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m. wells din(n)er.

20 May 2011






This Tuesday evening, a few of us headed to M. Wells Diner in Long Island City for a long-anticipated dinner.  Though I’d been a number of times before for breakfast and lunch, I hadn’t yet been to the restaurant since they started their dinner service a few months ago.  And then Sam Sifton gave them a glowing review in the Times, which was great for the restaurant, but not so good in terms of trying to get a reservation.  But when Mike confirmed his NYC vacation plans, I called up the restaurant and made a reservation for a month in advance.  A month.  For dinner in a diner car. 

Our fourtop became a …. uh … threesome when a couple of friends had to cancel at the last minute.  Mark stepped in, not really knowing what he was getting himself into.  Then again, I’m not sure any of us knew what we were getting into.  I’d read a bunch of different reviews, so I had some idea of what to order, but the menu changes pretty regularly, if not daily, so, well, best laid plans, blah blah blah.  While we waited to get seated, we eyed every dish coming from the kitchen; everything looked and smelled spectacular.  And when we were finally seated at one of the long tables at the end of the diner car, we decided on four small plates, with the caveat that we’d order more if necessary. 

And the reason why there’s only one photo of food on our table is that, well, the food came fast and furious, as did our consumption of said fare.  There was escargot + bone marrow, steak tartare, and  butter chicken — all pretty amazing, but nothing compared to the soft shelled crab club sandwich that you all MUST get if you’re at M. Wells for dinner and the sandwich is on the menu.  Oh my god.  There was crab.   There was bacon.  There was mayonnaise.  There was something else.  A bunch of something elses, actually.  And together, it was awesome. 

We briefly considered ordering a second club sandwich, but decided instead on dessert: a Paris-Brest the size of my head.  I’d never heard of the dessert before Tuesday night, and now it’s all I think about.  Well, that and the club sandwich.  It was a great, great meal, one of the best I’ve had in a while.  I slept incredibly well that night, quite completely stuffed.

Oh, and the party next to us had ordered the $99 beef shank.  It was huge.  I think there were six of them, and the leftovers they boxed up were sizable.  Next time I go, I’m bringing a small army so that we can consume that and the 24 ounce hamburger.    Yes.  1.5  lbs of meat.  Apparently with the bun, it’s closer to 2.5 lbs.   M. Wells, I love you.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Daniel permalink
    21 May 2011 6:11 am

    A crab sandwich? Oh hell yeah. I’m imagining/praying that it is on the brunch menu. Also, you’re obsessing over desserts now? Times have changed, for the better.

    I love the third shot down – it feels really timeless, but the narrowness of it gives it a slightly off-kilter feel. Like, it has that “film still” look, but the movie would be something inspired by a cult author.

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