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M. Wells Dinner

Had dinner at M. Wells Diner and I really welcome this new addition to the vibrant food scene in Queens. Their menu is quite small, interesting, whimsical and changes regularly.

Escargot and bone marrow was moist, voluptuous and an excellent counterpoint to crunchy garlic toast. The richness of the bone marrow and clean flavor compares favorably to Blue Ribbon's signature dish.

Peking duck was a beautiful, crisp skinned platter of tender duck. It playfully varies from tradition by including paper-thin slices of fiery pepper instead of cooling cucumber. The hoisin sauce is housemade, with a consistency of applebutter and has interesting notes of ripe dates. The flour pancakes were toothsome and pliable.

The skin was not separated from the meat and the duck was not prepared in traditional fashion (e.g. the fat was not rendered from the skin). While the flavor and moistness of the duck was excellent, I cannot say this was an excellent "Peking duck".

Fried rice was a melange of crunchy and soft. Crunchy baby white anchovies, crunchy seaweed contrast with soft moist duck and rice. Delicious.

The standout dish was a bowl of fried duck tongue, served with consomme on a platter of rock salt. The duck tongues were tender puffs with a delicately crisp exterior and a citrus, almost floral note. Consomme was mild and not particularly redolent with duck. While very good, the excess of spring onion was overwhelming.

Coconut cream pie was fantastic. The slightly sweet, fluffy coconut cream was exceptionally light, fresh and had toasted flakes of coconut meat. The crust was flaky but nearly verging on a cracker-like dryness (more butter needed).

All in all, a wonderful meal.

M. Wells Diner
21-17 49th Ave, Queens, NY 11101

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  1. Thanks for the great report. I went for lunch today and we were all wondering about the Peking duck.

    Mushroom soup with a piece of perfectly cooked foie gras = amazing.

    1. I'm so glad I had time to venture into Outer Boroughs board today - I love love LOVE Au Pied du Cochon and I've been meaning to go here since it opened. Everything looks fantastic - I'll be there soon!

      10 Replies
      1. re: uwsister

        I am a HUGE Au Pied lover, as well. Sometimes think of planning quick trips to Montreal just to have dinner there. FYI: as of yesterday, 2/19/11, M. Wells is only open for dinner on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

        1. re: ShanDeez

          Ha - I was contemplating a quick trip to Montreal just to go to their Sugar Shack (then I found out it'd been sold out for a while, boo.) It's definitely one of my favorite restaurants in the world. So have you been to M. Wells and what did you think of it? I'd love to hear from people who have been to ADPC what they thought of M. Wells.

          1. re: uwsister

            Side note, we were able to get in last minute at the sugar shack last year. And I think they can sometimes accommodate walk-ins. It's beyond worth it. Start fasting now.

            1. re: lambretta76

              Aaaaaaah, we already decided to head to California to get some sun instead of Montreal :(
              We'll be back there by early summer though, I'm sure. One of those days I will make Sugar Shack.
              And M. Wells has Pudding Chomeur? I'm SOLD! I love love LOVE that.

              Yes, when we make it over there I will definitely report back!

              1. re: uwsister

                @uwsister. I see that you knew about M. Wells. Just saw your post about it here. That's what I was trying to tell you on the montreal board. Let us know when you try it. cheers!

                1. re: maj54us

                  Just saw this post - ha, that was tricky on Montreal board, huh? I recently returned from L.A. so I have not been yet - but it's definitely on top of the list.

            2. re: uwsister

              Sadly, I have not been to M. Wells yet. After reading the original posting and discovering they were serving dinner, my bf and I got ready to head into LIC for some Quebecois. Thankfully, I prompted him to call up and make sure they were open for dinner. Answer: see above.
              I will be sure to report back when we do make it on a random T, W, or Th. Please do the same!
              (dreaming of Foie Gras Cromesquis and Pudding Chômeur, in the meantime...)

              1. re: ShanDeez

                I'd never heard of pudding chemeur (sp?) before trying it at M Wells a few weeks ago. Amazing.


                1. re: ShanDeez

                  Unfortunately no Pudding Chômeur on the menu tonight. Perhaps it's a rotating thing?

