M. Wells Restaurant in Long Island City
File under: the dinner we're most excited about eating in October. When the diner-looking-but-not-diner-tasting M. Wells opened in Long Island City early this summer, anyone who's ever been to Montreal's legendary restaurant Au Pied de Cochin–and we are fortunate enough to include ourselves in that crowd–immediately booked tickets on the 7 train. But M. Wells owners Hugue Dufour (formerly of the aforementioned Au Pied de Cochin) and Sarah Obraitis (currently still of the family-farm collective Heritage Foods USA), have gone slowly, starting with breakfast in June, lunch in July, dinner in… well, we've heard late September, fingers crossed, as they wait for their liquor license. But we couldn't wait, and so on consecutive Fridays recently we headed out to the LIC to see what the Quebecois/Queens crew have been up to. Consider us blown away by the hearty, meaty, full-flavored deliciousness.
The M. Wells menu right now is evolving and a bit of a mishmash between breakfasty foods and dinner-type dishes, both because the kitchen is committed to market-driven ingredients, and so they change it up from day to day, depending on availability, but also, it seems, because they are having a blast back there experimenting with things. We've had six items from the M. Wells menu, with five winners, including a pair of true superstars. These people know how to cook, and they know how to enjoy food. On our first visit we started with an excellent Egg Sausage Sandwich on a crispy, over-sized English muffin, dripping with homemade mayo, gooey with melted cheddar, on fire with pickled jalapeno, the meat and eggs standing up nicely to all the above. We can't imagine eating this first thing in the morning, but for lunch, why not. We also "splurged" on the M. Wells menu's highest-priced item, a delightfully chewy and funky Mushroom Bread Pudding topped with a generous slab of luscious Foie Gras, drizzled with a warm blueberry reduction. Like most everything here at M. Wells, both of these dishes were rich, intense, and immensely satisfying, and a total bargain at $8 and $16, respectively.
M. Wells Details
M. Wells restaurant is located at 21-17 49th Avenue in Long Island City, which maybe sounds far away, but is actually just half a block from the Hunter's Point station on the 7 line, two stops from midtown Manhattan. The decor is hipster diner, and the block is about as unlovely as can be, but the kitchen more than makes up for any atmospheric shortcomings. The hours now are Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., but they're adding a weekend brunch soon, as well as the promised dinner service. Check the M. Wells website for any changes.