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
Here Are the 2015 Michelin Stars for New York City
Here’s an 8,000-Calorie Breakfast That Requires a Signed Waiver to Eat
New York’s Best New Bakery Is Located in an Office-Building Lobby
Trouble on East 65th Street: Why Does Daniel Keep Losing Stars?
The 11 Strangest Starbucks Locations on the Planet
Momofuku Milk Bar Soho Opens TomorrowAll openings »
Looks Like Krescendo Has Served Its Last PizzaAll closings »
Search by name
Or, search by
Latest News on Grub StreetTrouble on East 65th Street: Why Does Daniel Keep Losing Stars?
The chef needs to figure out how to please critics, inspectors, and list-voters whose tastes practically demand forward-thinking cuisine while simultaneously pleasing his regular clientele.Joël Robuchon Will Open His Comeback Restaurant in Lower Manhattan
This time he's got a whopping 11,000 square feet.PepsiCo Wants to Patent Granola Bars Stuffed With Pop Rocks
Plus doughnuts and "other three dimensional shapes," too.Here Are the 2015 Michelin Stars for New York City
Daniel lost a star, Blanca gained one, and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare remains on top.Rage Against the Machine Is Now Just Raging Against a Neighborhood Café
"Rock stars don't get special treatment at The 5 Point. We couldn't give less of a shit."New York’s Best New Bakery Is Located in an Office-Building Lobby
How did a talented bread man end up opening a fantastic new bakery in the lobby of 40 Worth Street?McDonald’s Japan Rolls Out Its Own Black Cheeseburger
There is also a white chicken sandwich.The Not-So-New Guy: Chef Jamie Bissonnette’s Big Year in New York
"New York started off by punching me in the face, but now it's giving me a hug."The 11 Strangest Starbucks Locations on the Planet
You can get the chain's frappuccinos at a funeral home, at the Louvre, and also at Guantánamo Bay.Here’s an 8,000-Calorie Breakfast That Requires a Signed Waiver to Eat
Customers "see it come out on the big platter all heaped high and start to cry."
"Our focus will be on our individual brands," they write.Enrique Olvera’s Anticipated Restaurant Cosme Now Accepts Reservations
Service begins the last week in October, apparently.Hong Kong McDonald’s Rolls Out a Mysterious ‘Batman’ Burger
Nothing says vigilante justice like Squeezy Cheesy Fries with a Sparkling Green Apple Tea on the side.Grand Banks Will Close Out the Season With Hot Toddies, Clam Chowder, and $1 Oysters
Also, there's an oyster happy hour.This Restaurant Gives a Gun Discount to Customers Who Prove They’re Armed
"As long as everybody has a gun we're all the same size," the owner says.How Nobu’s Most Famous Dish Helped Launch a Global Restaurant Empire
Black cod with miso was effectively the Momofuku pork bun of its day.Here’s Where to Get Free (or Very Cheap) Coffee Today
Free samples, $1 cups, and buy-one-get-one deals galore.The Amy’s Baking Company Couple Is Back, Threatening to Stab Someone
"You're going to go to jail for the rest of your life," an onlooker said.Restaurant Review: At elan, Downtown-Dining Pioneer David Waltuck Dates Himself
Shouldn't this eagerly awaited new Flatiron venture feel slightly more contemporary?Some Brave Soul Vowed to Spend 49 Days Eating Nothing But Olive Garden Pasta
This guy is like the Charles Lindbergh of rigatoni.
The now-famous pizza spot paid employees as little as $5.69 an hour.You Can Buy the Post Office’s Famous-Chef Stamps Today
One for James Beard, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, Joyce Chen, and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi.Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Estela’s VIPs, Excellent New Pizza, and More
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.World’s Most Awesome Woman Celebrates 102nd Birthday With White Castle Blowout
"One of these days I'll ask them how they make that hamburger."Hillary Clinton Fund-raises at ACME; Leonardo DiCaprio Parties at Space Ibiza
This week's Celebrity Settings.City’s ‘First Bar for Pregnant Women’ Is, Thankfully, Just a Publicity Stunt
Their marketing concepts should have gestated a little longer.Closed Doughnut Shop Mysteriously Promises to Reopen Without ‘the Skunk’
At least one former customer is pretty sure they're talking about a manager.Norah O’Donnell Loves Bacon and Baklava
"More bacon for me!"Marilyn Hagerty’s Long-Awaited Applebee’s Review Is Finally Here
"Menu is extensive and takes study if you are not a regular here."A Belgian Town Is Building an Underground Beer Pipeline — What Could Go Wrong?
Townspeople have no doubt already devised ways to tap it.
Founding motto: "Hooters just wasn't racy enough."The Neo-Dives: 9 Bars That Keep New York’s Downscale Drinking Tradition Alive
A proper dive takes decades of stasis and neglect, but these bars are all spots to go if you just want a watering hole that's adverse to anything too fancy.Smorgasburg Will Move to Crown Heights for the Winter
The colossal group of vendors will be indoors from November 8 until March.Wendy’s New Business Plan: Just Put Pulled Pork on Everything
"From their point of view, they think they can oven roast a bunch of pork, slather it in sauce, and idiots will come."12 New Places to Try for Your Next Great Pizza Experience
Marta, GG's, B-Side, and more.Saveur’s New Editor-in-Chief on His Plans for the Storied Magazine
"To me, it seems like the most exciting opportunity in food media right now."The Obamas Ate Burrata and Croquettes at Estela Last Night
The president also had some fluke carpaccio and endive salad.Marta Chef Nick Anderer Explains His Surf-and-Turf Take on Saltimbocca
Herby, salty, and faintly smoky.Chinese Restaurant Tests Innovative New Menu Item: Drug-Laced Noodles
An owner dosed his food with the same ingredient used to make opium.Maison Premiere Team Opening Second Restaurant in Williamsburg
The project will open next year.
"I'm just saying ... the government should stay out of things."Popeyes’ New ‘Beer Can’ Chicken Is a Travesty
Except it's fried, and it has zero beer.10 Excellent Places to Get Apple-Cider Doughnuts in NYC, Without the Drive Upstate
The Cinnamon Snail, Babycakes, Doughnuttery, and lots more.Obama’s ‘Latte’ Salute Managed to Offend a Lot of People Who Probably Disliked Him Already
Starbucks seems to win this round, no matter what.August to Reopen on the Upper East Side
At Lexington and 62nd.What Is Danny Meyer Planning at 7 Bryant Park?
It sure doesn't look like a Shake Shack.People Are Waiting 9 Hours to Eat at Hot Doug’s Before It Closes for Good
It's the final countdown for Chicago's famed encased meats emporium.Momofuku Milk Bar Soho Opens Tomorrow
With salty pistachio soft-serve, apple pie cake truffles, and grasshopper pie.Adam Platt Calls Singapore ‘Asia’s Great Food Bazaar’
New York's restaurant critic discovers there's a lot more than street food in Singapore these days.Milk & Honey Will Close October 25, But Will Relocate (Again)
Petraske says he's headed back downtown, and downsizing.