          2. Thanks for your report. This has been on my radar for a while. Hope they extend their hours soon as my schedule doesn't really accommodate a Tues, Wed, Thurs dinner.

            1. Went here on Saturday for brunch and this place fills up real fast. I order the pickled pork tongue, the tortilla espanola with blood sausage and shrimp and got the graceland

              all of them were right on and good. I highly suggest if you do not like waiting like i do, get there at 10am on a saturday because this place is filled and line out the door within a 1/2 hr of opening.

              details and pics of it in my blog


              1. 7:30pm reservation tonight for 3 people. Restaurant was 2/3rds empty when we arrived, full when we left. Lots of people walking in, I think, but no wait / line at all. Super short ride on the 7 if you're coming from Grand Central / Midtown.

                Dinner was excellent. Nice vibe, great playlist, nice service. Good filet mignon tartare with a poached egg yolk. Excellent bone marrow with escargot, though the toast wasn't very good at soaking in the marrow juices (too crispy), still it was very good. Had a herbs and greens salad. A bit too light on the buttermilk dressing and a bit too heavy on the herbs, but it was a nice contrast to the other dishes. And these three dishes came at the same time.

                The second round was the burger and brains. Great brains dish. Nice sear, served crispy and hot, creamy on the inside. Wonderful grenobloise sauce. The burger was excellent as well. 2.4 lbs of beef and lamb served medium rare. Sesame bun. NJ sweet ketchup underneath the patty. Baby spinach on top I think, plus lettuce, plus pickle. Really good, but we each ate 1/4 of the burger and couldn't eat any more. Juicy meat, sturdy bun with a crispy bottoms. Finished with the killer caramel brownie -- crispy caramel bits, served piping hot. Anybody who likes the edge parts of brownies would like it.

                Peking duck looked amazing but we were only 3, not 4 people. The lobster roll looked good too but we thought two sandwiches would be too much. Paris-Brest and canelles looked good too! So many choices! Must get back!

                5 Replies
                1. re: kathryn

                  The burger is 2.4 pound of meat? That's insane.

                  1. re: Humbucker

                    Pretty much. I've attached photos of the full burger w/ a quarter for scale, as well as my 1/4 of the burger.

                    We all smelled like meat and butter on the way home.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      if that's the same one as was at the hockey night,...I had a quarter of one, reheated, and it was the best one I could remember.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        From the photo of the menu. How can a hamburger (Big Dish) cost $42? I sthere more?

                  2. Knocked out by dinner there tonight. Salmon Coulibiac, massive slabs of medium rare salmon encased in puff pastry, with this fairly subtle/delicious smoked cream and fried pickles and...wow. Food had a Willy Wonka vibe, which may sound daunting but it was right. I can see how reading about what's going on there could set up unfair expectations, but it's a little surreal over there for dinner right now. Mark Bittman at the booth next to us. Room never quite filled up. A little tough to navigate the menu but everything we ate was delicious. Perverse that they're open for dinner tues-thurs, given that there's something about the place that feels like it would only make sense on a weekend night..

                    At a minimum, there is nothing in the borough anything like M Wells.

                    1. I must be on a different eating planet than the res of you. I had dinner at M. Wells a few weeks ago and it was just plain terrible. An overpriced salad, dry and boring chicken, a bone marrow dish that was interesting, but hardly exciting or worth the cost, and a few other things that I can't even remember. At the end of the day, the two of us ended up spending close to $200 after drinks and tip and left wholly unsatisfied.

                      Part of it, I believe, was that we had the world's worst server. Both of the women working front of house were incredibly warm and friendly, but the random guy assigned to us was just offensively rude. He refused to explain the menu in any helpful way, insinuated that my girlfriend (who is a pastry cook at one of NYC's finest) knew nothing about food, and, when not insulting us, simply dissapearred. When we inquired about the duck, which we could plainly see hanging in the storage room and being served to other tables, he told us that it "wasn't for us" without any further explanation, but with plenty of attitude. Ugh! It was one of the three worst service experience the two of us have shared in our eight years together.

