Don't expect to find a recipe for foie and oats ($16) in the Larousse Gastronomique, the stout maroon volume that still anchors the M. Wells reference library. It's simply a compilation of things the chef likes, said my waitress, foie gras chief among them (and shown to better advantage below). The oats are also heavily freighted with nuts and dried fruit, then dressed with maple syrup. Excellent.
Also shown, from a midafternoon lunch for three: a skate wing Grenobloise ($15) that didn't stint on the capers; a minimalist escargot and marrow ($12), lacking parsley but still bone-scrapingly good; "bread pudding style" blood pudding ($13) accompanied by cabbage-bacon slaw and a sweet apple puree; very tender veal cheek Strogonoff ($16) paired with al dente spaetzle. We wished we had some bread to swab up the extra sauce.
The cookie, we agreed, was an indifferent component of the pumpkin tres leches ($10); we duly split it and dipped it, the better to open the way to the sponge cake and its milky bath. Ordering an additional dessert, the pear Charlotte ("for two," $20), was a stretch — especially, as we discovered, when the salted caramel begins to weigh heavy. That lady finger was very nearly the last one standing.
M. Wells Dinette
Inside MoMA PS1 (museum admission not required for dinette entry)
22-25 Jackson Ave. (at 46th Ave.), Long Island City, Queens
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday