M. Wells Dinette is the brainchild of Quebecois chef Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, the husband-and-wife team behind the much-loved and now-shuttered M. Wells Diner. (Their first New York eatery opened to much fanfare in 2010, only to close a year later when they couldn't renew their lease.) Luckily, the formula — and the food — lives on at this charmed luncheonette, housed within the MoMA PS1 museum in Long Island City.
The space pays respect to the building's history as a public school with design elements like chalkboard menus, communal tables lined up classroom-style, facing the open kitchen, and repurposed elementary school chairs. But when it comes to the food, M. Wells is unlike any cafeteria you've ever been to. The menu, which changes daily, incorporates meat from virtually every animal that's socially acceptable to eat, and might include beef tartare with Parmesan mayo, bone marrow tart or pork tongue à la foie gras (cooked with spices and carrots in a tarragon vinaigrette). Although the restaurant attracts many museum-goers, it's also a full-blown attraction in its own right for the New York foodie crowd. Sadly, it's only open during museum hours and doesn't accept reservations, so arrive early and be prepared to wait. And remember that the menu varies considerably each day, so you'll need to be flexible and keep an open mind.
7 to 45 Rd. – Court House Sq.; G to Long Island City – Court Sq.; E, M to 23 St. – Ely Ave.
What to tell a cabbie
Take me to PS1 at Jackson Ave. and 46th Ave. in Long Island City, Queens.
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