                      The food was still only ok at best. No better than what you would expect at any similarly priced meal in Manhattan and well below what we have come to expect from more reasonably priced ethnic places in Queens. Perhaps we hit an off night, but I felt compelled to share our experience so that future patrons will at least be warned.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: nmprisons

                        I'm actually surprised at the universal raves here--I thought the place certainly wasn't for everyone, and I expected more discord. Our waiter was over-the-top helpful explaining all of the food. And if you went a few weeks ago... they've only been open for dinner a few weeks, right? Maybe you caught them on an off night at the beginning of the new dinner service.

                        But still, I'm not sure everyone's gonna like this place.

                        1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens

                          Yes, we caught them at the beginning of the dinner service and I hadn't thought that maybe our waiter was so terrible simply because he didn't know any better. That is a very fair point.

                          I can also see how a group of friends who didn't care about cost would enjoy taking in a booth at dinner one night (I have similarly feelings about Spotted Pig, although I somehow found their prices more reasonable than what we got at M. Wells). Perhaps, even, we will give it another go at some point. But with so many great offerings in this city at or below their price point, it is hard to imagine actually doing so.

                        2. re: nmprisons

                          I agree, restaurant was not good. Went for lunch on a Friday, they were out of everything my husband wanted. He ended up with a hamburger, medium rare. It was raw, sent it back, waited forever, when it came back it was exactly the same, had not been touched. Will not return.

                        3. Two stars from the New York Times. Damn, I was hoping to try it before the review. Now it will be impossible to get a reservation.


                          13 Replies
                          1. re: peter j

                            Made a dinner reservation for tonight last week...feel very lucky now that this review has dropped. Going with five other hungry people, will do our best to make a substantial dent into the menu and will report back.

                            1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                              Great, looking forward to your blog post.

                              1. re: peter j

                                Blog post will come later, as will the pictures after I get around to uploading them into Flickr. We were a group of six and made reservations for dinner Tuesday, the previous week without much problem. We were immediately seated at a communal table but noticed many smaller parties were seated in their own booths.

                                A quick note about service. This being my third time (twice for brunch/lunch, first dinner), I would say that service was better than during the day as the restaurant as a whole was always full but never slammed. Staff was constantly clearing dirty plates and bringing us additional beverages/water.

                                Menu changes quite frequently, so ours was a bit different than the great post Serious Eats did last week. Majority of the group ordered some cocktails: Gibsons Cup and the Soft Rock as well as beer Arcadia Rye Ale and Goose Island IPA. Having given up alcohol for Lent, I ordered a Hibiscus Iced Tea.

                                We ended up ordering quite a few items and ended up sharing everything:

                                - Bone Marrow with Escargots - have ordered this each time I've gone with mixed results. Wanting some of the newbies to experience this, I deferred and didn't eat any this time. That said, people were generally impressed and said it was well seasoned.

                                - Baby Bok Choy with Lobster Butter - bok choy was cooked well, soft but still crunchy and went well with a briny lobster butter that was melted and acted like a sauce.

                                - Veal Brains - two lobes were pan fried and covered in a Grenobloise sauce. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The brains had a wonderful crisp exterior and a creamy interior and paired great with the briny flavor of the capers and the acidic notes of the lemon. This dish was really reminded me of a brains prep that you would recieve at Ali's Kebab Cafe for further reference.

                                - Blood Sausage and Whelks - arrived on crackers and was seasoned with a drizzle of sharp mustard. The sausage was creamy and contained a sweet spice that we couldn't identify and the whelks were nice but some felt the dish was overpowered by the mustard.

                                - Pork Tenderloin - was a massive pork chop cooked medium rare that sat atop a piece of toasted bread and next to a mound of french fries that was covered in a rich gravy. The pork was well cooked and was really juicy and the fries were gobbled up quickly by everyone. Listed under the "small plates" section of the menu...this was anything but small.

                                - Bibim Wells - a take on the Korean dish bibimbop. Inside a large bowl was a serving of rice with diced avocado, fried anchovies, oysters pickled veggies, a poached egg and a smear of Gochuchang. Almost forgot, we added foie gras to the dish but never actually found it. Anyways, like with the original version we mixed it and to my surprise was pretty damn good. All of the flavors worked great together, especially the chrunchy salty fish.

