Not every restaurant review deserves a preview, but to understand the importance — and strangeness — of
M. Wells Steakhouse, you need a little background.
The restaurant opened softly in Long Island City, Queens last week, but there’s already been significant buzz about the restaurant in the food community for months. Earlier this fall, Eater included it on a list of ‘most anticipated’ fall openings.
M. Wells Steakhouse is a project by chef Hugue Dufour and spouse Sarah Obraitis. Their first project M. Wells Dinette, has been a cult classic in NYC since its opening in 2010. After a rent dispute it moved into MOMA PS1 as a lunch spot (to much rejoicing), and its mix of eclectic comfort food has been going strong ever since. Think: Foie Gras Bread Pudding.
Now Dufour and Obraitis are turning that same predilection for the bizarre to a steakhouse, and they know its going to be a gamble. Dufour told New York Magazine earlier this fall — “Opening a steakhouse is worrisome for me,” he says. “People have strong opinions.”
We’ll let you know what we think after we eat there.
What we know so far, though, is that the restaurant is located in an abandoned garage. There’s a tank of live trout, an open kitchen (odd for a steakhouse), and soon there will be be a catamaran sitting in the restaurant soon if Dufour has his way.
On the menu you’ll find steakhouse classics like Bone-in Châteaubriand and shell fish platters, but then you’ll also see some weird twists. The menu includes fois gras stuffed gnocchi, a bone-in burger, and creamed sea-spinach.
For steakhouse aficionados it will be a love-it-or-hate-it restaurant — it will be a total sin or a completely refreshing twist.
That said, what’s the point of opening a restaurant if you’re not going to do something different — even if it’s with something as perfect as a steakhouse.