Last Monday marked Pie Day, a play on words regarding Pi, the irrational number beginning with 3.14 and thus coinciding with the date 3/14. The 14th also happened to be particularly dreary and wet, so with five minutes of my final lecture left, I had texted my friend Jamie, “I’m sad and I need pie.” Within minutes she had trifled through search results and picked our destination at random: Crown Heights’ own Butter and Scotch.
After hopping off the 5 at Franklin Avenue, we were surprised at how low-key Butter and Scotch was. On a quiet street with a couple delis and nothing more, the bakery had no signage other than a bright neon creation signaling pie. This aside, we immediately fell in love as soon as we stepped in the door, as a familiar warmth that only baking can hit us full force.
The warmth was accentuated by a rich red color scheme and a glowing “Butter and Scotch” neon sign on the back wall. While the setting is cramped, meaning that you have to navigate your way down the narrow strait between the counter seats and the wall, it can also be seen as contributing to a close familial atmosphere. We were quick to jump at two seats at the bar and were immediately greeted by Tess and Allison, the women running the show at this self-proclaimed ‘lady bar.’
This retro lady bar is actually a bar-cum-bakery, and is the magnificent baby of Allison Kave and Keavy Blueher. Their dream began back in 2013, when the women launched a Kickstarter campaign to make the confections-and-cocktails combo a reality. The Brooklyn transports came up with the idea over a pitcher of sangrias and have since built a beautiful menu of pies, cakes, and complementary drink pairings. While the Franklin Avenue spot is their only location, Butter and Scotch products, like their critically acclaimed caramel corn, are also available online, at various Dean and Deluca locations, and at Smorgasburg every Sunday.
Besides their caramel corn, the bakery is also known for their S’mores pie, and this is exactly what we ordered. We also ordered a slice each of their Bourbon Ginger Pecan and the special of the day, a ‘Grasshopper’ mint concoction. And as we hate to be underachievers, we ordered all of these a la mode, specifically with their creamy vanilla bean ice cream. We also ordered some coffees, because sadly we have two more years before we can order their wonderfully-named “Dick Pic” shots.
The wait was a bit long, but while we waited we munched on cheerios, B&S’s version of the communal bar peanuts, and chatted with Tess. Once the desserts had arrived we took some obligatory Snapchat photos, and then we dove in. The Grasshopper pie I ordered was a pastel green, white chocolate-mint mousse, lined with a brownie chocolate crust. It was delicious, but a bit heavy on the mint liqueur. That didn’t stop me from eating every last morsel.
The S’mores pie that Jamie ordered had lived up to the hype. The graham cracker crust was crumbly and sweet, the chocolate custard was rich, and the toasted marshmallow top was gooey perfection. I was very tempted to steal the slice and run, but then I wouldn’t have gotten to try the Ginger Bourbon Pecan slice. This was my favorite of all three, and Jamie agreed. The ginger was strong, but not overpowering, the pecans soft without being soggy, and the bourbon gave it a sweet kick without brewing any concern over underage consumption. The smooth ice cream melted perfectly onto the buttery crust, and by the end we were both ready to go home with a pie each.
The only thing that stopped that endeavor was the price. Each moderately-sized slice was $6 with $3 extra for the a la mode option, and a whole pie goes for $40-$50. While we didn’t order anything else, a perusal of the menu showed a moderately expensive trend: the milkshakes come out at $12 each as do the cocktails, Hotties will cost you $10, and booze-infused floats are priced as high as $16. For our order, the bill came out to about $32 for three slices of pie and 2 coffees, which felt a bit crazy for two college kids on a budget.
But if your wallet permits, Butter and Scotch is definitely a must for all your pie needs. While there, be sure to try their well-known birthday cake, and if over 21, taste their namesake shake, The Nameshake, for me. Whatever troubles you have, don’t forget that the world goes round, and pies are round, and that association is reason enough to get ‘chocolate-wasted’ at Butter and Scotch.
Be sure to follow B&S on social media at the handle @drunkbakers!
A New York college student just trying to figure out how to balance a social life, a 10 page paper, and a mild addiction to coffee.