                                The Clam Chowder came with Smoked Mussels and Foie Gras and was served in a massive serving bowl. The soup was incredibly rich, as if you were eating a foie gras soup with potatoes, shellfish and even more foie. My issue with the soup was that while tasty, was just too salty.

                                But the real pièce de résistance was the Suckling Pig. Two good sized double cut pork chops were topped with a slab of seared foie gras with pineapple and a cherry sauce. The sweetness of the pork, fatty foie and sweet pineapple was easily my favorite dish of the night and left us cleaning the bones.

                                A few of us ordered coffees and we split three desserts. The Paris Brest was excellent. Never having this classic dessert, we all enjoyed the light pastry that had been split and then filled with a sweet cream.

                                The Party Mix Cheesecake was OK. Topped with a hodgepodge of cookies and snacks, it was as if someone raided the snack section of a CVS. The cheesecake had a subtle citrus flavor but there was nothing subtle about its rich and buttery cookie crust.

                                Finally, the Mexican-Killer Brownie was disappointing. Not chewy enough for any of us, the brownie did have a slighty spicy finish that was good, but paled in comparison to the other choices.

                                All in all, I'm glad to have experienced the dinner at M.Wells and think they are doing some really innovative and fun things. The food and service is generally good and makes for a fun experience, especially for adventurous eaters.

                                1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                                  There were actually 2 lobes of foie on with suckling pick, Steve. I pretty much agree with your assessment of the meal though. Veal brains were incredible. I actually thought the pork porterhouse was kind of small-- I could have eaten the whole thing, and the fries served with it were excellent. It didn't need the 2 slices of bread on the bottom, which just sucked up all of the delicious red eye gravy before disintegrating (maybe put some greens under the porterhouse instead...).

                                  I enjoyed the bi bim wells much more than I thought I would (but would have liked it even better with foie). The crunchy fish made up for the missing texture of rice cooked in a stone bowl.

                                  You must get the Paris Brest, and not just for the easy jokes. The cream tasted like it had a little coffee mixed in and the pastry portion was light and flaky.

                            2. re: peter j

                              Dinner service is still only three nights a week so that will probably drive some away.

                              1. re: peter j

                                No need at all for distress - the impact of NYT reviews or TIMEOUTNY etc is a few days...Salt and Fat in Sunnyside opened 2 weeks ago and there was a table wait - not at all now. Same for Sripraphai and Spicy & Tasty - NYT reviews were almost without any impact.

                                Yes,it's a bit curious but I think correctly people pay a bit more attention to their friends opinions and local feedback from lots of locations especially places like YELP and CHO. NYT critics have no budget restraints so if you're not in that category their reviews are not very useful.

                                Spicy & Tasty
                                39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                1. re: micheal

                                  The weekend brunch wait has been 1+ hrs for some time already though.

                                  People pay attention to friends and general buzz but a glowing NYT can push a restaurant up on your "must try" list.

                                  1. re: kathryn

                                    My boyfriend and waited less than 15 minutes to be seated for brunch at 11am this past Sunday.

                                  2. re: micheal

                                    Micheal, there's a big, big difference between a 2-star review in the Times and a couple sentence brief like Salt and Fat got.

                                    1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens

                                      Our dinner was a mixed bag.

                                      All the small plates were great, some outstanding: blood sausage with whelks, tripe as pasta, brains, the blue cheese salad.

                                      But the large plates were disappointing and they are, in a way, the most exciting part of the meal in expectation. The (expensive) salmon coulibiac was fine but not exceptional. Had a better executed one at the Tangerine Dream Cafe in London last year, sold with far less fanfare. The one at M Wells was heavy without being delectable and probably a mistake to order given the suckling pig was also on the menu. Bibim Wells was tasty but not brilliant. I guess we were actually surprised it was cold (our waiter didn't say despite us asking beforehand if it was like a hot stone pot Bibimbap) and, just as DegustationAsian experienced, the foie gras we ordered was not added. Maybe the foie gras would have made the difference.

                                      Desserts were possibly the weakest part -- at least by Parisian standards the Paris Brest and Tarte Tatin were not very precisely made. Service pleasant but not necessarily that efficient especially when our dishes came in a strange order, some almost forgotten about.

