Lunchtime in Cincinnati starts at 11:30 a.m. Armed with this immutable fact, get a jump on the midday rush and grab a window seat at tiny O Pie O, located on DeSales Corner in Walnut Hills in what has often been referred to as “the French building.” It’s an apt home; the elegant exterior makes you feel like you’re stepping into an atelier, where staff are couturiers of all things pie.
Their work is definitely of the haute variety. The chicken pot pie is full of slow-roasted Amish chicken, nuggets of Yukon gold potatoes, and veggies suspended in creamy sauce, all encased in a light, layered crust. The corn and cheese empanada makes a good vegetarian option. The samosa special, served with spicy green and tamarind chutneys, lacked the bold punch we were hoping for, but the beef stout stew special was hearty and bursting with onions, tender chunks of meat, and plenty of dark beer flavor. (Plus, the disc of crust on top is perfect for sopping up every last drop of gravy.)
Lest you think everything comes encased in pastry (though that would be fine with us), the ginger-cumin tomato soup is thick and rich, and their zesty carrot-miso dressing perks up a side salad. A mango-lime pocket pie or a slice of fluffy salted cashew cream pie both make terrific dessert choices, but if O Pie O’s chocolate pie with housemade peanut butter ice cream is available, abandon all else in its favor.
O Pie O, 1527 Madison Rd., Walnut Hills, (513) 274-3238, opieo.com. Lunch and dinner Tues–Sat, brunch and lunch Sun.