I was sad when the doors of Montreal-influenced M.Well's Diner closed in New York. I had discovered this upscale "hip" greasy spoon a few years ago, visiting its diner box car environ's to sample the fusion of Canadian comfort food. So when I heard that Hugues Dufour and his wife Sarah Obraitis were re-established as M. Well's Dinette in P.S.1, the Museum of Modern Art's hip Long Island City outpost, I checked it out.
Pared down, and without a printed menu covered in plastic, it's now posted on on a chalkboard. It still features huge tourtière, a meat pie which is also a Québécois classic. And the place was busy. Finding a seat, I noticed that the chef was playing on a Korean dish, Bi Bim Bap…here it's Bi Bim Well's. I went for tête du cochon with gribiche sauce…or head cheese with a mayo, egg, parsley and cornichon classic mother sauce, with crisp finely sliced bread.
Though I miss the sugar pie they used to serve, M. Well's still has a dessert menu that satisfies the sweet tooth. I enjoyed the idea of a pine flavored chiboust on a biscuit. The actual desert, essentially a meringue, was pretty enough. But the pastry cream that usually is part of the chiboust was lacking. Then again, it came with a lovely side of gooseberry's that worked as an acidity to cut the sugary nature of the desert. A banana creme bruleé seemed refrigerated and the dough felt hard. Still, I think the idea is nice. Maybe a pâte sablée would of worked nicer?
It was quite busy but the kitchen crew kept up. And the service was great. It was a bit like coming back to a friend's house for dinner after a long seperation. Makes you remember how much they were missed.