Image source: ARTINFO
This decision was “in response to outrage from animal rights advocates and concern about legal ramifications from health officials.” Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, the owners of the Dinette, stated, “Horse meat is off the menu at the Dinette, and it is not likely to return. We took it off because it upset so many people, which truly surprised us. That is not the effect we look for in our food, so away it goes.”
M. Wells has served horsemeat before – at Brooklyn’s Great GoogaMooga in May 2012, they served horse-pork bologna and grilled cheese sandwiches. Back in April 2012, they also served horsemeat tartare sandwiches at MOMA PS1.
More about their decision to not serve horsemeat can be found in the Dinette’s full statement:
Horsemeat is off the menu at the Dinette and it is not likely to return. We took it off because it upset so many people, which truly surprised us. That is not the effect we look for in our food, so away it goes.
We thought about serving it because we like to offer customers new things. We get tired of beef-chicken-pork all the time and we assume diners do, too. Whatever else horses are – draft animals, companions, transport – their meat is also delicious and affordable. In Quebec, where our chef is from, the presence of horse on a menu is unremarkable. Canada is far from the only culture where eating horse does not rise to the level of taboo.
Here in New York the law is ambiguous. We received contradictory opinions from two different government agencies with overlapping jurisdiction. All we can say with certainty is that the law appears to be in flux.
Public opinion here is split, too. Last summer, at a food festival in Brooklyn, we sold over 5,000 horse bologna foie gras grilled cheese sandwiches to many happy New Yorkers. Nevertheless, scandalizing animal lovers is not what we want to be famous for. It was certainly not our intent to insult American culture. However, it must be said, part of living in a city like New York means learning to tolerate different customs. If our critics can forgive us, we invite them in for a drink and a bite of whatever animal they do consume (if any). At any rate, we cry uncle.
M. Wells Dinette
Outcry Scuttles Plan to Put Horse on Menu at M. Wells Dinette [NYT]
Sandwich Wednesday: M. Wells Serves Horse Meat Tartare, Egg Salad to the Arty Masses [Edible Queens]
M Wells Dinette is expected to open this week, Thursday 9/27/12 [QNYC]