The don't hate on Canada award: M. Wells

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  • Photograph: Kirby Tidwell

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  • Photograph: Kirby Tidwell

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  • Photograph: Alex Strada

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    Meat pie at M. Wells

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

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    Meat pie at M. Wells

  • Photograph: Kirby Tidwell

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  • Photograph: Kirby Tidwell

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    General Tso's sweetbread sandwich at M. Wells

Photograph: Kirby Tidwell

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Canadians take plenty of flak from their neighbors to the south, but Quebecois chef Hugue Dufour successfully put us in our place with this year's most thrilling surprise: a Queens diner moonlighting as a world-class restaurant. What started as the hottest brunch destination in town has finally matured into a full-service restaurant, featuring some of the most balls-out glutton bait this snout-to-tail--obsessed town has ever seen—creamy veal brains drenched in butter and capers, whelks and blood sausage in an extremist take on surf and turf, and a three-pound burger crowned with a farcical spire of onion rings. This time, we can blame Canada only for expanding our waistlines. M. Wells, 21-17 49th Ave at 21st St, Long Island City, Queens (718-425-6917, mwellsdiner.com)

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