Sharing dessert is always a dangerous proposition. In the time of COVID, it’s a total no-no. But, even before we started wearing masks and socially distancing, the sharing of dessert was a loaded proposition. At the end of a date, it was a signal of a connection, an intimacy of sorts. If the server asks, “should I bring two forks?” it’s established that you and your dining partner are giving off total “date” vibes. Sure, couples shared desserts, but, let’s face it, if two platonic friends each stuck a fork in the same dessert, there would be uncomfortable glances.
Basically, the rule is this: Friends don’t share desserts.
But, after sampling some of the personal pies from Two Brown Dogs bistro, which opened last year on 86th Street just north of 118th Avenue, well, it’s safe to report that there’s an option where you don’t need to share. You and your friends can each grab your own pies. Or, even if you are sharing with someone special, you don’t have to feel you’ve got to give up the best bits of the dessert in order to keep your relationship on solid ground.
We grabbed four of the flavours on offer:
Cherry, vanilla and thyme
Apple with sour cream
Peach with basil and anise
Apricot with ginger and curry
The verdicts? The crusts were flaky and well-baked. For those who like surprises, the anise really packs a licorice punch with the peach filling, and the ginger really leans into the apricot. The apple and sour cream was delightful, a wonderful way to subtly update maybe the most classic pie flavour of them all. But the cherry was the favourite, with the tartness of the cherry filling being complemented with the noticeable hint of vanilla.
And that’s the thing. Sometimes you read a menu item’s description, and the supporting ingredients are rarely able to be noticed once you take a bite of what you ordered. But in the case of these pies from Two Brown Dogs, the anise, ginger, vanilla and sour cream were noticeable components of their respective pies.
Definitely a hidden gem that’s worth a try. And, everyone, bring your own fork. And don’t ask, “can I try some of that?” You know better.