I’m not a steak aficionado. I’m not a connoisseur. I’m far from an expert.
But I definitely enjoy eating, and the experience that can go along with it. I had heard about M. Wells around the time I moved to Court Square. As a threshold matter, the area needs the M. Wells Steakhouse. There are scarce amenities around here, and certainly the arrival of a high-end steakhouse bodes well for how the rest of the area will fill in.1
The opening date kept getting pushed back (I had seen projections as early as July, 2o13),2 but I was thrilled to hear when I popped in the day of the New York City Marathon that the restaurant was doing a soft opening on November 27th. I relayed this information to the wonderful blog LICTalk,3 and finally got a chance to check out the place earlier this month.
Keep in mind that M. Wells Steakhouse sits in a former car repair garage, and from the outside, it still looks like that. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could easily walk past the establishment not knowing it from some of the other abandoned warehouses in the area.4 Once inside, it has a speakeasy feel. The staff is well dressed. The kitchen is open. The desserts are served from roving carts. The ambiance is old school with a hint of modern amenities in the decor.
We each ordered a hamburger with bone in it plus an escargot and lobster roll appetizer. The escargot came with marrow and was served in a hollowed out bone. The lobster portions on the roll were generous. The hamburger, while a little gimmicky, was tender, and cooked exactly how I requested it: Medium rare. Each was a pleasure to eat, and I thoroughly enjoyed the bread that came pre-meal. The presentation of each of the dishes (click on the thumbnails for a larger photo) is unique and certainly fits the M. Wells credo. Perhaps this adventurous style of cooking may lead to some misses on the menu, as well. But I was happy to play it safe. Meanwhile, the drink menu was a little more subdued as opposed to the food menu (rattlesnake?), but it has a wide variety for almost every taste.
Overall, it was exactly the experience I thought I would be getting at M. Wells. I don’t project myself as a regular there, mainly because the restaurant’s prices doesn’t allow for that, but I was pleased with the decision to go check everything out.
Maybe next time I’ll check out the rattlesnake.
M. Wells Steakhouse, 43-15 Crescent Street, Long Island City, NY, 718-786-9060. Dinner 5.30pm-11.30pm. Except Sunday 5:30pm-10:30pm. Closed Tuesdays.