                                      1. re: johannabanana

                                        Back to M Wells for a second dinner last night. Just thought I'd note that the Lemon Cossette dessert was fantastic. Really strange combo of lemon and maple flavors that I plan on copying in an ice cream soon. We tried the Bibim Wells and Lamb Tagine for dinner, the former is interesting but not as disorientingly good as their best stuff, whereas the Tagine was fantastic, with the couscous soaking in a stew, and the lamb pretty close to perfect. Place was packed by 7pm...

                                  3. re: peter j

                                    It was already pretty impossible! We went for brunch a few months back (already oldhat, right -- now that dinner is being served) and we waited an hour first thing on a Sat. morning. The line, on that freezing weekend morning, was long enough to fill the entire first seating even before the doors opened.

                                    Still, it was worth the wait -- even for a table of 4 vegetarians! We were pleasantly surprised to find some inventive, delicious egg dishes on the brunch menu (our favorite was the tortilla espanola -- delicious, complex, smoky flavor!), but in surveying the dinner menu, we found only a single veg. option -- a pretty unsubstantial-sounding salad... :( So if you're a vegetarian, stick to M. Wells' brunch.

                                    Full details of our meal here: http://www.cityspoonful.com/m-wells/

                                  4. For anyone that's been to APDC in Montreal, how does M Wells compare? I went there for my bachelor party and it was probably the most memorable meal of my life. I'm going to M Wells in a few weeks with the same guys and wanted to know what to expect...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: the_state

                                      I've been to APdC about a half dozen times -- there's no similarity whatsoever in my opinion, save for unorthodox uses of foie gras.

                                      Mind you, this isn't necessarily a bad thing -- I happen to really like M. Wells - but if you're looking for something similar to APdC you'll be greatly disappointed. The tourtiere is pretty similar to the one sold at the APdC Cabane a Sucre, though.

                                    2. I apologize in advance if I missed this somewhere, but I'm assuming they don't take reservations for brunch? What are the current brunch offerings that are standouts? I'd love to do dinner, but won't be in NYC on dinner service days.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                        No reservations for brunch. But go early or on the later side for faster seating. I had their egg sandwich which was amazing. It was eggs, tomato, pickled jalapeño cheese and a sizable sausage patty. Simple and very good. My friend had the seafood cobbler which was rich and delicious. We shared the caesar salad, in which they use herring instead of sardines, which made me which all Caesars were done that way, with a generous heap of grated cheese on top. The burger seemed to be the big hit for the tables around us. Regardless, well worth the trip.

                                      2. I had dinner at M Wells last week and it was fantastic. I came with 4 guys and we all brought our appetites, so the meal played out nicely.

                                        We started with oysters w/ coffee sabayon, which was the only real dud of the night. The sabayon overpowered the oyster way too much.

                                        Next up was tilefish and scallop ceviche w/ corn, avocado, cukes, and lime. Very tasty dish served with grilled bread. Flavors worked nicely together and had a clean flavor, very unexpected for a center of gluttony.

                                        For apps we split the blue cheese salad (tasted good, but a standard blue cheese/pecan/apple salad, nothing new or over the top), bone marrow and escargot (delicious! very rich and flavorful. I think they bread/fry the marrow which was really nuts, in a good way), and crab bread pudding which was basically a big delicious crab cake that had some peas/carrots mixed in.

                                        For entrees, we ordered the burger (might have been the best I've ever had. Bun, patty, cheese, everything was perfect. Didn't feel gimmicky at all!), the ham steak (really interesting dish... big slabs of char-grilled "white" pork and "dark" pork, similar to a porterhouse w/ strip & filet, served in a maple jus w/ dirty mashed potatoes. I've never seen a pork dish like this before, very creative. Last but not least was the stuffed cabbage, the highlight of the night. Traditional jewish stuffed cabbage w/ foie gras in the meat mix and a lobe of foie on top, served in a huge lasagne tray ($53). That dish alone w/ a small salad could have easily fed all 5 of us. Definitely the highlight of the night, and i wish i brought home the leftovers in hindsight :)

                                        With drinks, tax and tip it was less than $60/pp, great value overall. I'd highly recommend it.

