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Feb 18, 2011 11:33 AM

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?