This pie is rich - but not pompous

Greg Cox seeks recipes from Triangle restaurants requested by readers.

October 23, 2011 

We took our son out for his birthday at Glenwood Grill the other night. The food was fabulous, but the Bailey's chocolate pie was absolutely the best. Can you get the recipe?

- Jane Danford, Raleigh

Glenwood Grill celebrates a milestone birthday of its own this year: it's 21. In people years, that's old enough to order a shot of Bailey's to go with a slice of the chocolate pie. But in the restaurant world, where many establishments don't even reach kindergarten age, it's an enviable achievement.

It's even more impressive, given Glenwood Grill's off-the-beaten-path location, 2 1/2 miles outside the limelight of Glenwood South. Years before that trendy strip was even on the drawing board, Glenwood Grill was serving its contemporary Southern menu in a quiet, casually upscale setting. With a strong base of loyal fans from surrounding neighborhoods and an ever-expanding reputation, the restaurant continues to thrive.

Key to Glenwood Grill's enduring success is executive chef John Wright, who has led the kitchen team for most of its existence. Wright came to Raleigh from the acclaimed Magnolia's in Charleston, bringing with him signature specialties such as Vidalia onion pancakes, fried green tomatoes and carpetbagger steak.

The chef's luxurious take on a Bailey's chocolate pie is a more recent creation.

"I came up with that one about three or four years ago, when I took the pot de crème off the menu. I was looking for something similar to replace it, but not as fussy."

The answer, as it turns out, was right in front of him.

"I began tweaking the pot de crème recipe," Wright said, "experimenting with different combinations." The result of that experimentation is a Bailey's chocolate pie that owes its exceptional richness to its French pedigree, and its unpretentious all-American charm to its Oreo cookie crust.

Unpretentious or not, the chef recommends using the best quality chocolate you can afford. You'll be rewarded with a pie worthy of any birthday celebration.

Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, c/o The News & Observer or email

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