Date Night: M Wells Diner, Long Island NY

mwells

Since moving from NYC two years ago, we were itching to return and enjoy some of the finer restaurants we missed.  But after a two year hiatus, we found ourselves not under the bright city lights  but in rather drab Long Island stretch of  factories and parking lots  to brunch  at M. Wells, a diner off the beaten track our friends highly touted.

 

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The exterior is iconic classic American diner.  Restored and glimmering on the outside, however, what’s cooking inside is a cut above your classic American diner fare.  Led by two pandas (Kung Food and Pinoy) and a gilded palate, we braved near freezing temperatures and gusty winds to enjoy the eclectic menu ranging from pickled pork tongue to bone marrow escargot.

pickled pork tongue

The ambitious menu is explained by the husband and wife team of Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, the former from Montreal and chef at Au Pied de Cochon where foie gras, pigs head, and blood sausages are the norm and the later, a native from Queens.  Perhaps it should be more apt to call this a “Quebecois American” diner.   We immediately knew exactly what to order when we saw pickled pork tongue, a Quebec brasserie classic.  Perfectly balance between sour and briny, the succulent and crispy seared tongue with home made saltines and mustard was a steal at $7.  Being the offal lovers, this dish did not disappoint.

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Our dining companions order the mushroom and foie gras soup (can be ordered without foie). Even without the foie, the soup alone was earthy and rustic and just the comfort we need for the blistery winds we endured during the long wait.  Add the foie and it was just another level of decadence altogether.

bone marrow escargot

Bone marrow is also something we automatically order whenever it’s on a menu.  Studded with escargot, this diner sure knows how to win our hearts.

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Egg souffle with mushroom broth and bonito was an unexpected but well recieved dish as it reminded us of a fancier Korean steamed eggs (gaeran jim), again, great for the cold weather.

M. Wells also serves a solid egg and sausage sandwich, bacon and hash, as well as burgers and hot dogs, and salads.  But don’t come here for that, the menu changes daily and it’s the offal and off the menu specials that really stand out. With most items under $10,  M. Wells was worthy excursion on our NYC eating vacation.

M. Wells 21-17 49th Avenue (21st Street), Long Island City, Queens; (718) 425-6917

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12 Responses to “Date Night: M Wells Diner, Long Island NY”

  1. 1

    Gastronomer — May 16, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    Mmmm! This diner looks delightful! Getting me excited about dining at Au Pied De Cochon in a week :-)

  2. 2

    Pinoy Panda — May 16, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    Another wonderful post and beautiful pictures to match. I had such a fantastic time during our trip. Can’t wait to return again in October.

  3. 3

    Carolyn Jung — May 16, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    Thanks for mentioning this cute place. I am dying to go to Au Pied du Cochon. It’s nice to know, though, that if I can’t make it to Montreal anytime soon, that there’s this delicious alternative right here in the States.

  4. 4

    Cath — May 17, 2011 @ 12:48 am

    You’re palette reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s. Very similar! He loves anything offal, especially blood sausages.

  5. 5

    Aaron — May 17, 2011 @ 5:52 am

    I love these photos, especially the first one. I had a great time with you guys, and with such a large group I managed to try more things at M Wells than I ever had before. Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. 6

    Gloria — May 17, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

    Hello Hong and Kim! I love your site and just joined via email subscription. I can’t believe you featured this place! Not that I’ve ever been, but this is right across the bridge (Pulaski Bridge!) from where I was born and raised in Brooklyn! I now live in Conn., but I will have to check out M. Wells across the bridge in LI City when I visit my hometown Greenpoint again.
    Best,
    Gloria
    P.S. You might want to check out some of the joints in Greenpoint! I hear there are a lot of good ones there now. Very upscale. ;)

  7. 7

    thang@noodlies — May 18, 2011 @ 5:46 am

    liking the new look website a lot!

    And the photos are great too.

    Makes me feel like I’m there!

  8. 8

    Connie — May 18, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    Wow. I rarely get myself to Queens, (which is a shame,) but looks like I have another excuse. Every single dish is mouthwatering, thanks for sharing this!

  9. 9

    Gina @ Skinnytaste — May 18, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

    Well look at that, I live in NY and never knew about this place. Now I have to try it sometime! I really enjoyed your Skaking Beef! Getting so many requests for pho, can’t wait to see yours :)

  10. 10

    Kitchen M — May 19, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Cool place! I love the first two photos. Next time when I visit NYC, I know who to ask for good places. :)

  11. 11

    Diner & Coffee Fix in Long Island City | ActionJoJo's World — May 27, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    [...] became months and months became a year.  I was embarrassed that even visitors to NYC (like this awesome foodie couple from Los Angeles) even got here before I did!  They live 3,000 miles away from the restaurant.  Me?  10 miles [...]

  12. 12

    Diner & Coffee Fix in Long Island City | Action JoJo — February 7, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    [...] became months and months became a year.  I was embarrassed that even visitors to NYC (like this awesome foodie couple from California) even got here before I did!  They live 3,000 miles away from the restaurant.  Me?  10 miles [...]

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