If you are looking for a neat culinary experience in a unique space that was once a mechanic shop – M. Wells Steakhouse will make you swoon right down to your woolly socks. I was whispered the name, M. Wells Steakhouse, by a waitress at Russ & Daughters in Manhattan a few years ago as the off the beaten path spot to check out. As luck would have it, I simply buried their name in a stack of receipts inside my Passport and forgot about it.
Upon my recent visit to Queens, New York in the Fall of 2017 – I pulled out that note and I promptly made a reservation at M. Wells Steakhouse as it was just a few blocks from where I always choose to stay In Queen’s.
M. Wells Steakhouse is tucked into a corner off a street surrounded immense windowed condos, little shops and people walking their dogs in the heart of Queens. You may miss it if you blink.
The space that greets you emanates warmth, a genuine care from staff, smiles and a rustic vibe that meets a sophisticated nod without the attitude is a perfect match for the solo traveller or a family gathering.
Etienne was my guide for the night. Also Canadian he was sure to provide me with the inside nod of what was indeed ‘good’ at M. Wells Steakhouse. The menu although not huge, does a wonderful job of speaking to what they do best and curated as such upon delivery.
I started off with a beautiful glass of La Pepie 2016 Muscadet. It was a perfect lure as I let go of the cold that was still sitting in my shoulders soaked in the November chill and let the warmth of the wine fill me up.
A delicious plate of fresh bread and butter quickly made its way in front of me. I was sat alone at the bar with a couple to the right of me indulging in their Pig’s Head entrée. I surveyed the small M. Wells Steakhouse space. Busy, intimate, dark but oozing a friendly ambiance. I quietly ate my bread and butter – fully content.
To start, I encourage you to dwell upon the Solomon Grundy. Think a potato waffle, pickled smelts, crème fraiche, roe and dill. It was fresh, delightful and Instagram worthy. Also, zesty and easy to digest with wine in tow. If you order any starter at M. Wells Steakhouse the Solomon Grundy has to be it.
The Chenas, 2016 wine from Christophe Pacalet followed. The layers of the wine versus food is a must. You may feel like a trifle dessert but the soothing element of the wine as it lacquers your stomach between bites is what makes a vacation meal or a night out meal great. Lean into it.
What followed was the Bone Marrow Escargots. Simply bone marrow escargots that were easily scooped onto the shell of a bone with a red wine jus. Light, exquisite and could be eaten on a Sunday afternoon at home in bed with a stack of novels on the go. This is what M. Wells Steakhouse does well – simple meals transformed into moments to dwell upon, have conversations about and to let one’s hard working body to rest in for a few hours on their watch.
The Pommes Alligot was the most eloquent mashed potato and cheese I have ever tasted. Not like your mother’s, not like your grandmother’s. If you are not a fan of mashed potatoes, the Pommes Alligot from M. Wells Steakhouse will convert you in a heartbeat. Ever so thankful to Etienne at M. Wells Steakhouse for encouraging me to give it a go. It was surely one of the many stars of the night.
The Venison T-Bone was the All Star Player of the night. Cooked supremely and accompanied by wild berries and brown butter – it had all the makings of a comfort meat that on a cold night in November could mend and replenish all the aches, pains and heart aches from the past year in one sitting. Pricey but worth every penny.
I relaxed with my Maple Pie dessert after a bit of a break from the sheer decadence of the main meal. The Maple Pie was a lovingly prepared bread pudding and not at all for the faint of heart. It is a worthy participant to leave room for after all the delicious protein from the main meal. Rich, oozing of a vintage childhood dessert – the Maple Pie will seal the deal. You will be having a restful sleep that night with this guy in your belly.
A space that is great for a tourist visit but also frequented by locals. When I was enjoying my meal, I observed many a young couple with their little ones, families and even single folk milling about having a drink, nice conversation over warm and inviting food. Be sure to dress comfortably and be ready to eat when you arrive for your seating is my best suggestion. You will be taken care of.
In the winter season, M. Wells Steakhouse will be a wonderful place to beat the snowy blues . Treat yourself to a few meals that are simply staged, uncomplicated and will indeed provide for an enriching experience. The conversations with friends and loved ones will be brighter and I guarantee you will feel restored.
Make a reservation at M. Wells Steakhouse before you leave town for New York or better yet make it a standing reservation once a month with friends and family. Starting off the New Year on the right foot with good food from M. Wells Steakhouse whilst celebrating your health, happiness and joy will serve you well.
Happy New Year!