Partner Jai Snowdon (and his Aussie accent), business partner Ryan Lopiccolo and savory chef Samantha Boxer spent last week going full steam ahead to make their May 1 opening date. However, Murphy's Law attacked them from all angles, and they rejoiced in a "soft opening" last Thursday. As of today, they are selling their wares from 9 a.m. until they sell out, ramping up production each day to get into the swing of things.
We stopped by a week ago to spend some face time with the team as they prepped for a Newport Beach Film Festival after party. The wording on their menu board wouldn't adhere, and the glass partitions weren't the correct size, but they were happy to brew us a Flat White, an Australian espresso drink (like a latte with no foam) and talk shop.
A concept a year and-a-half in the making, Snowdon discussed how his design experience for a clothing manufacturer complemented Lopiccolo's financial background. Long-term goals include a catering side, as well as expansion throughout the beach communities. Let's face it, after a day out in the elements, this will curb your hunger.
In the kitchen, they will conduct two to three bakes per day. Batch fillings will be made by Boxer the day before, because like a good curry, it's always better the next day. They demonstrated how the pie crust is sealed, and it involves some elbow grease. Using a single hand-held crimper, only one pie can be finished at a time. They're working on modifications to not only enable multiple pies, but eliminate the extra step of removing excess crust after each pie is pressed. Pies receive an egg wash finish and a few holes to release steam. Look forward to seasonal strawberry rhubarb flavors as well as other surprises making their way onto the menu.
Our brekkie pie was amazeballs. Flaky outside, hearty inside, we barely got through half on our empty stomach. Just as well, since it tasted even better popped in our toaster oven the next morning. If you get one piping hot, let it cool down a bit, or you'll be dropping it like it's hot. We also did a fork test, and it was no bueno. Use your damn hands!
PIE-NOT is located at 270 E 17th St, Suite 17, Costa Mesa; www.pienot.com.