Had dinner at M. Wells Diner and I really welcome this new addition to the vibrant food scene in Queens. Their menu is quite small, interesting, whimsical and changes regularly.
Escargot and bone marrow was moist, voluptuous and an excellent counterpoint to crunchy garlic toast. The richness of the bone marrow and clean flavor compares favorably to Blue Ribbon's signature dish.
Peking duck was a beautiful, crisp skinned platter of tender duck. It playfully varies from tradition by including paper-thin slices of fiery pepper instead of cooling cucumber. The hoisin sauce is housemade, with a consistency of applebutter and has interesting notes of ripe dates. The flour pancakes were toothsome and pliable.
The skin was not separated from the meat and the duck was not prepared in traditional fashion (e.g. the fat was not rendered from the skin). While the flavor and moistness of the duck was excellent, I cannot say this was an excellent "Peking duck".
Fried rice was a melange of crunchy and soft. Crunchy baby white anchovies, crunchy seaweed contrast with soft moist duck and rice. Delicious.
The standout dish was a bowl of fried duck tongue, served with consomme on a platter of rock salt. The duck tongues were tender puffs with a delicately crisp exterior and a citrus, almost floral note. Consomme was mild and not particularly redolent with duck. While very good, the excess of spring onion was overwhelming.
Coconut cream pie was fantastic. The slightly sweet, fluffy coconut cream was exceptionally light, fresh and had toasted flakes of coconut meat. The crust was flaky but nearly verging on a cracker-like dryness (more butter needed).
All in all, a wonderful meal.
M. Wells Diner
21-17 49th Ave, Queens, NY 11101
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