In 2010 the New York City food scene was graced with the arrival of Québécois chef Hugh Dufour, who, along with his wife Sarah Obraitis, opened the M Wells Diner in Long Island City. Challenges with a landlord made the diner a mere flash in the pan despite great success. We almost missed our shot to experience the food that garnered Dufour high acclaim that first year, having made it across the east river for dinner the very last week they were open. I still have vivid culinary memories of the bone marrow escargot and maple pie.

After a series of popups and event appearances, Dufour and Obraitis have settled in at MoMA PS 1  and carved out a niche called M Wells Dinette. It's here that Ethan, his papa and I feasted on a warm Summer Sunday. While none of the dishes we recalled were on the menu of the day, there was no need for worry.

There was not one weak link. The beef tartare was an homage to top quality meat and a hearty yet delicate topping for the warm baguette that accompanied it. The pork chop was inspired and made even better by the heavenly mashed potatoes and truffled gravy with which it was served. In fact, it was deconstructed in a sense - it had been removed from the bone, taken apart and seasoned by some sort of fantastic culinary sorcery, and then placed back on the bone!  What???  :)

The warm salmon salad (sadly, forgot to take a photo) was one of the best fish dishes I've had in a while. As a beet lover I couldn't resist ordering the beets with honey and truffled goat cheese. My lunch companions, who were not as enthused with the thought of this vegetable found themselves battling it out for the last bites.  It almost got ugly!

And because we're dessert-loving people, we ordered the peach cobbler and creme brûlée pie (damn, that was a good decision). Imagine a filo dough crust partially filled with blueberries then topped with creme brûlée and torched so you get that caramelized sugar that gives it that delicious crunch. The peach cobbler had perfectly ripe peaches, fresh whipped cream and biscuits that could hold up to that and the syrup.

If you had plans to visit the museum, you'd be crazy to not make a meal at M Wells Dinnete part of the experience. And really, if you skipped the museum and ventured here just for the food, no one could fault you. We'll definitely do it again.

MoMA PS1 Courtyard
And, we would be remiss if we failed to mention that the gentleman who liased between us and the chefs sent us on our way with a cinnamon bun "just for fun," he said with a grin as he walked away.  It wasn't until hours later that we realized it was a great gift - the best damn c-bun either of our tastebuds have had the pleasure of meeting - perfectly sweet and rich.  As I chewed I thought how it shamed all other wanna-be cinnamon buns, and was simply F.U. good.  Thanks, good sir.  Fun indeed!

Most wit and good puns provide by Ethan, who you'll start to see as a contributor to the blog. Read his introductory post here.

Jul 16, 2013 Posted in | , , , , , | 0 Comments »

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