In his post as executive pastry chef at world renowned French dining temple Le Bernardin, Michael Laiskonis doesn't turn out too many pies, but that doesn't mean the James Beard Award winner doesn't like them. "Sometimes we get too complex for our own good, so it's good to go back and sort of recalibrate," he says. We were more than happy to help him do just that on a recent afternoon, escorting the easygoing Laiskonis around town stuffing our own pieholes, so to speak, at the Dutch, Momofuku Milk Bar, M. Wells, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, and Pies-N-Thighs, plus one from Hester Street Fair vendor and Fatty 'Cue purveyor First Prize Pies. Laiskonis arrived with his appetite primed, announcing, as we dug in to our first specimen, "This is breakfast for me." See his thoughts on the crust, filling, and comfort factor of each slice, then check out his winner, straight ahead.
Pies-N-Thighs: Sour Cherry Pie, $4.50
"It looks like almost more of a crumble."
"I'm pretty sure it's made with dried cherries; I guess this time of year, I was expecting fresh. I'm a little disappointed."
COMFORT FACTOR: 3
TOTAL POINTS: 9.5
Pies-N-Thighs: Apple Pie With Cheddar, $5
"It's solid. It's still pretty clean and contained, so you know it's going to be a bit dry."
"The cinnamon — if there were any more, there'd be too much."
COMFORT FACTOR: 4
"It's not as luscious and unctuous as the peach one."
TOTAL POINTS: 11
M. Wells: Banana Cream Pie, $6
"This is a little bit thicker, to contrast the lightness of the whipped cream and the pastry cream."
"The filling, even though it's three distinct flavors and textures, they're cohesive."
COMFORT FACTOR: 4.5
"This is quintessential diner pie."
TOTAL POINTS: 12
The Dutch: Salted Lime Pie With Coconut Sorbet, $9
M. Wells: Maple Pie, $7
"Unlike some other pies, it's not so much the vehicle as a crucial component. It's incredibly flaky, maybe a little bit overcooked."
"It's a little bit more refined."
COMFORT FACTOR: 4
TOTAL POINTS: 12
First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly Pie, $30 for a Pie
Momofuku Milk Bar: Crack Pie, $5.25
"I think here it's just kind of the vehicle."
"There are interesting things happening with the filling. It almost speaks to that idea of 'greater than the sum of its parts'; they have to be using quality ingredients.
COMFORT FACTOR: 5
"This lies on that guilty pleasure, pure indulgence side."
TOTAL POINTS: 13
The Dutch: Peach Pie With Candied Thyme and Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet, $9
"The latticework is very well done. With something like this, you're in danger of the bottom becoming soggy, but it holds up without being tough."
"The candied thyme I thought would be overwhelming, but it's not as pronounced as I expected."
COMFORT FACTOR: 5
"Aesthetically, for me, this is how it's supposed to be. The filling is barely contained. I love how this falls apart."
TOTAL POINTS: 13.5
Four & Twenty Blackbirds: Salted Caramel Apple Pie, $4.75
"The bottom layer disintegrates a little bit."
"It's mostly apple. It's loose and kind of sloppy, which just means it's moist. There might be some cinnamon, but it's supporting."
COMFORT FACTOR: 5
TOTAL POINTS: 14
Most Viewed Stories
Ben Lyons Tries to Eat Chinese Food Every Sunday Night
Horrific Animal Cruelty Exposed at Farm for Domino’s and Pizza Hut Cheese Provider
I Pumpkin Spiced My Life With Black-Market Starbucks Syrup
Inside the World’s Most Mysterious Nutella Emporium
Neil Patrick Harris Lunches at Landmarc; SJP Dines at Acme
Inside the World’s Most Mysterious Nutella EmporiumAll openings »
Looks Like Krescendo Has Served Its Last PizzaAll closings »
Search by name
Or, search by
Latest News on Grub StreetBurger King Japan’s Black Burgers Are Even Worse in Real Life
Some people say it has a mysterious "peppery" taste, too.How to Get Ample Hills Ice Cream Delivered Right to Your Home
"Classics" include Peppermint Pattie and the shop's famed Salted Crack Caramel flavor.Just What You Never Wanted: Airline Food Delivered Directly to Your House
Make sure your seatbacks and tray tables are in their fully upright and locked positions, and you have plenty of sriracha sauce.The Grub Street Food Festival Is Back on October 5
Roberta's and Doughnut Plant lead the pack of vendors this year out.Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: GG’s Opens, the Modern Returns, and More
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.America’s Beloved PBR Will Be Sold to Russian Brewers
"America's Best in 1893" gets foreign owners in 2014.Now Olive Garden’s Employees Are Threatening to Strike
They want executives and shareholders to know they have issues, too.Neil Patrick Harris Lunches at Landmarc; SJP Dines at Acme
This week's Celebrity Settings.2014 Is on Track to Be the Best Year Yet for White Truffles
A lot rain and a lot of warmth make for a bumper are good for the fungus.Ben Lyons Tries to Eat Chinese Food Every Sunday Night
"I had a glass of wine at lunch because it made me feel European."
