I have a few rules regarding restaurants. I don't eat at chain restaurants unless I'm on a road trip. Life is too short to eat sub-par food more than once. I also don't repeat restaurants unless it is really really good. There are far too many places to try. My mom once mentioned that I eat well wherever I travel. I research a lot. I ask friends. I search through Food & Wine. I look at city guides on Design*Sponge. Sometimes I even rely on lists. One that I found this year was Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants in America in 2011.
I don't know if I'll make it through all 10 before the next list is released but I have eaten at three of them so far. Two of them were good and the third was not. I found hair in my food at Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco. I was disappointed. I also felt the food did not even come close to the goodness that I regularly eat at any of David Chang's restaurants. I know they are not the same type of food but it was a comparison I made in my mind and I'm sticking to it.
The number eight restaurant on the list is M. Wells in Long Island City, NY. I was fortunate to eat their twice before it closed this last summer. I'm still hoping that the owners will find a new spot to lease very very soon. The food is delicious. The first time I ate there was with Brigham which he documented very well. I didn't realize then that I would want my own pictures now. This meal made me want to return to eat some of their family style dishes. So I called and made a reservation for a group for 16 August 2011. The restaurant was closing at the end of August so this was our last hurrah.
Once again, Brigham took lots of pictures and wrote lovely words about our meal. I'm still thinking about it now because it was one of my top 5 meals of the year.
The company included JB (not pictured), Brigham and his two brothers. Me with four men worked out really well. We ordered lots of food, I tried a little, and they ate it all. I didn't take pictures of everything but here are some of the company and our table of desserts. The groups around us could not stop looking at what we ordered because it looked pretty delicious.
I hope I'll be able to take more people to eat this food someday.