• Queens Québécois diner adding original cocktails

11 Mar

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — The diner called M. Wells doesn’t have a lot of competition outside Canada for its particular cuisine. After all, how many places serve Québécois dishes?

Now, the restaurant is expanding its offerings, with a cocktail menu debuting next Tuesday (March 15) and a brunch cocktail menu to be introduced shortly afterward. The drinks menu, comprised mostly of original recipes, is being devised by Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin, a bartender at nearby Dutch Kills who worked with M. Wells chef/owner Hugue Dufour on the project to keep the drinks menus in keeping with the diner heritage.

A few examples of what they have come up with.

For dinner: The J.F.K. Harris (white rum, lemon juice, sugar and mint on the rocks with a float of red wine), Sans Frontieres (tequila reposado, the Canadian maple liqueur Sortilège and orange bitters, and the R.I.P. Topsy, a variation on the Depression-era Electric Current Fizz (a gin fizz made with egg white, with the seasoned raw yolk served on the side.

For brunch: The Take 3 (Cynar, lemon juice, St. Germain elderflower and soda), The More Better Mimosa (a spirit, grapefruit juice, Campari, créme de cassis and Cana), and the Slapshot (Canadian Club, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, Angostura bitters and soda, garnished with a cherry).

Who is the Topsy referred to in the aforementioned drink, you may ask? As explained on Wikipedia:

“Topsy (born circa 1875, died January 4, 1903), was a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island’s Luna Park. Because she had killed three men in as many years (including a severely abusive trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette), Topsy was deemed a threat to people by her owners and killed by electrocution on January 4, 1903, at the age of 28. Inventor Thomas Edison captured the event on film. He would release it later that year under the title ‘Electrocuting an Elephant’.”

M. Wells was opened last summer in a long-abandoned diner by Dufour and his wife, Sarah Obraitis, who he married in 2009. He had been known for his offbeat interpretation of Québécois food while at Pied de Cochon before moving here. The business is located at 21-17 49th Avenue, between the train tracks and the toll plaza for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Phone: (718) 425-6917.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Bar/Tavern/Lounge, Cocktails, Queens


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