                                        1 Reply
                                          1. re: H Manning

                                            bummer. i remember going on a saturday at 8:30pm about a month ago and it was closed. i called back a couple saturdays later to see if they'd be open and no one answered. sucks i never got to try it

                                            1. re: waxyjax

                                              They've never been open weekend nights. Dinner service has always been Tuesday-Thursday.

                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                Update from M. Wells: "We have another location, it just has to get refurbished and everything. It’s in Long Island City.”


                                                1. re: H Manning

                                                  M. Wells will serve "farewell dinners" on Fridays and Saturdays this month, beginning this Saturday at 8 pm. The dinners will have a theme, with the first one being "Our Trip to the Fulton Fish Market."


                                                  1. re: H Manning

                                                    thought the part in the article about them being great admirers of ps1 was funny. my friends and i came from the warmup event on saturday and walked to m. wells to see if we could get a table. there was space at the counter, but weren't prepared to pay the $200 per person charge. i'm sure the cost was warranted, but the hostess saw we weren't in a position to spend that amount of money and instead of graciously thanking us for stopping by she spoke condescendingly to us and referenced the fact that she could tell we came from "the party".

                                                    considering they claim to like ps1, it's surprising they don't show any interest in serving dinner on saturdays after the summer warmup events, or try to be a bit nicer to ps1 patrons that make an effort to go to the restaurant.

                                                    1. re: waxyjax

                                                      I love M. Wells. I think the owners are lovely, charming and warm. I'm grateful they've offered such a unique gem to the Queens culinary scene. But by golly they can be mighty expensive. I really wanted to show my support by attending their farewell dinners but unfortunately I've been priced out.

                                                      In terms of the hostess, was it Sarah or one of the waitresses? Because Sarah has always been a consummate professional, while in my experiences I have gotten "attitude" from one of the waitresses for no rhyme or reason, I think she's just a little snarky by nature.

                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                        aw, not sure the name...as i've never had the opportunity to familiarize myself with the staff! it's nice to hear the owners are nice - i found my interaction on saturday very discouraging.

                                                        i still am at a loss as to why they didn't want to serve regular dinners on saturdays - at least in the summer when ps1 is such a huge draw.

                                                        1. re: waxyjax

                                                          Sorry you had a bad experience, sometimes I am perplexed by why people can't be a little friendlier when they are in the service industry.

                                                          As for Saturday dinners, my understanding was that the crowds for Saturday/Sunday brunches were so overwhelming, they didn't have the ability to adequately transition for dinner and were working out the details for doing so.

                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                            Pics of last Saturday's dinner:

                                                            "A Look at M. Wells' First Farewell Dinner, Continuing Every Friday and Saturday This Month"


                                                            1. re: Pookipichu

                                                              apparently i wasn't the only one who had been poorly treated by that waitress http://www.gq.com/food-travel/alan-ri...

                                                              1. re: waxyjax

                                                                I thought this article was fantastic. I will never frequent any place that so flippantly makes such accusations... and then.later backs away from them....

                                            2. We went for a late lunch last Friday, 10 minute wait for a table.

                                              Started with the cubano which the server described as "best in the city", I don't have a basis for comparison for that claim, it was good, especially the texture resulting from the way it was toasted on the flattop, however there was too much dijon mustard in it, overwhelmed everything else.

                                              2nd plate was the escargot in bone marrow, this was an on point version of this bistro classic dish

                                              3rd dish was what I gather is a relatively new thing, Gravlax Pie, which is a muffin sized potato filled pie with a puff pastry crust served under a generous serving of gravlax, creme fraische and salmon roe, this was really good.

                                              4th and final savory dish was pickled pork tongue on house made saltines with mustard. Best 6 bucks I've spent on a restaurant dish in a very long time.

                                              I was suitably impressed and will definitely go back on future trips when they get a new place going.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: bytepusher

                                                For those who have gone to M Wells since they made their closure announcement, are they honoring reservations? I don't want to get stuck waiting a long time if they aren't really doing so.

