After nearly a year of anticipation, Pies ‘n’ Thighs opens Monday on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side; the Manhattan outpost will serve the signature fried chicken that made it a hit in Williamsburg as well as a few special LES treats, including sourdough donuts.
They’re savory, kind of sour, and a little bit sweat, says Pies ‘n’ Thighs owner Sarah Senneh. “We make sourdough bread for our Reuben, and we saw the yeast lying around one day and thought, ‘Why don’t we try it?”’ And was it good?
“The first one? Terrible,” Senneh said. But with experimentation they got better, and soon they were delicious and Senneh was looking up the recipe online to see if anyone else was making them. Turns out, she said, it’s pretty much just one Mennonite family in Pennsylvania, making them for the country fair.
As well as being one of the only places in the country to get that elusive item, the new location will feature other dishes special to the LES spot, like a raw collard-green salad with smoked coconut, avocado, and lime vinaigrette, chicken dumpling soup (“not chicken and dumpling soup, but like chicken meatball soup,” Senneh said), and cauliflower au gratin. Of course they will still serve up the staples they’re known for, including chicken and waffles with homemade biscuits and cornbread.
Pies ‘n’ Thighs’ new second home is nestled on a triangular intersection on Canal Street between Ludlow and Orchard Streets, a location that immediately appealed to Senneh. “I thought the setup was funny and cute and intimate,” she said of the intersection. She said she also feels lucky to have great neighbors in Dimes restaurant and Mission Chinese.
The interior, receiving its finishing touches when we visited Friday afternoon, gives a nod to the past with its worn-in vinyl stools, the first six of which were borrowed from the restaurant’s very first location in the back of the now closed Williamsburg watering hole Rockstar Bar. From those humble beginnings, Pies ‘n’ Thighs continues to grow, serving up a menu that’s proved hard to resist.
“People seemed psyched,” Senneh said of the locals who ogle the sign as they walk by. “There seems to be a lot of interest. I think what we do has a broad appeal.”
Pies ‘n’ Thighs will be open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight and weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight. See a full menu here.