn
1 tbsp Ginger (minced)
1 tbsp Garlic (minced)
2 tbsp Butter
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

Tomato Relish:

½ Cup Olive Oil
4 Roma Tomatoes
2 Shallots (diced)
2 tsp Garlic (minced)
½ tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Tomato Paste
½ cup Dry Vermouth
6oz Tomato juice
3 tsp Tarragon (chopped)

 

Portobello Mushroom Dressing: Best Scallop Recipes

3 Portobello Mushrooms (diced)
2 tsp Garlic (minced)
2 tsp Whole-Grain Mustard
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup combined Parsley, Chives, Tarragon, Basil (chopped)
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

 

Copley’s on Palm Canyon
621 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760.327.9555

Join our mailing list.Be the first to know about the best eats, shops, sights and escapes of Southern California.