Friday, January 21, 2011

M. Wells: a Diner... but also a Culinary Gem... in Long Island City

Opened in July of 2010 by husband-and-wife team Hugue Dufour from Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon, and Sarah Obraitis, M. Wells is a rebirth of an old Long Island City diner. Right out of the chute the word on the street was all good, and six months later they were cited by the New York Times in a piece called “10 Restaurants Worth a Plane Ride”. It’s taken me as long to finally go there, but today at last I managed and was glad to see my friend Brian working the grill.

Ranging from breakfast dishes like Egg & Sausage Sandwich, Bacon & Hash and Maple Syrup Ploye (Buckwheat Crepes), to American/Comfort dishes like Hamburger, Hotdog, and Maine Shrimp, to ethnic dishes like Cubano Sandwich, Fish n’ Chips, Tortilla Espanola, Beef Tartar, and Tourtiere, to salads, desserts, and Wine & Beer.

Chef Brian Jones started me out with Grilled Pickled Pork Tongue with Mustard and Soda Crackers, followed by a delicious twist on a Cubano sandwich, that’s Roasted Pork, Mortadella, Pickles and Gruyere, paired with a glass of Morgon Cote du Py, a fresh Beaujolais with aromas of red fruits and flint and acidic flavors of pomegranate and raspberries with mild tannins and finish. I’m no authority on Cubano sandwiches, but I have had a few in my lifetime, and can honestly say this was the best one I ever had.

Interior space has its share of stainless steel, mingled with a light and cool pastel color palette, blue formica countertop, a modern chandelier, and a great old wall of herbs and spices.

The service is spot on, friendly and warm, and prices are very fair. Presently they’re open from 10am-4pm Tuesday to Sunday, but soon will be open for dinner… I will keep you posted on when that will be.

M. Wells, 21-17 49th Avenue, LIC, (718) 425-6917 is definitely worth a visit.

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