Food & Drink
FOOD: Celebrate Pi Day With Pies All Day [NYC]
by Casey Feehan
Major holidays require major planning: menus, reservations, gifts, get-togethers – it’s easy to get over-taxed and overwhelmed with all the options to celebrate. Sometimes, you need your holidays to be straight-forward. Simple. Uncomplicated. Enter: Pi Day.
There’s really only one way to celebrate Pi Day, and that’s by eating pie. A slice of pie, a whole pie, pie for dessert or pies all day long; invest in it as little or as much as you like – no pressure! Whatever your preference, I’ve gathered together a few favorite shops worth visiting to help you celebrate the glory of 3.14.
I myself am going to attempt to eat nothing tomorrow if it’s not in pie form. It’s either that, or, like a friend and I discussed earlier, “baking ourselves into a pie and eating our way out.” Tough call!
Below, your guide for good pie-eating all day long in NYC:
Ever heard of quiche? Yeah, that’s a pie in a really good, eggy disguise. Rediscover your love of this classic breakfast dish at places like Balthazar, BKLYN Larder, Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center, Cannelle Patisserie, and Le Pain Quotidian.
If eggs aren’t your thing, Eataly’s got a polentina (= tiny polenta pie) with blueberry jam that they sell at their Lavazza Gran Bar Cafe, and the best part? It’s gluten free!
Tuck Shop has got you covered for lunch, coming at you from both East and West Manhattan locations. These hand-pies are perfectly portioned, come in mouth-watering flavors like Guinness-Steak-and-Mushroom and Thai-Chook-Curry, and they’re totally portable: just in case re-wrapping yourself in the 8 layers necessary to survive Winter’s last icy breath takes up too much of your lunch break before you even leave the office. Also: I happen to know that a Scottish bar on the Upper East Side serves Tuck Shop pies, alongside a super collection of whiskies, in case you want to grab a late-night pie-bite.
Duh: it’s New York City. If we’re talking about pie for dinner, and I didn’t mention pizza, I’d have some serious explaining to do. I could name-drop all night, but as someone who recently had an epiphany about the $1-slice joints in the city, I realized it’s no use debating who’s got the best pizza in town. You all have your favorites, so I won’t even list them! But I will shamelessly link to other people listing them.
There’s no shortage of sweet, sweet pie-love in this town; these are just a few of many stellar shops to get a slice:
Four and Twenty Blackbirds is serious about high-quality pie, and serious about making sure you aren’t left wanting for any tomorrow: they’re having a Pi Day special, selling 3 slices of their stellar pies for just $14! If they have their salted-caramel apple pie, it’s a must-buy: I make it every year for Thanksgiving and it disappears in minutes, no matter how many (or few) people are digging in.
A while ago, a server told me about the sour cream apple walnut pie at Little Pie Company, and since tasting it, it’s hard to look at regular apple pies in quite the same way. Just go and try it. Just. Go.
Two Little Red Hens bakery is kind of the saving grace of the Upper East Side. There isn’t much up there (though that does seem to be changing!), and maybe that’s what motivates this charming little shop to turn out pies that are consistently delicious.
If you’ve ever had Momofuku Milk Bar‘s Crack Pie, then you also know what it’s like when need your fix. My sad story: a friend got me hooked after bringing me a slice at work for my birthday one year. It’s basically butter and sugar congealed in a crust – so, all the best things – and there’s been many a desperate night trying to make it to the shop before close: luckily, Milk Bar now has 5 different locations around NYC to help you when you need it bad.
Butter & Scotch/First Prize Pies – There’s no brick-and-mortar shop (yet – their successful campaign on Kickstarter reached its crowdfunding goal in November ’13), but you can find these pies and other sweet treats like cupcakes and caramel corn every Saturday at the Smorgasburg Brooklyn Flea Food Market. So if, for some crazy reason, you can’t get your hands on any pie tomorrow (or can’t get your fill of it and need more, more pie!), check out their stand this Saturday to find offerings including Shaker Lemon, Bourbon Ginger Pecan, and the ingenious S’Mores Pie. (Also on Saturday: one half of the dynamic duo, Allison Kave, is signing copies of her brand new book, First Prize Pies. Head over to Park Slope between 4-5pm to get your copy and taste some of the recipes, prepared by Melissa Vaughan, co-author of The New Brooklyn Cookbook.)
*This isn’t a ranked list; humble pie is not on the menu today! Just suggestions and recommendations, from one pie-lover to many. If you want to shout out your favorite pie shop, leave it in the comments, and tell us why you love it!