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M. Wells Returning to Long Island City With MoMA Flavor

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 25, 2012 8:29am

LONG ISLAND CITY — A long-awaited foodie hotspot is returning to Long Island City.

The gourmet favorite, M. Wells Dinette, featuring a new menu inspired by French and Japanese cuisines, is opening on Thursday at MoMA PS1.

The owners, chef Hugue Dufour and his wife, Sarah Obraitis, who ran their previous restaurant, M. Wells, in Long Island City until it closed last year, worked for the last couple of months on the new location. In the meantime, they cooked at the museum's courtyard during the summer Saturday concert series Warm Up 2012.

The menu for the new cafeteria-style restaurant will include delicacies like bibimbap, a Korean dish that Dufour bolsters with raw scallops and foie gras mixed with avocado and pepper sauce.

There will also be a clam blanquette with mashed potatoes; blue fish gravlax; eggs and jelly with dashi, a Japanese broth; and a crusted-custard cannelle.

Dufour said details are still being worked on, but the prices for a meal will range from $15 to $50.  Diners can eat at the restaurant without visiting — or paying for — the museum, an official from MoMa PS1 said.

M. Wells Dinette will have a modest décor, resembling a classroom with green chalk boards — which will list a rotating menu — and student tables, to honor the building's schoolhouse past.

Meals will be served on a military-style trays.

The restaurant will seat up to 54 people, and its Thursday opening will coincide with the kick-off of the NY Art Book Fair.

Dufour and Obraitis are also planning to open a steakhouse in Long Island City sometime next year, they said.

MoMA PS 1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City.