The restaurant corporation apologized to Vietnamese Americans who were "hurt and offended."Scottish Bars Where You Can Watch Tonight’s Referendum Voting Results
Including Highlands and St. Andrews.Blue Bottle Has Launched Its New Coffee-Delivery Service
They're completing their acquisition of Tonx.Why It’s Time to Start Eating Tibetan Yak Cheese
"We call every day," Ripert says. "They say, 'maybe tomorrow.'"Here’s a Restaurant That Rewards Customers Who Give It Bad Yelp Reviews
Haters get 25 percent off and free cooking classes.The Cotton-Candy Ice-Cream Cone Is Now a Reality
S'mores ice cream plus sugar cone plus smoked cotton-candy.Horrific Animal Cruelty Exposed at Farm for Domino’s and Pizza Hut Cheese Provider
Video shows workers punching and shocking cows.Check Out This Marvelous S’mores Espresso Drink
It required a month of testing to perfect.Why Tartine Breadmaster Chad Robertson Is Going Global
He's expanding.Inside the World’s Most Mysterious Nutella Emporium
"We'll keep to first names for now."
Yes, "misogyny is alive and well" in the service industry.It Only Took America 80 Years to Turn Bloody Marys Into a Complete Joke
Congratulations, everyone.Tom Colicchio’s Next TV Show Will Be ‘Completely Different’ From Top Chef
"I’m laboring over this, because I want to get it right."People Are Not Happy With the ‘Communist’ Logo at Taco Bell’s Bánh Mì Offshoot
"You're just insulting Vietnamese Americans by associating Saigon with the communist symbol."Dominique Ansel Will Open in Tokyo in 2015
"There will be something created just for Tokyo, and I will personally see every aspect of development," the chef says.Krispy Kreme Has Limited-Edition Ghostbusters-Themed Doughnuts
With Slimer and Stay-Puft, of course.A Restaurant Somehow Thought an Adrian Peterson ‘Spank Your Server’ Promo Was a Good Idea
The owner calls it "a bad joke gone awry."Manhattan Takes Its Next Step Toward Becoming One Enormous Shake Shack Line
Hope you like crinkle-cut French fries.Here’s the Scene at Today’s Opening of a Real-Life Friends Central Perk
Free coffee, and one special orange couch.GG’s, the Goat Town Reboot, Will Serve Oven-Baked Lobster and Grandma-Style Pizza
It's the Goat Town reboot.
Il Buco Alimentari's new executive chef Roger Martinez on the changes he has planned. (Don't worry: The short ribs are staying put.)Walmart Told Customers a Fake ‘Sugar Tax’ Was Making Their Coke Cost More
The "tax" equaled the amount discounted by an ad.This Coffee Start-up Uses Whiskey Instead of Water in Its Cold Brew
It's clearly an idea whose time has come.Kobayashi Battles the Tiny Hamster in the Eating Contest You’ve Eagerly Awaited
It's like Ali versus Frazier, but with hot dogs.Group Reconsiders Plans for a Pop-up That Only Serves Death Row Last Meals
It offered all of the culinary perks "without the nasty execution bit."I Pumpkin Spiced My Life With Black-Market Starbucks Syrup
One man's quest to make everything taste like a latte.The Rainbow Room Finally Reopens October 6
The Art Deco landmark is back.Bidding Is Up to $100K on eBay for NFL Player’s 20-Cent Tip Receipt
Six figures for a glorified autograph.OddFellows Launches Delivery in Manhattan
Right in time for the cold weather.Will These 20 Food-Porn Photos Make You Feel Less Hungry?
According to a new study, they might!
A ten-ouncer you can hold in the palm of your hand.Corporate Executives Defend Olive Garden’s Unlimited Breadsticks
"The Outlook for the Future Is Bright."6 Dishes From a ‘Weird Chinese Food’ Dinner That Mostly Just Sound Delicious
Duck gizzards, pig ears, and thousand-year eggs.Surge — the World’s Most Nineties Soda — Is Coming Back
The revived brand will be sold in 12-packs available only on Amazon.What to Eat at Marta, Danny Meyer’s Brand-New Pizzeria
Pizza, beer-brined chicken, and more pizza.Fall Fruit: 16 Spots to Hit If You’re Looking for Fresh Figs
With foie gras, quail, ricotta, and, of course, honey.A Pizza Hut Horrified Animal Lovers With Free Pets for People Who Bought Pizzas
The offending store concedes it was probably a "bad idea."An Ice Cream Shop Rolled Out ‘Big Straight Ice Cream’ This Weekend
"What's the issue? We can call our ice cream whatever we want," the wine bar's manager says.Restaurant Review: At Wilma Jean, the Southern Chef Surrenders to New York's Fried-Chicken Fixation
Plus: Hanamizuki serves up fusion omusubi in a serene setting.California Makes It Illegal to Sue People for Posting Nasty Yelp Reviews
The first, and probably not last, state to do this.