Across the East River, M. Wells is a Bestiary

It’s not in Manhattan, but this tiny Long Island City restaurant is just across the Midtown Tunnel and would be worth a trip for the meat-lover even if it were on the very tip of Long Island.

Photo credit: Molly Donahue

Photo credit: Molly Donahue

If you read Edible Queens, our fine sister publication to the east, then you already know M. Wells is not in Manhattan. But this tiny Long Island City restaurant, which opened last summer in an old shiny diner car, is just across the Midtown Tunnel, and hell, it would be worth a trip for the meat-lover even if it were on the very tip of Long Island.

That’s because its beautiful young owners—Sarah Obraitis and her husband, Canadian chef Hugue Dufour—have an impeccable protein pedigree: Obraitis helped grow Heritage Foods USA, the outfit that sources and sells some of the country’s best-tasting animals; Dufour cooked at Montreal’s world-famous restaurant Au Pied de Cochon, home of foie gras–topped poutine with duck fat gravy and other meaty wonders. Love for Obraitis (she’s a looker) lured him to her native Queens, where the newlyweds’ meat-forward menu is Montreal diner meets farm-to-table: foiegras soufflés; crackly fried frog legs; pastry-topped savory Quebecois tourtières or meat pies stuffed with game; pickled pork tongue with flaky house-made soda crackers—all featuring flawless flesh.  Better get used to that 7 train.

 

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.