Friday, May 27, 2011

Best M Wells, They Wish They Could Be As Good As You

Tonight I went to M Wells in Long Island City with Carol.  Lots of great things have been said and written as of late (consider this NY Times review, for example) about this relatively new fancy diner (or fancy restaurant inside a diner) so we had a visit.

The menu is intimidating and the prices of the Big Dishes baffling until you see how big these big dishes are.  For example, the $42 hamburger?  It's meant to be shared by a group, it looks like something you'd see on Man vs. Food.  We had wanted to try the Canadian Pork Shoulder but they ran out before we could order it, but our neighbors at the counter had it and it was gigantic.  We ordered from the small dishes and, in spite of universal recommendation (consider this excerpt from the Times review: Also first-rate: a plate of veal brains that displayed the sort of saut√© skills generally associated only with the very highest level of classical French cooking. They are served as two slightly crisp lobes. They do not look like much. But the exterior gives way to clouds of flavor. It is brain panna cotta, essentially, and if it is on the menu it is an absolute must-order even if this sentence freaks you out.), couldn't bring ourselves to try the veal brains.  Not this time.

We started with the Caesar Salad with Smoked Herring Dressing.  You could really taste the herring.  Don't understand why they scrimped on the parmesan, though.

Next up, the Tuna with Capers, Garlic, and Egg Yolk Sauce.  Just wonderful.  Look at it!  Maybe a little out of focus, but you can tell how delicious it is just by looking at it.

Workers working hard on making everything delicious.  Service was great, attentive and caring.

Lastly, the Butter Chicken--a very mild chicken tikka masala kind of thing on an English Muffin.  Profoundly delicious and I don't know who was the clever one that decided to put it on a muffin but it's a very good trick.  And back there in the back . . .

The Soft-Shell Crab Club Sandwich . . . because of course the club sandwich has soft-shell crab in it!  Biting through crab and biting through chewy bacon, it's not so different.

And for dessert . . . a nice normal slice of banana cream pie.  Because this is a diner after all.

My Final Declaration re: M Wells: This place kicks.  The dishes weren't just inventive but delicious as well, everyone in the establishment was clearly having a great time—while waiting in line for the bathroom I found myself comparing meals with the rest of the queue.  I haven't had such a good feeling about a place since my first meal at a certain four-syllable restaurant that starts with an M and ends with a U.  I'm looking forward to my next visit, hopefully with a band of food lovers so we can attack the Meat, Loaf or Burger and hopefully with at least one other person willing to try the veal brains.

And also, yes, this place is in Queens but it's right outside the second stop off the 7 train, getting there could not be easier.


Andrew said...


Thanks for the link to that review. It was written as if by an older brother who really wants to recommend his kid sister, loves and is in secret awe of the child--a kid who is an absolute whiz at, say, lumberjacking, a true genius, who can timber a tree blindfolded, who can monkey up a tree as if squirming out from under gravity, rising as if by some strange bouyancy, lopping off limbs as she goes with her dad's rusty machete--but when it comes right down to it, when the tree needs felling, she's just too small to run a chainsaw.

Side of Jeffrey said...

I'd eat brains with you, but you'll have to wait a long time for you should probably just make it happen with someone else.