                                                1. re: urbanp

                                                  If you already made a reservation for August they have kept it for you. They are no longer taking new reservations for the Tues-Thursday dinners.

                                              2. Did anybody go for brunch this past weekend? I'm assuming the wait will be 1-2 hours from what I have been reading on (the dreaded) Yelp. But the people reviewing and listing wait time never seen to say WHEN they got there.

                                                Have any CH posters gone recently on a weekend and arrived before 10am?

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                  I guess I'll answer my own question. Arrived at 12pm, put a name down for 6 people, the estimated wait time was 1.5 hours. Relaxed at Sweetleaf while waiting, and the estimate was 100% on the dot correct. Sadly they were already out of the grilled cheese w/ foie gras and gravlax pie by the time we'd sat down. But we still had a very good brunch.

                                                  Great escargot/bone marrow, filet mignon tartare, egg-sausage sandwich, and clam chowder/pork belly/egg and potato hash. Very filling and generous portions. Everything was creative, interesting, and delicious. Nice service, too. Needed a very long walk afterwards to digest!

                                                  Best cocktail was the RIP Topsy:
                                                  1. Egg yolk, chef's sauce (shooter in a cocktail jigger).
                                                  2. Rye, lemon, maple syrup, egg white

                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                    Kathryn - What do you think of Alan Richman's GQ review today? (Perhaps better answered in the thread started on Food and Media board.)

                                                    1. re: thegforceny

                                                      I've never had service issues at M. Wells, in fact, our servers bent over backwards to help us make menu decisions. They were gracious, too, when one of us sent a drink back. I'm not sure I've ever had the female server he speaks of -- I recall a female host (Hispanic) who was very nice, but 2-3 male servers.

                                                      1. re: thegforceny

                                                        Im surprised when I hear about the service issues and shocked by the Richman thing.
                                                        I had excellent service while we were there, and they had run out of a few of the things that my sister had wanted to order, so they wordlessly comped our drinks and brought us 2 free slices of cake to go.

                                                        1. re: thegforceny

                                                          I'm going to chime in, since I responded to Waxyjax regarding service. I just finished reading Richman's review and a) he confirmed that Sarah is a lovely hostess b) that there seems to be a bad apple waitress at M. Wells.

                                                          Coincidentally or not, Richman mentioned his problems were with a blonde waitress, and my two bad service experiences were with one blonde waitress at M.Wells. She just seemed to have an attitude problem and exudes indifference. In a separate matter, when I once requested an alteration based on dietary restrictions, the waitress told me everything was prepared perfectly so no changes would be made.

                                                          I don't blame Hugue or Sarah, there are always bad apples in every staff and it's difficult to weed them out when that person is probably peaches and sunshine to the boss.

                                                          I do think the owners are such wonderful, friendly and sweet people that I've overlooked the waitress and have simply hoped that we would not be one of her tables.

                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                            But don't you think the [supposed] email exchange about the alleged harassment perpetrated on the Bad Apple Waitress incident was weird on the part of the proprietress?

                                                            1. re: thegforceny

                                                              I don't know what happened, but a hostess will be inclined to believe her staff and has an obligation to defend her staff. I can understand that.

                                                              In this instance, after Richman's denial, the waitress was probably grilled by Sarah and the waitress probably backtracked on her accusations when she realized she may have bitten off more than she could chew by (possibly) fabricating the story.

                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                that sounds pretty logical. i just hope they leave that waitress behind when they move to the new location (and maybe serve dinner on the weekends, ps).

                                                                i'd heard great things about the food, but she really turned me off to attempting to go there again.

                                                            2. re: Pookipichu

                                                              I live nearby. Place was a treasure when it first opened, we went frequently for breakfast, and they are still gracious when I go in and recognized as a local. But there has been some recent bad waiters/waitresses with inappropriate attitudes. One new waiter told my mom in a very snotty attitude that she cannot have most things on the menu if she did not like undercooked eggs. And dinner ranges from fantastic to really mediocre.

                                                          2. re: kathryn

                                                            i went there solo on Saturday and got there at 945, i almost did not make the first seating. got the maple pie, escargot and the spaghetti sandwich. All we good. I wanted to get the grilled cheese and foie but like you said, no more.