Eat This (Before They Close!): Brunch at M. Wells
M. Wells is a restaurant in Long Island City, Queens cooking Quebecoise-style food and run by a Montreal husband-and-wife team that opened in an old diner last August to rave reviews. After a year they have announced they will be closing the diner to reopen in a new location and format. We’d been dying to get there since last year and we finally squeezed in a visit last weekend. Such was our devotion that we waited an hour and a half in the pouring rain to get seated in the tiny diner, but with good friends in tow we were perfectly happy, especially after we grabbed some coffee, iced-tea, and biscuits from the counter inside.
Oh, and by the way, that biscuit may have been the best I’ve had–especially since it was not even served warm and it was still amazing! It was fluffy and dense at the same time, with no need for extra butter, or anything really–I ate it bare and loved it.
After we finally got seated in a small booth we took in the kitschy surroundings and examined the menu, quickly affirming that there was a lot of meat, mostly pork. Since JudyJams and I both don’t partake in the pig variety, and JJ is basically vegetarian, our options were somewhat limited. I guess those Canadians like their pork! But, we pulled through and everything we had was delicious.
Naturally, we started with a round of Bloody Marys. These were good, but not great. I added pepper to mine, which helped, but it was my least favorite thing we had at the restaurant.
As a lover of lox, I was super excited to order the Gravlax Pie, having heard many great things about it, but unfortunately they were sold out (it was pretty late in the day by the time we sat down), so I substituted with the Seafood Cobbler, which was being made with Pollack that day. When I was told it came with beets I was somewhat skeptical, but it turned out to be a great combination. The fish and beets were accompanied by potatoes as well, all mixed together in a delicious cream sauce, and topped with two biscuit halves covered in yummy melted cheddar cheese. (Yes, that means I ate another biscuit…!) I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish it because it was a bit heavy, but it was so tasty I couldn’t put my fork down.
JudyJams ordered the Gazpacho, which was thickened with bread and had a lovely herb oil on top. It was quite flavorful, but we had clearly ordered too much because it went unfinished. It certainly was not the light, summery gazpacho you might be craving on a hot summer day. She also had the Tortilla, which is nothing like the potato and egg ones they serve in Spain, although it had the same basic ingredients. For starters, it was served hot and fresh from a skillet, and was round in shape (instead of a slice). It was more like a yummy, eggy latka than a Spanish tortilla and it was quite delectable. It’s served with thick slices of country bread from Balthazar.
Our friend Tobey ordered the Beef Tartare, which was divine. The meat was incredibly fresh and tender and almost tasted like tuna it was so creamy. It was decadent and delicious, served with a perfectly poached egg on top and salad on the side. Nothing like some good runny yolk on some amazing raw beef!
Lindserella went with the Sausage and Egg sandwich, which was on a homemade English muffin (a recipe for our own version of this feat to come soon!) with homemade mayo, Vermont cheddar, and pickled jalapenos. She said it was delish, of course, and left not a crumb. We also got French fries for the table, which were perfectly fried and lip-smacking good.
Even though we were stuffed, our waitress convinced us to get a slice of the Maple Pie and we were not sorry. The crust was crumbly and browned and super-yummy, while the filling was a nice fluffy version of a pecan pie filling, but with intense maple flavor. Pure maple syrup was drizzled on top to complete the effect and it worked–we polished it off in no time.
Being that it’s August 22, I suggest you get your butt over to Queens asap to go to M.Wells–you only have until the end of the month! While I’m sure the husband-and-wife owners/chefs’ next venture will be amazing, it’s definitely going to be a new concept, so don’t delay!
Entry filed under: Breakfast News, DevoLT, Eat This, JudyJams, Lindsarella, Restaurant Review, Restaurants We Like, Toast. Tags: Beef Tartare, biscuit, bloody mary, diner, French-Canadian, Gravlax Pie, Long Island City, M. Wells, Maple Pie, Montreal, Queens, Sausage and Egg Sandwich, Seafood Cobbler, Spanish Tortilla.